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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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Hispanic Church in America Mobilizes to Assist in Tsunami Aftermath

Breaking News from the Hispanic Church

January 1, 2005 – Sacramento, CA — The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference launched a National Effort to mobilize the Hispanic/Latino Church to assist in the Aftermath of the Tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia. In a statement Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Jr., President of The NHCLC stated: “We have never seen such devastation in our lifetime caused by a natural catastrophe. We, as the Hispanic Church are ready to assist relief organizations such as World Relief and others in assisting the millions of broken lives, homes and communities. Our prayers and our thoughts are with all the families touched by the quake and Tsunami. We are contacting the leading Hispanic churches in all 50 states and Puerto Rico and asking them to sow a generous seed via World Relief for this cause. We are also going to work withAGRelief and other similar organizations to assist in this endeavor. Our Board members represent the largest Hispanic Congregations and Denominations in America. We are asking all our constituents to send their donations to World Relief (www.wr.org) and indicate you are members of the NHCLC. This will enable us to keep track of those we need to contact for contributions. “. To join our efforts please contact us at hispanicchurch@aol.com or info@nhclc.org.

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Hispanic NAE Expresses Optimism Concerning Immigration Reform after White House Meeting with Secretary Napolitano…

Washington, D.C., Hispanic Christian Newswire) America’s largest Hispanic Christian Organization, The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), The Hispanic National Association of Evangelicals, expressed gratitude and appreciation to President Barack Obama for his recent affirmation of a comprehensive immigration reform policy. This fall, the White House and Congress will work on a comprehensive immigration reform package with expectations of passage in early 2010. President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met last week in the White House with national groups committed to comprehensive immigration reform including the NHCLC. Secretary Napolitano spoke about accountability. “We must use smart effective enforcement. We must also bring people out of the shadows. We will ensure timely procedures on citizenship back logs and increase efficiency.” Napolitano said. The Secretary went on to add “this bill needs support with ongoing dialogue and a bi-partisan effort. We count on all of you to work together.” The Rev. Eve Nunez, Vice President of Networking for The National Hispanic Leadership Conference, addressed the panel and the Administration stating, “It is critical to invite the faith based leaders to these forums. When we speak of bringing immigrants out of the shadows they will first turn to their Pastors, Priests and Clergy before they confide in law enforcement officials.” Nunez was accompanied in the White House meeting by Dr. Angel Nunez, Senior V.P of the Hispanic N.A.E.” I was encouraged by the attention that was given to our ideas and input. They assured us that these meetings will continue to happen and they were very interested in having the NHCLC help them in contacting pastors in the as they are traveling around the country getting input from many groups. I appreciate President Obama reaffirming his commitment”. “Even though we are appreciative, we continue to encourage the administration to focus on how it can reform immigration laws to address the immediate problems undocumented immigrants face as it pertains to the breakup of families and the protection of the local worker instead of constant focus on enforcement of immigration laws. We need a balanced approach that is not piecemeal but comprehensive, both enforcement and a pathway to citizenship”, added Nunez. “As we begin to frame and debate the specifics of a Comprehensive Immigration Reform proposal, it is important to express gratitude for those who repudiated extremism and political expediency. On behalf of our 25,434 congregations and on behalf of the Hispanic evangelical community, permit us to express heartfelt gratitude to our President for his excellent leadership and moral wherewithal to once again address immigration reform in the context necessary to reconcile our values with the rule of law”, stated Dr. Gilbert Velez, Chairman of the Hispanic National Association of Evangelicals. Many evangelical churches mobilized for the first time around the issue of immigration reform immediately after the House Bill sponsored by James Sensenbrenner. In addition, many of the 12 million undocumented attend Hispanic Evangelical congregations. The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference stands recognized by scholars and analysts as the lead evangelical and Hispanic Faith voice for immigration reform. Former Clinton Advisor Sydney Blumenthal credited the organization’s effort as a primary factor in thwarting the Republican plans to deport millions of undocumented individuals.
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Dr. Gilberto Velez, Policy Director for the NHCLC, recognized as one of America’s Top Pastors by the Assemblies of God

Breaking News from the Hispanic Church

January, 2005 – Texas — The Assemblies of God denomination recently recognized NHCLC policy director, Dr. Gilberto Velez as a leader in planting Hispanic churches. The following excerpt from the denomination’s website was provided courtesy of the Assemblies of God. Church Planting Among the Hispanics Leading the way in ethnic-church planting has been the Hispanic churches. Iglesia Cristiana Misericordia, a church that began in 1994, is an example of a self-started church-planting endeavor under the leadership of Pastor Gilberto Velez. Gilberto and Velma Velez, who were originally from Puerto Rico, were serving as associate pastors at El Sendero de la Cruz A/G in San Antonio, Texas, while practicing their medical professions. They moved to Laredo to join the staff at a hospital in that border town. The challenge of the 300-mile round-trip to San Antonio on Wednesdays and weekends to serve at El Sendero led them to begin a home Bible study in Laredo with a handful of people in March 1995. Little did Velez dream that this midweek Bible study would blossom into a Hispanic church-planting project. After several years of bivocational ministry in the church, Velez and his wife left their medical careers to become full-time pastors. God honored their step of faith and a fellow medical doctor paid their support for 3 months. At the end of the 3 months, the income of the church was sufficient to meet the needs of the pastors and the ministries of the church. In January 2000, the Iglesia Cristiana Misericordia averaged over 500 on Sunday. They purchased facilities from a private school. Their expanded sanctuary, completed in April 2000, seats 800. To read the full article, please go to: http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/200004/064_new_church_planting.cfm

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