By Carl Stagner
You may not know Juan Santos yet, but you will soon. His broad influence in the Dominican Republic is spreading quickly beyond the Caribbean country. Students and leaders who experienced the 2017 missions experience A.One.8 were blessed by the hospitality of Pastor Juan and the more than 300-person-strong church he planted years ago in Los Palmares. Through radio, television, and books, Juan’s reach spans the globe through his international leadership network, Transformers World. Church of God Convention 2019 & General Assembly (June 27–30) will feature a variety of anointed speakers, but Juan Santos Lugo is one you definitely won’t want to miss.
In 1998, Juan Santos started the Church of God congregation, Acción Misionera. When asked about what he sees as God’s activity in the church recently, he responds, “Seeing the people experiencing the presence of the Lord.” He rejoices when individuals are used more and more by the Lord in ministry, recognizing that every child of God has a place in the body of Christ. “I’m also excited when I hear that new people coming to our church say that they received love here,” Juan reflects. “The purpose of our church is to give the love of Christ.”
Juan’s wife Miriam and son Hernán are vital partners in his ministry leadership at church. “They help with ideas, vision, and by developing strategies,” he explains. “Hernán takes care of the youth and student ministry, runs the sound system, and supervises staff. Miriam helps design the Bible studies for small groups, preaches and teaches sometimes, and is also an outstanding artist who decorates the church.”
Beyond the local church, Juan Santos has developed a tremendous reputation. His voice is recognized widely as the speaker and host of Antes de Dormir, a weekday radio broadcast on the top Christian radio station in the country. The radio station happens to also be one of the top-four listened-to stations in all of Dominican Republic radio. This should come as no surprise, considering the vast influence Christianity has had on the Dominican Republic in recent years. On March 8, 2017, a CHOGnews story reported on a powerful revival sweeping across the nation. Thousands of souls had come to Christ, but it wasn’t in response to the evangelistic efforts of one church alone. Jesus had to be the subject for the initiative to work, as numerous churches from multiple denominations worked together to demonstrate God’s love in their communities.
“In the past,” Juan Santos reflects, “it seemed as though the pastors of different churches only saw their own churches. The kingdom wasn’t a consideration. God has been changing the mentality. The pastors in the Dominican Republic have become partners for the gospel. We’ve become friends!”
Juan’s personal influence on the region only accelerated when he ran for political office several years ago. Thought he lost the election, his campaign expanded his reach greatly—and not for a political agenda. Pastor Juan explains that the connections he made have resulted in reaching hundreds of people for Christ. To this day, there are political parties vying for this influential figure to “be their guy.” Whatever he does, and wherever he goes, Juan simply wants to remain in God’s will.
With all the attention he gets from the public, Pastor Juan’s focus remains on the Lord and on his family. When he’s not preaching or teaching, he’s spending time with his family. You might find them at the gym together or simply taking long walks while enjoying one another’s company.
The Church of God movement is blessed to have Pastor Juan on the team, especially for Convention 2019. “I really love to be involved with brothers and sisters from other places, from other nations,” he reflects. “To reconnect with them is the most exciting part to me about it. But I’m also excited to open up my heart to the people of God in terms of what he has given to me to pass along to them.”
Register now for Church of God Convention 2019 and General Assembly, June 27–30, at www.chogconvention.org. Early-bird registration ends March 1!