Cesar occasionally returns to the U.S. and is available to visit congregations. Email him to extend an invitation to visit your congregation or organization.
About César Carhuachîn’s ministry
César Carhuachín teaches at the Reformed University of Colombia, which is the country’s first Protestant university. It received official government accreditation in 2002. César Carhuachín has been called to teach biblical studies and theology in the university’s School of Theology, which has its roots in the Presbyterian Theological Seminary of the Gran Colombia. The seminary was founded in the early 1980s to train clergy for the Presbyterian Church of Colombia and became part of the university when the university was formed. The School of Theology stresses the study of the Bible in the original languages and seeks to integrate all theological study into the context of Colombian society. Today students from various Protestant traditions study at the school. In addition to his duties as professor frequently César preaches at local churches.
Colombia has rich natural resources and a highly stratified society. The families with Spanish origins hold a much greater share of the country’s wealth than the majority, mixed-race population. Colombia has endured almost a half century of civil war. The conflict includes clashes between left-wing guerilla groups and military forces. Also in the fray are right-wing paramilitary groups that are backed by some elements in the army and the police. Both the guerilla groups and the paramilitary have been accused of involvement in drug trafficking. Human rights advocates and religious workers who speak on behalf of the millions of poor people displaced by the conflict are often the targets of violence. The Presbyterian Church of Colombia, which has spoken out against the violence, traces its beginning to the work of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) missionaries. The first Presbyterian congregation in Colombia was founded in Bogotá in 1856. About 90 percent of Colombia’s 44 million people are Roman Catholic.
About César Carhuachîn
César has invested his life in crossing boundaries to share the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ.
“I received the call of the Lord to the Christian ministry when I was 15 years old,” César says. His young life was shaped by mission trips that took him to places beyond his native city of Lima, Peru. “Those experiences gave me a new vision and understanding of ministry,” he says. “I realized that I could serve God, not just in my home church and city but out of them as well.”
César’s preparation for ministry took him beyond the borders of Peru. After beginning theological studies in Lima, he moved to Argentina, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in theology from the International Baptist Theological Seminary of Buenos Aires. He also received a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina. After serving congregations in Argentina he was invited in 1998 to come to Charlotte, N.C., to begin a Hispanic ministry at Hickory Grove Baptist Church.
The Hispanic ministry flourished and after seven and a half years it was a congregation of about 350 members. Then César sensed a call to cross another boundary, this time a denominational one. He was named coordinator of Hispanic/Latino ministries with the Presbytery of Charlotte, supporting English-speaking congregations in their outreach to the Hispanic/Latino population. He also was ordained as a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) teaching elder in 2006.
Now César senses God’s hand leading him back to South America to serve the people of Colombia. He is enjoying his ministry at the Reformed University of Colombia. He is also still learning about the Presbyterian Church of Colombia and the complex social reality of this country and its long process to have a peace agreement with the guerrillas. He says Colombia is a place where many are searching for meaning in their lives. “In this searching,” he explains, “people find many obstacles like the lack of equal opportunities for education, unfair salaries, oppressive structures, and lack of hope for the future because of structural violence and displacement.” He wants to help prepare leaders for the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, which he says is working hard to address these problems. One of his personal goals as professor at the School of Theology is to accompany the students as they accomplish their academic goals and inspire and encourage them to follow Jesus Christ every day and get involved in social reality.
In addition to a wealth of pastoral experience, César also has spent many years teaching part-time in seminaries in Argentina and the United States. While serving in Charlotte he pursued a second doctorate, earning a degree in Hispanic/Latino church leadership from the Theology School of Drew University.
In his ministry César says he has been inspired by Mark 10:45: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
“Jesus tells us in this passage that he was and he is in the world to serve people and to give his life in sacrificial service,” César says. For César, that Scripture is a call to “give my time, gifts, creativity, and whatever I can to enrich, to affirm, and to empower the life and ministry of others.”