(916) 919-7476


Puerto Rico: 3,000 Churches Damaged, Fewer Christians Left to Rebuild

The evangelical church in Puerto Rico won’t be the same after Hurricane Maria.

Even congregations that have resumed their regular gatherings after repairing buildings and regaining power are still missing a major part of church life: some of their members.

An estimated 400,000 of the island’s more than 3 million residents have left the US territory for the mainland since the record-setting September storm. Like every other aspect of Puerto Rican life, church attendance has taken a hit.

Gadiel Ríos’s 350-member congregation in Arecibo, La Iglesia del Centro, saw five to six families relocate to the mainland after enduring ongoing power outages and financial hardship—a number similar to losses experienced by fellow pastors.

About a third of Ríos’s congregants still don’t have power—the same proportion of electricity customers island-wide who are still waiting for service. He estimates Sunday attendance has dropped 5 to 10 percent.

“All of this is putting a lot of strain on families,” he said. “Remember that Hispanic families are very close and tend to live in clusters to support each other; now Maria is disrupting this way of life.”

Meanwhile, Spanish-speaking congregations in the States have welcomed the Puerto Ricans who have fled, particularly those in Orlando, where the “great migration” is expected to transform the city. Of all the people who moved to the continental US from the Caribbean island in the past four months, more than 300,000 settled in Florida alone, according to the Sunshine State’s division of emergency management.

Members of Calvario City Church greeted arrivals from Puerto Rico as soon as they landed in the Orlando International Airport, where they served as bilingual volunteers. Dozens of families ended up joining them in worship—a bittersweet transition from the churches, homes, and jobs they left behind.

“Nobody wants to leave, but the options are so minimal,” said Gabriel Salguero, co-pastor of Calvario City and president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC). “We’ve even had pastors come because their churches were so hard-hit.”

Salguero’s denomination, the Assemblies of God, lost 50 churches in Puerto Rico, while a fellow Pentecostal body had 150 churches undergo severe damage. His uncle, a pastor on the island, now shares space with a fellow congregation since his building was among the wreckage.

In addition to Florida, Puerto Ricans are settling in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas.

“The majority of those that have left seem to indicate a desire to remain within the continental US rather than return to the island,” said Tony Suarez, vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC). “Many have lost their homes and possessions and are simply seeking to start over.”

NaLEC and NHCLC have rallied American churches on the mainland to support the Christians who are staying in Puerto Rico to rebuild, giving millions in aid toward relief efforts. The NHCLC estimates that 3,000 Puerto Rican churches were damaged in Hurricane Maria.

Back in the fall, NHCLC board member and Puerto Rican megachurch pastor Wanda Rolón said:

We understand why some of our brothers and sisters have decided to leave the island and I believe life will go very well for them wherever they decide to plant their roots, but many of us have also made the decision to stay … and we are going to make history because we are going to rebuild this island and experience what Rev. Sam Rodriguez called “Puerto Rico 2.0.”

Those remaining in Puerto Rico face spiritual and emotional burdens on top of the island’s ongoing infrastructure and financial needs.

“Every week is unique, and pastors are faced with the need to get insight from the Spirit of God to understand the mood and emotional state of the congregants,” said Ríos, citing a rise in depression and marital issues among hurricane victims, as well as concerns over suicide rates and violent criminal activity in the long recovery period. January marked the island’s deadliest month in recent years, according to an Associated Press report.

“First of all, we need your constant prayers. Entire lives were disrupted by this crisis and we need to minister to them, and help them continue their path, whatever it may be,” he said. “Second, a large number of families relocated in the States will need solid, Bible-teaching, Christ-exalting churches to attend, so we need more church planters in the mainland. Third, we need advocates to ensure the federal government treats Puerto Rico with fairness and justice.”

Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican senator and 2016 presidential candidate, spoke up this week to say Congress needs to do more to ensure disaster relief continues in Puerto Rico. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) clarified that the government will keep sending supplies.

