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Press Releases

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.”

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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.”
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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.

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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

 

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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.
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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.
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Churches Essential to Relief Efforts in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Says NHCLC, Convoy of Hope

Churches are an essential part of the recovery process for Puerto Rico and Mexico, say representatives from the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Convoy of Hope regarding reconstruction efforts in the two countries following this month’s earthquakes and Hurricane Maria.

On a teleconference held Wednesday afternoon, NHCLC President, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, spoke about the launch of a charity effort called “Puerto Rico and Mexico Rise Up,” which seeks to equip churches to help communities in Mexico and Puerto Rico recover from the recent natural disasters.

“This is our campaign on behalf of our churches, on behalf of our chapters and our networks, both here in the States and outside of the States for that matter,” Rodriguez said.

In an interview with The Christian Post, Rodriguez explained that the newly launched campaign was working through churches because they are an important channel for relief.

“If we can equip the churches, then these churches can restore the communities. These churches know the communities more than we know the communities,” said Rodriguez.

“We believe these are the institutions ordained by God to bring Good News to the poor and to quench the thirsty and feed the hungry.”

Convoy of Hope spokesperson Jeff Nene, who was also on the call to describe some of his group’s experiences on the ground in Puerto Rico, agreed about the essential value of local congregations in helping relief efforts.

“We have found that the local church is the best source for volunteers. They can marshal a team together on a moment’s notice,” said Nene to CP.

“And what that allows us to do is come in with a very small team from Convoy of Hope, like in Puerto Rico right now we have four people, and in Mexico we have two that are arriving today, and they’re there to give guidance and direction and organization. But the local church does the work.”

Rodriguez’s and Nene’s comments came as part of a teleconference call in which they provided updates on the relief efforts in Mexico City and Puerto Rico.

On Sept. 19, Mexico City experienced a severe earthquake that has thus far resulted in hundreds of deaths and caused dozens of buildings to collapse.

“Nearly 4,000 buildings were damaged by the quake, and residents of high-rises wonder if their buildings may fall before they can make their way downstairs,” The New York Times reported on Monday.

“And over the weekend, the trauma of last Tuesday was brought to the surface again as light tremors from an earthquake in southern Mexico on Saturday lightly rocked the capital, sending residents fleeing into the streets barefoot and in sleepwear.”

Around the same time as the Mexico earthquake, Hurricane Maria struck the island of Puerto Rico, resulting in widespread destruction and power outages.

“About 97 percent of the island’s 3.4 million residents are still in the dark Wednesday,” CNN reported on Wednesday. “About half of the residents do not have running water.”

Nene told those on the call about the things that Convoy of Hope was doing in Puerto Rico, having just returned from the island, where a team arrived on Monday.

“They already started on pulling together warehousing. They’ve already purchased 20,000 pounds of rice, have another 20,000 pounds coming. Tomorrow we have a C-130 full of supplies that’s going to be landing and also another private plane with supplies and people,” explained Nene.

“And then on top of that, three containers that will be leaving via ship this week to head down there will be there in just a couple of weeks. So we’ve got a great head start in Puerto Rico already.”

In addition to Rodriguez and Nene, other participants on the call included New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, Latin contemporary Christian music artist and author Christine D’Clario, NHCLC Executive Vice President of Governmental Affairs the Rev. Tony Suarez, and Bishop Angel Marcial of Church of God for Southeast Region U.S.

When asked by CP about any cooperation with the Trump administration, Rodriguez responded that he had gotten “very significant reports” from the White House about the number of federal first responders and FEMA workers on the ground.

“I’m grateful for the Trump administration as it pertains to helping the island recover. They have had some logistical issues. That’s how horrific this has been — that our federal government has had issues even in distribution and other areas,” Rodriguez added.

“I have received very good cooperation from this administration in addressing the concerns and needs. And they likewise stand committed to working with the faith community in Puerto Rico for rebuilding Puerto Rico.”

via The Christian Post

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4,000 Churches Devastated in Puerto Rico and Mexico: How Your Church Can Help

Hurricane Maria damaged or destroyed approximately 3,000 churches in Puerto Rico and earthquakes did the same for another 1,000 in Mexico. That’s the latest from the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) which oversees 40,000 affiliate churches in the U.S. and connects with other Latino churches around the world.

Rev. Tony Suarez, NHCLC executive vice president, says it’s a huge loss for thousands of congregations, amidst all the struggles on the U.S. island right now.

“I think about those pastors who have given their all to lift up and plant a church and now buildings are gone,” Suarez told CBN News on Facebook Live.

Still, Suarez said churches in Puerto Rico and Mexico are serving as focal points for their communities in the midst of devastation.

Most people on Puerto Rico have no electricity and the majority of them are struggling to find clean drinking water and food.

“The church is that beacon of light,” said Suarez. “Puerto Rican people are coming to their pastors and coming to their churches once they can find each other and asking ‘how can we come together?'”

The NHCLC is asking churches on the U.S. mainland to consider adopting a church in Puerto Rico in Hurricane Maria’s aftermath, or in Mexico as it rebuilds after two earthquakes in September. It’s part of a strategic plan to move aspirations from simple survival mode to a more visionary goal.

NHCLC President Samuel Rodriguez calls it Puerto Rico 2.0.

“This disaster should and could actually catalyze the rebirth of Puerto Rico in the long run,” he wrote in a recent op-ed piece.

Rodriguez is calling for a Marshall Plan mentality, similar to how the U.S. approached Europe after the destruction of World War II.

