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Hispanic Baptists challenged to rely on God’s power

WICHITA FALLS—Hispanic Texas Baptist church leaders should overcome negativity by relying on what God is calling them to do, President Baldemar Borrego told messengers to the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas .

God works through people to accomplish what they cannot do under their own power, Borrego told participants at the annual meeting in Wichita Falls.

convencion prayer
Messengers pray during the Hispanic Baptist Convencion in Wichita Falls.
Preaching from the Old Testament passage in Numbers 13 where Moses sent 12 men to scout the land God promised Israel, Borrego said people can look at the world two ways—through their eyes or God’s wider vision.

Ten men came back from the scouting trip pointing out the obstacles to taking the land. Two saw the land as God saw it, he noted.

“Some people look to their own strength,” Borrego said. “Others say through Christ all can be done.”

Each must respond to God's call 

Isaac Rodriguez, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Broadway in Tyler, noted that it’s up to each person to respond to the call of God. Christians must choose whether they are going to follow God in what he is asking them to do, relying on him to show the way to accomplish his will.

Julio Guarneri, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Getsemani in Fort Worth , echoed Rodriguez, noting Hispanic Texas Baptists could be a major missions force if they respond to God’s calling. They could reach people for Christ throughout Texas and around the globe, he said.
God “expects a response” when he calls, Rodriguez said. “He wants to hear your voice.”

Ellis Orozco, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen , said Hispanic Texas Baptists have something that can have a powerful impact on society.

“Here’s what you have to offer the world—and I would argue it’s the only thing—the hope of Christ that lives in you,” he said.

Borrego re-elected president 

In the business session, Borrego was re-elected president of the convention over challenger Angel Vella, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Westway in El Paso. 

Messengers elected Antonio Gamiochipi, director of missions of the Latin American Baptist Association, for first vice president over Manuel Rios, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Monte Calvario in San Antonio.

Jesse Rincones, pastor of Alliance Baptist Church in Lubbock , was elected to the second vice president’s post over Jose Gamez. Irma Alvarado of First Baptist Church in Donna was elected third vice president by acclamation.

Alex Camacho, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Cristiana in McKinney, was elected secretary over Ruben Chairez, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Del Rio.

In other activities, the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas, Baptist General Convention of Texas and Buckner International signed a partnership to encourage education among Hispanic Texas Baptists. The BGCT and Buckner agreed to split the funding of a position that would lead this effort.

Nestor Menjivar, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Principe de Paz in Austin, hopes that through this partnership, Texas Baptists “can change the direction of education for our youth for the glory of God.”

Sen. Cornyn: Stand up for traditional marriage 

Sen. John Cornyn also made an appearance during the meeting, encouraging Hispanic Texas Baptists to stand up for their beliefs, especially regarding traditional marriage.

He also mentioned immigration as an important issue. Cornyn is on record in opposition to a guest worker program and in favor of tighter controls on the border.

Hispanic Baptist Convention representatives have visited the White House repeatedly in an effort to influence the debate on immigration reform. They have urged lawmakers to support legislation that would allow people to become permanent residents without having to leave the United States and supported the Dream Act , which would allow young people to apply for legal status under the condition of obtaining higher education, joining the military or doing a set amount of community service.

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