Read more

Getting the most out of our gifts

I’m superstitious, and I have my rituals.

When I write, I take several minutes to think about what I want to put on the literary canvas — and what to leave out.

When I talk on the lecture circuit, before I’m introduced I go to the restroom and splash cold water on my face.

When I host radio shows, before I utter a word I perform the sign of the cross and ask God to let me speak clearly.

When I go on television, if I’m in New York, I’ll duck into the quiet and stillness of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I’ll sit in a pew and pray that, when the red light goes on, I’ll be able to communicate what I think and feel — in four minutes.

And when I need help with the big things — love, life, faith, family — I call a preacher.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is the leader of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which he founded in 2000 and which now represents more than 40,000 Evangelical Hispanic churches in the United States. The son of Puerto Rican parents is a former high school teacher who taught government and civics in the same Pennsylvania city in which he grew up, a place appropriately named Bethlehem.

Rodriguez is also my go-to-guy for personal growth and spiritual coaching. He started in that role a couple of years ago when, after interviewing him for a column, I meandered into a confession. I told him that — as a Catholic — I was trying to find my way back to God. Pastor Sam — as he is called — listened so passionately that I could feel the intensity coming through the phone line. Then he gave me some advice that helped.

Now I needed his advice again. What weighed on my mind was the task of making a living, and supporting one’s family, while using God’s gifts.

Last year, I turned 50. And I’m clear about what the ledger looks like. God didn’t give me musical, artistic or athletic ability. But he gave me this: the ability to communicate, in written or spoken form.

For that, I’m grateful. From that, I’ve built — from scratch — a good career as a national columnist and media commentator, becoming one of the few Latinos in the country who can lay claim to those titles. Not bad for the son of a cop, and the grandson of farm workers.

Now, my main industry — newspapers — is contracting, and newsrooms are shrinking. In nearly 30 years of writing for newspapers, hosting radio shows, offering TV commentary and the like, I’ve had more than two dozen jobs; I’ve lost six of them.

Almost eight years ago, I lost the highest paying job I’d ever had; two-thirds of my family’s income went out the window. But I hustled, picking up other part-time jobs to add to the ones I had. My wife went back to work. We pulled through.

But it hasn’t been easy. I often feel like that guy in the circus, spinning a dozen plates at the ends of sticks.

I could make a nice living in a cushy corporate job, where I could use my skills to sell soft drinks. I don’t want to do that.

Which led me to my question for Pastor Sam. If these things are my gifts, I asked him, then why isn’t it easier to get the most out of them.Shouldn’t I be able to follow the path that God has laid out, I asked, and still support my family?

First, Rodriguez reassured me that I wasn’t alone, that many people struggle with the same question. He also agreed that I was doing what God wanted me to do, and that my voice was unique and valuable — even if it did make some people feel uncomfortable at times.

Next, he said, we’ll confront, in life, open doors and closed ones, too. God leaves open the doors he wants you to go through, but closes the ones that lead you astray. You can stubbornly push on the closed doors, but they won’t open. The trick is to listen to, and trust in God — and follow your path.

Finally, Rodriguez said, looking back on his own life, he was grateful for the open doors but also for the closed ones.

It was just what I needed to hear, and I thanked him for his counsel. Then I asked him to pray for me, so that I might be a better listener, a good provider and a more faithful servant.

“I will say a special prayer for you,” he said, “so that you will know your path. God bless you.”

Thank you, Reverend. He already has — abundantly so.


Read more

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Issues Statement Reacting to Leaked Comments from Closed-Door Immigration Meeting

“Every single person is created in the image of God. Without exception.”

 —Rev. Samuel Rodriguez

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, issues the following statement:

“Every single person is created in the image of God. Without exception. Therefore, as it pertains to immigration, we must provide a legal avenue, with rigorous vetting, that enables individuals from both Norway and Nigeria, from Holland and Haiti, to come to our nation if they embrace our values, commit to self-reliance and to enriching our collective American experience.