He’s suggesting that wind, solar and other green energy technologies replace Puerto Rico’s broken power grid. Rebuilding on the island can improve employment prospects and Puerto Rico could seek to unite politically after a decade of division on the statehood question says Rodriguez.

The Puerto Rican church, supported by U.S. mainland churches, could take a leadership role in rebuilding the country. Suarez said the island’s 3.4 million people have encouraged the growth of thousands of churches in recent years including Assemblies of God, Iglesias de Dios and Baptist churches.

Suarez visited Puerto Rico right before Hurricane Irma struck earlier in September. He described the church as strong and vital to life on the island.

“It’s a place full of a lot of faith, a lot of energy spiritually-speaking,” he said. “So the church is the hope.”

 

via CBN News

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Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Issues Statement Praising Release of Los Angeles’ Pastor Noe Carias

“And yet, while we are grateful, we should never have gone through such a heart wrenching process in the first place. We should be deporting pushers, not pastors. Noe’s story is a powerful reminder of just how desperate our nation is for comprehensive immigration reform.”
—Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, issues the following statement praising the release from detention of Noe Carias, a Los Angeles area Assemblies of God Pastor who had been detained for deportation in July of this year:
“I am overjoyed by the news of Pastor Noe Carias’ release, after over two months of detention by immigration authorities. Most importantly, I am grateful that this man of God will be reunited with his loving wife, Victoria and his two young children.
“From the beginning, the NHCLC stated we would not rest until Pastor Carias was released. Working behind the scenes with the White House, local and state officials as well as both Republican and Democratic members of Congress, we saw a powerful effect of the growing influence of our Hispanic community in action. Through our incredible member churches, friends, partners, co-laborers and prayer warriors, we were privileged to help mobilize a large coalition of Hispanic leaders, calling out, in a unified voice on Noe’s behalf. We are all giving thanks that these efforts were not in vain and that our request was heard loud and clear. We did all of this with the firm belief that access leads to conversations, which leads to conviction, which leads to compassion.”

“And yet, while we are grateful, we should never have gone through such a heart wrenching process in the first place. We should be deporting pushers, not pastors. Noe’s story is a powerful reminder of just how desperate our nation is for comprehensive immigration reform.”
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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.
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.
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National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Appoints Juan Rivera As New Executive Director of Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition

Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC) also names Bishop Robert Stearns as Chairman
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Juan Rivera, a well-known pastor from Youngstown OH, as the executive director of the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC). HILC is the pro-Israel arm of the NHCLC, The Hispanic Evangelical Association and CONELA.
“Rev. Rivera’s commitment to Israel is extraordinary. He is well respected within the Christian and Jewish communities both throughout Ohio and nationally,” said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the NHCLC. “Israel is not a side-issue for the NHCLC. It is foundational. We believe that Rev. Rivera is the perfect leader for this pivotal role in this moment of our growth and expansion.”
“I offer my sincere congratulations to Rev. Rivera on his appointment”, said Bonnie Deutsch Burdman, director of community relations and government affairs for the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation. “We in the Jewish community throughout Ohio have great trust in Rev. Rivera’s leadership capacity.”
Previously, Rev. Rivera served as the Ohio Chapter Director of NHCLC and as an Advisory Board Member HILC.
“I’m incredibly excited and grateful to Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and the NHCLC for entrusting me with this important position,” says Rev. Rivera. “My goal, and that of the entire NHCLC, is to continue growing HILC into the largest Hispanic pro-Israel organization in the U.S. and Latin America. Our focus will be on educating our people about Israel through conferences, workshops and trips to Israel. We will also be actively forging new, and strengthening existing partnerships with Jewish people and Jewish organizations locally, nationally and internationally.  Finally, we will work to expand our role as advocates for strong US-Israel relations as well as influencing Latin American governments to adopt strong pro-Israel policies and relations.”
Additionally, Bishop Robert Stearns, Founder and President of Eagles’ Wings and senior leader at the historic Tabernacle Church in Buffalo, NY, has been appointed as Chairman of HILC.
“Though Bishop Stearns is not Hispanic, he has traveled extensively in ministry throughout Latin America for the past 20 years, has led worship in Spanish, and 5 of his books have been translated into Spanish and distributed widely through the Latino evangelical community,” added Rev. Rodriguez.  “He understands Latino Evangelical culture, and he understands Israel. We believe his experience and wisdom will be of great resource to us as we endeavor to grow HILC as the pro-Israel arm and voice of the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,118 U.S. churches and over 450,000 churches spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora.”
“Every generation has to confront anti-semitism in whatever shape it presents itself to that generation. We will build a fire-wall against all forms of anti-semitism to ensure that ‘Never Again’ truly means never again,” added Rev. Rivera.
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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.
Rev. Juan Rivera is lead pastor of New Life Church a growing, multi-generational, multi-ethnic, vibrant church located in Poland Ohio a suburb of Youngstown.  In addition to his position as Executive Director of HILC, Pastor Rivera serves in an advisory capacity to the Governor of the State of Ohio by serving on the Ohio Commission of Hispanic/Latino Affairs.
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.
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Dr. Angel Nunez receives appointment as Strategic Partnerships Director of NHCLC

Breaking News from the Hispanic Church

May, 2005 – Dr. Angel Nunez, Senior Pastor of The Bi-lingual Church of Baltimore, received appointment by the executive committee as Director of Strategic Partnerships. Dr. Nunez, author of “The Indian Speaks” and “How to Reach Your Vision” has successfully impacted the Latino Church in the USA and abroad. “We believe Dr. Nunez’s passion for Hispanic Americans and his proximity to the Capital enable us to build life long partnerships with the brokers of justice, peace and morality. “, stated Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of The NHCLC.

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