Sanchez speaks about co-chairing Hispanic Advisory Council
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Six professors and alumni from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary have been named to the Southern Baptist Convention’s 18-member Hispanic Advisory Council. The council will be co-chaired by Southwestern professor Daniel Sanchez and alumnus Bob Sena.
Sanchez serves at Southwestern Seminary as professor of missions and associate dean of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, as well as director of the Scarborough Institute of Church Growth. Sena graduated from Southwestern Seminary in 1976 with his Master of Religious Education degree, and he is a retired church planting consultant with the North American Mission Board. He currently ministers as a Hispanic evangelist and conference leader.
Other members of the Hispanic Advisory Council with ties to Southwestern Seminary include Pedro Avilés (EXTH, 1988), director of evangelism for the Puerto Rico Baptist Convention; Mike Gonzales (MDiv, 1975; MAMiss, 2005), director of multi-ethnic ministries for the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention; Frank Moreno (MAMiss, 2002), director of the Florida Baptist Convention’s language division; and Daisy J. Rios, an elementary school teacher in Bergenfield, N. J., and wife to pastor and Southwestern alumnus, Victor Rios (MACE, 2003).
“It is very encouraging to know that the top leaders of the Executive Committee, representing different agencies, are interested in obtaining more information and improving communications with Hispanic leaders and Hispanic churches around the country,” Sanchez said about the establishment of the council. Hispanic churches and leaders also “will appreciate an opportunity to provide additional input as it is sought by the Executive Committee.”
With a growing Hispanic population in the United States, Southern Baptists will benefit from considering how they may better reach this population. Sanchez pointed out that 50.5 million Hispanics live within this nation, and Hispanics will reportedly make up one-fourth of the U.S. population by 2050.
“It is good to think in terms of what it takes to reach them for the Gospel and to start churches among them,” Sanchez said, “but at the same time to think in terms of how to involve them. … I think it is wonderful that many Hispanics have gone from seeing themselves as a mission field to now seeing themselves as a missionary force.”
As Sanchez noted, the Hispanic Advisory Council will not itself implement any programs or initiatives, but will instead advise and gather information for the SBC’s Executive Committee, NAMB and other SBC entities. Frank Page, president of the Executive Committee, released a statement to Baptist Press, Sept. 19-20:
“The council is representative of the regions of the country and reflects the cultural diversity of the Hispanic population. Its purpose is that of consultation, communication and cooperation. It will neither launch nor execute ministries. Its role is to provide information, insight and counsel to NAMB and EC staff relative to the special needs and concerns of Hispanic churches and church leaders in the Southern Baptist family of churches.”