“In addition, and with great due deference, I believe that the comments attributed to our president can best be described as wrong, inappropriate, and hurtful. Why? Because when God looks at these nations, He sees His children.”

Read more

GOP, Dems Work Together in ‘Extraordinary’ Immigration Meeting

President Donald Trump met Tuesday with Democratic and Republican members of Congress to discuss immigration. The various factions committed to new legislation in the coming days.

“It should be a bill of love,” said President Trump. He sat between two Democratic leaders. “But it also has to be a bill where we’re able to secure our border.”

The bipartisan meeting was opened to the media. CNN called it “extraordinary” as lawmakers of both parties openly discussed their differences.

“I do have people that are … very far right and very far left,” observed President Trump. “They’re very unhappy about what we’re doing. But I really don’t believe they have to be, because I think this sells itself.”

Reverend Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference praised how President Trump personalized the issue.

“The president had the inclination to say, I am a grandfather and a father. We are not going to harm these young men and women who came here by no will of their own. That speaks volumes to so many people,” he said.

Deadlines Link Two Issues Together
The meeting came as two deadlines fast approach on Capitol Hill. A short-term spending bill passed in December set January 19 as its end date. It requires House and Senate leaders to agree to spending levels. If they don’t, the government will shutdown. This would affect even some veterans’ services.

Another deadline concerns the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Obama-era policy was established in 2012. It allowed for nearly 800,000 young immigrants to remain in the U.S.

After ten states brought legal challenges against DACA, the White House announced a decision last September. President Trump stated DACA would be phased out by March 5. He also urged Congress to unite to “solve the DACA issue with heart and compassion.”

Leaders in both parties decided to act on the two issues concurrently. Among 23 members of Congress who attended the White House event were several high-ranking leaders. They included Senate whips John Cornyn (R-TX) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). House leaders Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD) also attended.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream »

“I believe that DACA recipients should have great confidence,” Rodriguez told The Stream after the meeting. “There is a commitment on behalf of the government to make sure these individuals will enrich the collective American narrative.”

Rodriguez serves as a member of the Faith Leaders Initiative, the group of evangelical leaders who advise the White House when asked. He also pastors New Seasons Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, California and serves on an advisory board for The Stream.

Since last fall, his group has advocated for lawmakers to find a solution to the DACA issue.

Answering Conservative Criticisms
Some on the right question the drive to secure the status of DACA recipients. Hans von Spakovsky of The Heritage Foundation criticized proposals to salvage DACA.

The policy allows certain immigrants to cut in front others in the legal process, he claimed. “Provid[ing] amnesty to so-called Dreamers … would be unfair to legal immigrants who obeyed the law to come here,” the policy analyst stated.

“I think that criticism is far-fetched,” responded Rodriguez. “These are not individuals who came here crossing the Rio Grande at the age of 35. They were children when they were brought here. They are hard-working people. Many of them have served in the military. So it’s not about cutting anything. This is the right thing to do.”

Von Spakovsky also suggested some young immigrants present a security risk. “The Obama administration used a ‘lean and light’ system of background checks in which only a few, randomly selected DACA applicants were ever actually vetted,” he wrote.

“These kids should not pay for the sins of their parents.”

“I was in Nevada with President Obama when he initiated this DACA program,” Rodriguez said in response. “There was a thorough commitment to vetting. He spoke of it often. We need to make sure these men and women are not involved in nefarious activities, gangs or criminal enterprise.”

He noted that President Trump is responsible for stopping more potential immigrants at the border than other presidents.

“But many don’t know that deportations overall were higher under President Obama,” he said. “It shows a commitment on behalf of that administration to engage in thorough vetting.” Official sources confirm an overall decline in deportations under President Trump.

Debate Over DACA and Dollars
According to press statements since the meeting, the leaders reached agreement on four items. These include resolving the DACA phase out, improving border security, limiting “chain migration” and ending the visa lottery system.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) noted his House bill will address these four categories. But Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) of the House Freedom Caucus expressed concerns. “Generally, I’m opposed to a two-step process because history would indicate the second step never happens,” he said.

