Tag Archives: Hispanic Council

Hurricane Sunday: Florida Churches, Ministries Unite for Puerto Rico

By Carl Stagner

September 20, 2017. To most of the country, that date holds no particular significance. But in Puerto Rico, that date will long be remembered as the day everything changed for almost everyone. Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in one hundred years, left widespread devastation in its wake. Utility companies have struggled to restore power, businesses have struggled to reopen, and some churches have even closed their doors. A mass exodus of citizens, without precedent in the history of the territory, has only made the problem worse. Though media coverage has waned, the need for restoration of property—and hope—is more critical than ever. Moved with compassion and compelled by the Spirit, Florida Ministries, the Hispanic Council (Concilio Hispano), Helping Hands in Motion, and Florida congregations are coming together for Puerto Rico on the third of June for what they’re calling Hurricane Sunday. Continue reading

Spanish-Speaking Church Planted in Florida on Easter Sunday

Pastor Isaias Marquez speaks at the launch service on Easter.

By Carl Stagner

Now, more than ever, the Sunshine State is primed for the gospel. The normal flow of migration to Florida from Spanish-speaking countries presents a tremendous opportunity for Hispanic church planters. But, in the wake of last year’s hurricane disaster in Puerto Rico, Spanish-speaking people have left the territory for Florida in droves. Isaias and Laura Marquez, pastors of a congregation in Lake Wales, are always on the lookout for possible church plants. Observing the lack of Hispanic churches in the Winter Haven area, they reached out to First Church of God to consider hosting a new work. On Easter Sunday, Iglesia de Dios in Winter Haven was born, offering the hope of Christ to Spanish-speaking residents while extending the reach of First Church beyond what they could have ever imagined. Continue reading

Pastor of All People: Ministries Council Secretary Called to Lead Amid Diversity

Pastor Vincent Miller and family.

By Carl Stagner

“Everybody has a different fingerprint. I just think this is my fingerprint.” At Church of God Convention 2017 in Wichita, Kansas, many were first introduced to Vincent Miller, who accepted the role of secretary for the Ministries Council earlier this year. But he isn’t new to the Movement at all. Vincent’s ministry in the Church of God has spanned several states, as has his fingerprint, as he puts it. What is his fingerprint? To pastor ethnically and culturally diverse congregations. Because Jesus is the subject, Vincent knows that diversity does not have to equal division. Because Jesus is the subject, not skin color or language, unity amid diversity can be a powerful witness to the amazing love of God. Now entering his second year as pastor of First Church of God in Tampa, Florida, Pastor Vincent Miller is more eager than ever to give witness to the love of God available in Jesus Christ. Continue reading

Concerning Clergy Compensation: Concilio Connects with CARE

Concilio pastors pray together at the CARE seminar in Houston.

By Joseph Cookston

¡Buen trabajo! ¡Excelente! ¡Muchas gracias! We want to contextualize the information to our culture—thank you for the great desire to help us!

Openness and expectancy abounded throughout the CARE Seminar that opened the convention of the Hispanic Council (Concilio Hispano) of the Church of God in Houston, Texas, near the end of July. Pastors and spouses gathered and processed together for the three-and-a-half hour dialogue regarding pastoral compensation and financial planning. Again and again, participants expressed their gratitude for the intentional reach into the world of Spanish-speaking congregations of the Church of God. Continue reading

ONE Gives Students Glimpse of Heaven, Desire to Change the World Together

By Carl Stagner

Some had likely never worshiped in Spanish before. Others had probably never experienced firsthand the high-octane energy of urban gospel. History suggests that few had likely ever been in a setting where three cultures converged in the name of Christ. But that’s exactly what happened at the first-ever ONE event, which took place at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 21 and 22. The result was a glimpse of heaven and a renewed desire to change the world together. Continue reading

Youth to Participate in Historic Unity Event this April

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By Carl Stagner

It’s at the core of who we are. We preach about it. We sing about it. We read books about it by pioneers of our movement. But we don’t have a flawless record of living it out. The perfect love which unites us all in Jesus must translate to how we function as individual churches and as a movement. A new generation is rising up in the Church of God less connected to “the way we’ve always done it.” They are challenging the status quo; they are daring to do things differently. They’re setting the example for the rest of us as they come together in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 21–22 to worship under one roof. No, it’s not the International Youth Convention. No, it’s not NIYC. And no, it’s also not a youth convention of the Concilio Hispano. It’s ONE gathering, hosted by all three groups, that your church’s youth group won’t want to miss. Continue reading

