More than 1 in 10 New Southern Baptist Churches Are Hispanic

Leader of Send Network Español opens up about church planting’s diverse future in North America.

The Southern Baptist Convention has launched its most focused effort to plant churches among the Hispanic community in North America with the expansion of Send Network Español this fall.

“Since 2010, Send Network has planted almost 10,000 new Southern Baptist churches throughout North America, of which more than 1,000 are Hispanic churches,” said Félix Cabrera, a native Puerto Rican with more than a decade of church-planting experience. “Because of this and the tremendous growth of the Hispanic community, the organization's leadership saw the importance of allocating resources specifically to this sector.”

In October, Send Network, church-planting arm of the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board, announced new ministry values and leadership. Cabrera will serve as vice president of Send Network Español and has commissioned eight regional “champions” of Hispanic church planting across the United States. The rollout of changes follows record-high funding for Send Network, with $68.9 million given by Southern Baptists through their annual Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.

A new website, SendNetworkEspanol.com, offers specialized resources for Hispanic planters, many of whom are ministering among populations who come from Catholic backgrounds and families who moved to the US for job opportunities.

CT talked with Cabrera, who helped establish more than 50 churches, starting with Central Baptist in Oklahoma City, about the diversity among US Hispanics, the importance of work in Hispanic faith and life, and the time investment often required for church planting in this context.

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