Others caution that the spending bill details not get lost in the fervor over immigration fixes. “Federal spending is on an unsustainable upward trajectory,” said Heritage budget expert Romina Boccia. “It is driving national debt to economically harmful levels.”

For his part, Rodriguez sees solutions within reach on an issue that has concerned hundreds of thousands of families in America. “These kids should not pay for the sins of their parents,” he said.

“You could have the most ultra-conservative rhetoric on immigration. But, as it pertains to children, the vast majority of Americans agree on this.”


Read more

How an English-Speaking, Latino-Led Network is Changing the Nation

By Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)

According to the US Census Bureau, Hispanics already comprise the largest ethnic minority group in the United States at somewhere around 55 million people. By the year 2060, that number is expected to more than double to approximately 120 million and make up 28.6% of the entire U.S. population. On their own, these statistics are impressive indeed.

Perhaps most surprisingly, by the year 2020, between 35-40 percent of American Hispanics will no longer Speak Spanish at home. That’s as many as 22 million people, or about the populations of Norway, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Ireland, and Jamaica combined. Second and third generation immigrants will begin to comprise a plurality, and their cultural habits as a group will shift as a result. Understanding how to communicate with, advertise to, and inspire these distinctly American Hispanics is becoming increasingly important to marketers, politicians and churches alike.

And here is the opportunity: Over 90 percent of Hispanics in America are in some way affiliated with Christianity. While Catholicism is still the majority faith tradition, a growing segment self-identifies as “born-again” with over 24% “former Catholics” choosing to instead worship in more Spirit-empowered streams including Charismatic and Pentecostal churches.

It is into this void that TBN Salsa entered in June of 2015 as the only English-speaking, Latino-led and Latino-focused network in the country. Preaching the Good News through edgier, engaging and socially relevant content, TBN Salsa catered to the “next generation” of Hispanics. Through prominent Latino worshipers, pastors, educators, entrepreneurs and influencers, TBN Salsa is English language programming, distinctly marked by the warmth, passion and love of family that is so central to Hispanic culture.

Programming also covers the extremely critical topics of education and college readiness. According to a 2016 report from Learning Heroes, a national parent organization, 90 percent of Hispanic parents believe college is vital for their children – a higher percentage than any ethnic group measured. And yet, only 51 percent of Hispanic college students make it to their college graduation. Shows like Raising the Standards with host Dr. Andrea Ramirez, are dedicated to empowering both students and parents to succeed in their educational lives and improve these trend lines.

And Hispanics, as well as others drawn to Hispanic culture, are watching—in droves—as viewership continues to grow.

Over the past two-and-a-half years, TBN Salsa has built on its initial successes, adding dynamic personalities to the network’s programming including Sergio de la Mora, pastor of Cornerstone Church of San Diego; Social advocate Rev. Tony Suarez; and Pastor Dimas Salaberrios of Infinity Church in New York City.

Why is this so important? Said plainly, this community represents the future of faith in this country.

While there have been countless headlines over the last 20 years warning of the demise of the American Anglo Church, Hispanics by contrast, are living through a revival. Passionate, Spirit-led worship (and not just of the musical variety) is sparking a movement among Latinos of all ages all across the country, but especially among millennials. In fact, more than half of all Hispanic Evangelicals are converts. Far from merely surviving this post-modern age, Hispanic congregations are exploding, and TBN Salsa is one of the key drivers behind this growth.

As the impact and influence of the Hispanic faith revolution continue to grow and take shape, this is also leading to the “salsification” of American Christianity as a whole, reigniting faith movements across all evangelical and charismatic groups. TBN Salsa is important precisely because it pours fuel on the fire, mentoring these next-generation Hispanics, encouraging them to take their place as leaders in not only the Church, but in business, entertainment, politics and beyond. As this cycle is repeated over the coming decades, the faith of Hispanics will move the needle of culture for Christ, ensuring that Christian faith remains a central fixture of American life.