Growing Hispanic Church Plant Emphasizes ‘Jesus is the Subject’

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By Carl Stagner

Salvation, baptism, healing, spiritual growth, and numerical growth. Pastor Ramon Rivera has witnessed each of these take place at the church plant he and his wife started less than a year ago in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Perhaps that’s why Ministerio de Adoración y Restauración has opted to emphasize Jesus above all else. Jesus is the source of the salvation, baptism, healing, spiritual growth, and numerical growth this Spanish-speaking church has experienced. Jesus is therefore the subject of everything that is said and done, including their church’s website address—a Spanish translation of “Jesus is the Subject.” Continue reading

Indiana Hispanic Church at the Leading Edge of Kingdom Expansion

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By Carl Stagner

Churches of the Concilio Hispano—the Hispanic Council of the Church of God—are some of the fastest-growing, most on-fire-for-the-Lord in our movement today. It’s exciting to see and hear what God is doing among our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters as they seek to reach the Latino population for Jesus Christ. Until you’ve attended one of their services, you may not be able to imagine fully the passion and the power overflowing from their worship, preaching, and prayer. It was no different at the building dedication service for Iglesia de Dios la Hermosa in Anderson, Indiana—the first Hispanic church this century to have their own facility in the state. Continue reading

Multiplicación: Hispanic Council’s Church Planting Explosion

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By Carl Stagner

They’ve overseen the planting of more than one hundred new Spanish-language churches across the United States. In the past few months alone, they’ve planted eight new churches. Twenty years ago, the impact of the Hispanic Council of the Church of God (Concilio Hispano) only touched five states. But now, because of intentional church planting efforts, the Concilio gives God the glory for locations in thirty-eight states. Several factors have contributed to the success of the Concilio’s successful church multiplication efforts. A brief look at a few of these fruit-bearing plants offer some important insights. Continue reading

Key Theology Text Soon Available in Spanish

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Theology for Disciples, an essential textbook by the late Dr. Gilbert W. Stafford, will be released in Spanish this month under the title Teología para Discípulos. The translation was sponsored by the Hispanic Council of the Church of God and the Literature Endowment Fund of Warner Press, Inc. Continue reading

My Global Gathering Story: Pivotal Moments and Providential Connections

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By Duane Parker

My Global Gathering story stretches back almost a year to an important meeting at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. I had made an appointment to visit the seminary to inquire about a rental for our state General Assembly meeting in February 2013. Ken Money took me on a tour of the building and discussed our needs and those of the other regular users of the building and grounds. As I described our organization, he interjected that his assistant was an ordained Church of God Minister from Mexico. He introduced me to a quiet young Hispanic man who did in fact confirm that he was Juan Gonzalez, from Saltillo, Mexico. During that meeting he told me how he had met his wife, the daughter of the vice president of the seminary, married, and moved to Mississippi to complete his master of theology. He was working for the seminary and taking classes at the same time. Continue reading

Hispanic Council Active During Global Gathering

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By Jorge Palacios

The Hispanic Council of the Church of God (Concilio Hispano) planned our activities for the Global Gathering for more than a year. Pastors, leaders, and church members traveled from different regions to be at this event. The national program committee, in coordination with Church of God Ministries, the Hispanic congregation in Anderson, Indiana (Pastor Heriberto Mejia), in Cincinnati, Ohio (Pastor Ercides Estrada), in Columbus, Ohio (Pastor Jose Gomez), and other pastors and leaders from this Concilio region, worked together to help promote this unity event. Continue reading

Concilio Nacional y Global Gathering

10.216-Design Proof 4-Global Gathering Update

Por Jesus Mena

La población hispana en los Estados Unidos excede los cuarenta y cinco millones
formando un mosaico y colorido cultural bien diverso.
Continue reading

The Walmart Pastor

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By Carl Stagner

It could’ve been the slogan for the church: “Save souls. Live better.” Or possibly, “Always rejoices. Always.” But the church founded by Ercides Estrada wasn’t concerned about catchy phrases or slick marketing techniques. Estrada’s eyes were focused on a single goal: go to the people, and tell them about Jesus. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that he had been wandering the byways of life in total darkness. But Estrada had found the Light, and he wanted everyone he came in contact with to find the Light. So what does a minister do when he arrives in a new town and wants to evangelize? He goes to the local Walmart and begins to preach. Continue reading