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‘Rays of light’ through Hispanic Baptist Convention

June 27th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

SAN ANTONIO – “Rays of light” are flowing through the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas to impact people for Christ across the state and beyond.

Through the convention as well as it’s partnerships with Texas Baptists and Buckner International, Hispanic congregations are meeting physical and emotional needs, Jesse Rincones said in his presidential address during the HBCT Annual Meeting.

Through Texas Baptists’ offices of Hispanic ministries, Hispanic evangelism and River Ministry, thousands of people embraced the hope of Christ during the past year. Through Buckner, physical needs were met for some of society’s most vulnerable individuals. Texas Baptists’ Hispanic Education Initiative sought to help Hispanics achieve their educational goals.

During the annual meeting, the Hispanic convention gave more than 2,800 shoes for Buckner’s Shoes for Orphan Souls program. Twenty-four students received college scholarships.

“Thank you for your rays of light – to the soul, to the mind and to the physical body,” Rincones said.

Luis Lopez, director of LifeWay Español, encouraged Hispanic Baptists to continue sharing the hope of Christ. Doing so requires Christians who are passionate about discovering Christ’s call on their lives and carrying it out.

“Leaders must be intentional about discipling people,” he said. “Leaders must be intentional about multiplying.”

Samuel Rodriguez, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference president, urged Hispanic Baptists to follow the “Lamb’s agenda,” which seeks to share the hope of Christ with people in an effort to help them break free of sin.

Too many people feel trapped by sexual sin, depression and a variety of other issues, Rodriguez noted. A relationship with Christ tears away the shackles of those problems.

“The agenda of the Lamb is the message of the cross,” Rodriguez said.

The agenda’s message also provides a constant reminder for how Christians are to share that message. The vertical beam of the cross reminds believers to remain faithful to God. The horizontal plank urges Christ followers to care for those around them, sharing the gospel as they care.

Rodriguez encouraged Hispanic Baptists to live out their faith from the “nexus” of the two beams, combining the need to save souls with the need to make a practical difference for those who are hurting now.

“We have come to reconcile the mission of the Rev. Billy Graham and the marches of Martin Luther King,” Rodriguez said.

By working together, Hispanic Baptists can have the greatest impact, said Albert Reyes, president/CEO of Buckner. Christians are to let the light of Christ shine through their lives. When Christians cooperate, their lights come together brilliantly.

“When we work together, the light is brighter,” Reyes said.

God is moving mightily among Hispanic Baptists, Rincones said. He already is bringing people into a relationship with Him through Hispanic Baptists. God will continue to reach more people.

“God is calling us,” Rincones said. “He is making us strong. He also is strengthening our minds.”

The reach of Hispanic Texas Baptists extends beyond the state line, Rincones noted. Hispanic student mission teams will serve in Venezuela, East Asia and New York City this summer. One of those teams was commissioned during the convention’s annual meeting.

“We are going to commission them tomorrow and send a ray of light from San Antonio to [East Asia].”

In business, convention messengers elected Daniel “Tiny” Dominguez, pastor of Community Heights Church in Lubbock, as first vice president; Isaac Ortiz, co-pastor of New Beacon Hill Baptist Church in San Antonio, as second vice president; and Leonardo Diaz, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Hitchcock, as secretary. Rincones will continue serving his term as president.

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