Currently, TBN Salsa is available in 40 million U.S. homes. In the coming years, God willing, we will watch this number grow as additional cable providers come on board as they are already poised to do so.

You see, we are living through one of the most consequential demographic shifts ever experienced in America. If Christians don’t provide a powerful voice speaking hope and vision to this growing group, other influences will speak into the vacuum. We will either embrace these Hispanic Americans and pass the baton of faith onto them, or we risk failing to understand the “signs of the times” and lose out on the unquantifiable potential carried by an entire generation.

TBN Salsa is a powerful response to this growing cultural reality, and it’s changing the nation at just the right time.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Lead Pastor of TBN Salsa. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.

Read more

‘Promise Made, Promise Kept’: Evangelicals React to Trump’s Plan to Recognize Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

Evangelicals are “ecstatic” over the Trump administration’s plans to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“Promise made. Promise kept,” declared Pastor Paula White, a member of the president’s faith advisory council and senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Orlando, Florida.

“Once again, President Trump has shown the world what I have always known — he is a leader who is willing to do what is right however loud the voices are of the skeptics and the critics,” she said. “Evangelicals are ecstatic, for Israel is to us a sacred place and the Jewish people are our dearest friends.”

Faith leaders agree that the move is long overdue and are praising President Donald Trump for being the first in a long line of U.S. presidents in several decades to stand by America’s ally in such a major way.

“It is quite possible that President Donald Trump’s statement on Israel today is the single most important announcement regarding Israel by a U.S. President since President Harry Truman recognized Israel as a state 70 years ago on May 14, 1948,” Dr. Jim Garlow, senior pastor of  Skyline Church, said in a statement.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee agreed.

“For over two decades American presidents have talked the good talk on Israel,” he said. “But when it’s come to taking action, they’ve hesitated and kicked the can down the road instead of standing with our ally and recognizing its right to call Jerusalem its capital.”

“Today, President Donald Trump did what his predecessors didn’t have the courage to do,” Huckabee continued. “In so doing, he set two great examples for us — how to make good on promises and how to treat your friends.”

This billboard has been posted in Jerusalem by pro-Israel evangelical Mike Evans, thanking Trump for the move:

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, noted, “It is a bold, courageous move that is long overdue, and is especially significant coming from Israel’s closest ally. Both Jews and Christians around the world have prayed for this day, which rights a historic wrong by affirming to the world that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

U.S. officials are eschewing the notion that the move is a political statement. Rather, they say recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will be an acknowledgement of “historical and current reality.”

It’s a sentiment evangelicals wholeheartedly agree with.

“The historical record, empirical fact and our faith all confirm that Jerusalem is in fact the capital of the Jewish people,” said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

“Christianity began in Jerusalem, which served as the context for Jesus’ life and earthly ministry,” said Rev. Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of Free Chapel in Gainesville, Georgia. “The significance of Jerusalem to Christians, however, cannot be separated from the significance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people.”

“Their history is our history,” he continued. “We are intertwined through our Old Testament scriptures and spiritual legacy. Their biblical examples are our biblical examples, and we share this heritage in Jerusalem as our spiritual capital while Israel also legally proclaims it as her national capital. Their national history has become our spiritual history.”

Tuesday’s announcement is being viewed as the beginning of a new era when it comes to America’s Middle East policy.

“President Trump’s support of Israel is encouraging. It marks the beginning of a new season in U.S. Middle East Policy,” said Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland. “The previous administration allowed persecution , terrorism, and stereotyping of the Israeli people.”

Meanwhile, Dr. David Jeremiah, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church, warned that while the decision by the Trump administration was likely to face opposition, believers shouldn’t lose heart.

