The Hispanic\Latino-a community is represented by a variety of different cultures and nationalities and represents a mixed culture composed of people from South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Spain and other places. Hispanics/Latinos are the largest racial ethnic group in the United States and the third largest racial ethnic group in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
They are represented by 330 congregations and missions in the United States, with more than 40,000 members. Eighteen percent of our pastors are women and fifteen percent are commissioned ruling elders. Hispanic\Latinos are involved in evangelism, church growth, worship renovation and also provide a new vision for the mission in this century. We are equal partners in ministry, work and mission within the denomination. As pilgrims in a foreign land we have a divine mission to accomplish. We identify and affirm the Great Ends of the Church (G-1.0200 The Book of Order) as part of our mission and vision.
The Hispanic\Latino-a Congregational Support Office is a Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministry/ Presbyterian Women's, ministry area. We are participants in the spiritual journey and formation for the Hispanic/Latino-a constituency by doing theology, incarnating our ministries inside the Presbyterian, Reformed and Hispanic/Latino-a context.
Who We Are
Rev. Dr. Hector Rodriguez
Hector Rodriguez was born in 1952 in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico. At the age of 18, he joined the Presbyterian Church in Puerto Rico. He was ordained as a Presbyterian newsminister of the Word and Sacrament in February of 1979 by the Northwest Presbytery, Synod of Puerto Rico. He is married to Esther Cordero and they have three daughters: Keren, Noemi and Sara, and five grand kids.
Dr. Rodriguez holds a B.A in music and education from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, an M.Div. from the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico and a D. Min. (In Church Revitalization) form the McCormick Theological Seminary, in Chicago. He was a Pastor and University Professor of Religion in Puerto Rico. In 1986 Rev. Rodriguez accepted a call to be the Pastor of the Iglesia Presbiteriana “El Redentor”, in the Greater Orlando area, Central Florida Presbytery (1986-2001) in 2001 he accepted a call to be the associate for the Hispanic/Latino-na Congregational Support office of the General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) now Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) in Louisville, KY.
Dr. Rodriguez has been a national and International Hispanic leader doing conferences and workshops related to worship, evangelism, church growth, church revitalization, new church development and leadership development. He was part of the team that prepares the Hispanic Presbyterian Hymnbook, one of the writers and editor of the “Handbook for Hispanic/Latino New Church Development” (Bilingual edition) and the writer of the booklet “Living the Vision-Hispanic Ministries”. At the present he is working in a new book titled “A Healthy Church” The purpose of his office ministry in the PMA (Presbyterian Mission Agency) is to provide leadership to al governing bodies of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in the development of effective ministries to and with Hispanic/Latinos.
What We Do
Hispanic/Latino-a Congregational Support promotes evangelism and the growth of Hispanic/Latino churches by providing information and assistance to local congregations and councils (Presbyteries, Synods, GA, etc).
We support national, regional and local programs of evangelism, development of new churches and 1,001 new worshipping communities, transformation of churches, leadership training, stewardship, seminarians, commissioned ruling eldes, women, men, youth and young adults.
We identify and articulate the unique cultural heritage and traditions of Hispanic Americans and recommend ways in which the church can benefit from and use these qualities to the glory of God and the ministry of the Reformed church.
We implement the National Church Growth Hispanic/Latino-a strategy as part of the Racial Ethnic/Immigrant and Church Growth strategy of Racial Ethnic Ministries.
We work in partnership with other program areas in the creation, planning and development of resources and materials for Hispanic/Latino churches.
We promote cross-cultural and ecumenical events.
The roots of Hispanic Presbyterians in the United States and Latin America are deeply planted in the soil of nineteenth century missionary work carried out by foreign or national boards. The first roots are grounded in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Puerto Rico. Presbyterians have more than a century-long history of involvement with Hispanic\Latinos . There are third and even fourth generations of faithful Presbyterians among Hispanic\Latinos of the Southwest.
Doing theology means to incarnate the gospel in the ecclesiastical, social and cultural context. It is impossible to do theology in a vacuum; it must be existential. We do theology every Sunday and every day in our churches and in our lives. The theological task of the church consists in discerning what God expects from us in the place were He has placed us, so that we may contribute relevant and transforming solutions to our people. If we are going to accomplish God’s mission it is necessary that our theology is harmonious with our existential realities in light of the Scriptures applicable to our people.
Our culture and history are gifts from God. As Hispanic/Latino-a Presbyterians we serve and worship with a Hispanic flavor and identity. How Hispanics/Latinos-as incarnate, realize and live their faith is going to be reflected in their ecclesiastical and social life. The liturgical work of the church must be reflected in its theological task. Our Hispanic\Latino churches serve and worship according to their experience and theological convictions. Worship, Koinonia, Kerigma, Eucharist and Spirituality are intrinsic part of this. In order to be authentic, transcendent and enriching, liturgy must be true to the cultural reality.
God uses ones cultural, social and racial identity as legitimate gifts, and as means of revealing God’s love and justice to the world.
The strategy is for ministry with Hispanic/Latino constituency to address the development and ministry issues related to and with Hispanic\Latino-a in the United States and Puerto Rico. This document is intended to be an instrument for mission.