Hispanic Baptists elected the first female convention president in their 103-year history this morning.
The announcement came after two rounds of voting. The first - a race between Daniel 'Tiny' Dominguez, current president of the Hispanic Baptist Convention; Bea Mesquias, member of United Baptist Church in Harlingen; and Manuel Rios, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Monte Calvario in San Antonio - did not result in a clear majority.
The runoff was a close race; Mesquias won with 100 votes, versus Rios' 97.
Mesquias has a long resume of accomplishments in Baptist life. She has served on the boards of the Woman's Missionary Union of Texas, the Corpus Christi Baptist Association, Baptist University of the Americas and several others.
Under Mesquias' leadership, attendance to the Hispanic Woman's Missionary Union of Texas grew significantly. She has also initiated several new ministries during her years of service, including a prayer retreat that has seen attendance of more than 1,300 people since its 2008 inception and Una Noche Con El Rey, a women's conference with events throughout Texas.
Juan Antonio Gamiochipi, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Alief, was voted first vice president. Bulmaro Luna was elected second vice president. Leonardo Díaz is the new secretary.
By Lauren Sturdy