“There will be many who oppose this decision, just as so many have opposed Israel and her people throughout the centuries,” he said. “We should not be surprised by this, but rather more convinced than ever that, despite great opposition, God’s hand will forever be on the people of the promise.”


via CBN News

Read more

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Commends Trump’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Eternal Capital of Israel

“The historical record, empirical fact and our faith all confirm that Jerusalem is in fact the capital of the Jewish people. I therefore enthusiastically applaud President Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital…”
—Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, issues the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital:
“The historical record, empirical fact and our faith all confirm that Jerusalem is in fact the capital of the Jewish people. I therefore enthusiastically applaud President Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a promise every president has made since Clinton, and which none has fulfilled until today.
“In 1995 Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which mandated moving the U.S. Embassy to a unified Jerusalem. Every six months since, our political leaders have given one excuse after another for not following through on this promise. President Trump has made clear that the time for acquiescence is over. Recognizing the Jewish people’s rightful claim to their eternal capital city puts the United States firmly on the right side of history. This is not only the right thing to do, it is the altogether righteous thing to do.”
Read more

2017 National Hispanic Education Summit Focuses On Education Equity, Accountability, College Success

New York City, NY – Nyack College hosted the 8th annual National Hispanic Education Summit and the 9th annual Nyack Scholars Symposium on November 8-9, 2017. These events were presented by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s Alliance for Hispanic Education, the Faith and Education Coalition-NHCLC, and Nyack College.

The Summit and Symposium were attended by nearly 175 university leaders, faith leaders and students – representing 18 universities and 15 national organizations. The shared theme for these joint events was “In Search of Accountability in Closing Educational Gaps.” Topics for workshops and keynote speakers spanned education equity, accountability, and strategies for increasing Latino college recruitment and graduation rates.

The National Hispanic Education Summit convened at both NY campuses of Nyack College, featuring 15 workshops and panels led by 27 university administrators, professors, Nyack students, and pastors. Special guest speakers included Mr. Jer Swigart, founder of The Global Immersion Project, Dr. Irvin Scott, senior lecturer on education at Harvard University, Bishop Tony Garcia, Administrative Bishop of the Northeast Hispanic Region, Church of God, and Ms. Maria Eugenia Alcon-Heraux, Director of Media Relations, College Board.

Two awards were presented during this year’s Summit. The Faith and Education Coalition-NHCLC presented a Lifetime Education Impact Award to Dr. Shirley Hoogstra, President of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. A 25th Anniversary Award was presented in honor of the founding of AMEN, the organization founded by Dr. Jesse Miranda which eventually became the NHCLC. Dr. Benjamín Alicea-Lugo, Pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Reformed Church, received the award on behalf of Dr. Miranda.

“We appreciate the hospitality of Nyack College as they provided the perfect environment for fostering impactful relationships between Hispanic evangelical leaders and university leadership. Hispanic students — and our nation — will be the ultimate beneficiaries of these Kingdom-minded relationships,” said Dr. Andrea Ramirez, Executive Director of the Faith and Education Coalition-NHCLC, who oversees key education initiatives for the NHCLC throughout the U.S.

“It has been an honor to work with Dr. Andrea Ramirez and Mr. Girien Salazar on this joint event. We are convinced that increasing access and providing appropriate support services for minority and low-income students to succeed in higher education is absolutely necessary to build a more equitable and free society,” said Dr. Vilma “Nina” Balmaceda, director of Nyack’s Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement.

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), which values Education as one of its core directives, advocates for Hispanic student success including education equity and high academic standards for all students. The NHCLC serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals worldwide assembled in the U.S. and throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora.

Nyack College was founded in 1882 by Dr. Albert Benjamin Simpson and currently serves more than 2,500 students in its undergraduate, graduate, doctorate and online degree programs. In addition to its residential campus in Nyack, NY and a commuter campus in New York City, an extension site is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nyack is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.







