Lewis Wilson Institute for Pentecostal Studies at Vanguard University Welcomes Top Hispanic Leaders at Annual Conference

Hispanics are transforming worldwide Pentecostal movement as fastest-growing contingent

Costa Mesa, CA, February 19, 2013 – The Lewis Wilson Institute for Pentecostal Studies at Vanguard University announced today that it will host its annual conference on Friday, March 1, 2013. Regarded as one of the most influential Hispanic Pentecostal seminars on the West Coast, the conference will focus on the transformative role of Hispanic leadership in the rapid growth of Pentecostalism worldwide through historical lenses.

Since the Azusa Street Revival held in Los Angeles in 1906, considered the first meeting of the Pentecostal movement, Latino Pentecostal communities have increasingly mobilized into Central and South America. According to the World Christian Database, a research tool of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Pentecostals made up some 73 percent of all Latin American Protestants in 2005, boasting a worldwide growth rate of 19 million new members each year that is projected to reach 1 billion by 2050. In 2006, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life noted that Pentecostals represented the most rapidly growing sector of Latin American Protestantism.

“The growth rate of new Latino Pentecostals has been steady since the Pew reports, particularly in the Assemblies of God denomination,” says Dr. Derrick Rosenior, director of the Lewis Wilson institute for Pentecostal Studies. “While the Pentecostal movement has always emphasized racial equality, what we are seeing now is the realization that what was previously a vacuum of Hispanic leadership here in the United States and around the world is dramatically shifting. The Hispanic contingent has been a major factor in the consistent growth of Pentecostalism and will continue to be so.”

Renowned Hispanic Pentecostal scholars Drs. Jesse Miranda, Gaston Espinosa, and Isaac Canales, and the Revs. Samuel Rodriguez, and Fernando Tamara will share a theological and historical interpretation of how the Hispanic Pentecostal movement was formed in the 20th century, and the current place of the movement today.

“The Latino Church is experiencing unprecedented growth,” says Reverend Fernando Tamara. “What Victor de Leon so prophetically writes about in his visionary book The Silent Pentecostal has transpired. As Dr. Espinosa so aptly conveys in Silent No More, Hispanics are the current and future leaders of the imminent Pentecostal global movement.”

Media is invited to attend a brief press conference the morning of the event from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Great Commission Hall at Vanguard University.

For more information on the Lewis Wilson Institute for Pentecostal Studies Conference, please visit vanguard.edu/lwi

MEDIA CONTACT: Shana Martin, Director of Communications at Vanguard University

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