Pictured left to right:
Dr. Michael G. Scales, president of Nyack College;
Dr. Andrea Ramirez, executive director of the Faith & Education Coalition
Dr. Vilma “Nina” Balmaceda, founding director of the Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement Mr. Girien Salazar, deputy director of the Faith & Education Coalition







Pictured left to right:
Dr. Michael G. Scales, president of Nyack College
Dr. Shirley Hoogstra, president of Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
Dr. Carlos Campo, president of Ashland University
Dr. Irvin Scott, senior lecturer on education at Harvard University.
Dr. Andrea Ramirez, executive director of Faith and Education Coalition-NHCLC
Dr. Vilma “Nina” Balmaceda, founding director of Nyack’s Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement Mr. Girien Salazar, deputy director of Faith and Education Coalition-NHCLC


Read more

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Reacts to Democratic Leaders Pelosi and Schumer’s Decision to Boycott Meeting with Trump

“We must never allow Dreamers to be used as political bargaining chips. The American people are waiting for our leaders to show the political courage and moral integrity to do the right thing.”

 —Rev. Samuel Rodriguez

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, issues the following statement in response to Sen. Schumer and Rep. Pelosi’s decision to boycott a White House meeting that among other topics, was intended to address finding a solution for Dreamers:

“Over the years, I have enjoyed a great working relationship with my friends, Senate Minority Leader Schumer and House Minority Leader Pelosi. I commend them both on their tireless advocacy on behalf of Dreamers in particular, and in no way question their sincere desire to permanently secure the futures of these precious children who are innocent of any wrongdoing.

“Nevertheless, Sen. Schumer and Rep. Pelosi’s decision to boycott a meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office is discouraging and threatens to derail an already dysfunctional legislative process that should be bipartisan in nature. A permanent solution must be achieved, not because it is politically expedient, but because it is the just and righteous thing to do. We must never allow Dreamers to be used as political bargaining chips. The American people are waiting for our leaders to show the political courage and moral integrity to do the right thing. As such we implore the leadership of both parties to get back to work and deliver a permanent solution for America’s children.” 

Read more

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and the NHCLC Names Bianca Juarez-Olthoff as Newest Member of Executive Leadership Team

Juarez-Olthoff to Serve as Spokesperson, Advocate for Hispanic Evangelical Women’s Network for National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) are pleased to announce Bianca Juarez-Olthoff as the newest member of its executive leadership team. Based in Orange County, California, Juarez-Olthoff will serve as spokesperson for the NHCLC, as well as spearhead the development of a Hispanic evangelical women’s network.
“We are tremendously excited by all that Bianca brings to the table on behalf of the NHCLC,” says Rev. Rodriguez. “She possesses a wealth of experience in the areas of church and community building, mentorship, Bible teaching, and beyond that, her faith and positivity are contagious. We are honored to have her speak on behalf of the NHCLC and to follow her passion and gifting to build what we truly believe will become, one of the most robust and vibrant women’s networks in the world.”

Bianca Juarez-Olthoff is also the founder of In The Name of Love, a non-profit organization “dedicated to the transformation of lives through the saving power of Jesus Christ” by providing biblically-based resources; mentoring; social justice initiatives that empower people to care for and provide for others; and by creating meaningful and spiritual experiences by organizing events to serve the community.

“As a first generation Latina American, it is my privilege and honor to partner with the NHCLC and the next generation of Hispanic leaders,” says Juarez-Olthoff. “There are few organizations that have a pulse on culture, justice, and race-relations, so being a part of this team is a dream come true. My hope is to awaken a generation to the cause of Jesus Christ, to carry the heart of the Father, and live a Spirit-filled life as we fight for justice.”
MEDIA: To download a headshot of Bianca Juarez-Olthoff, click here.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.
Bianca Juarez Olthoff is a bible-teaching, word-slanging MexiRican who is passionate about raising up a generation of people passionate about Jesus Christ. As an author and speaker, she knows the power of words and wields them wisely. As a church planter and leader, she is committed to proclaiming the gospel domestically and internationally. For more information, follow her on Twitter.
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is recognized and identified by Time Magazine, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News, CNN, and a number of additional media outlets, publications, and periodicals as America’s largest and most influential Hispanic/Latino Christian organization with 40,118 certified member churches in the United States and chapters in Latin America.
Read more