Vanguard’s Lewis Wilson Institute Hosted “Hispanic Pentecostalism in the 21st Century” Event on March 1

Focusing on the theme of “Hispanic Pentecostalism in the 21st Century”, Vanguard’s Lewis Wilson Institute hosted its 4th annual Pentecostal Leaders Series at Newport Mesa Church on Friday, March 1.

Several speakers of Hispanic descent shared their knowledge, thoughts and opinions concerning the Hispanic Pentecostal movement. Speakers included the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Dr. Jesse Miranda, Dr. Isaac Canales, Dr. Gastón Espinosa and the Rev. Fernando Tamara.

As the Director of The Jesse Miranda Center for Hispanic Leadership, Tamara partnered with Dr. Derrick Rosenior, the director of the Lewis Wilson Institute, to put on this event. It was a partnership furthering the two organizations goals: The Jesse Miranda Center’s desire to serve the Hispanic community and the Lewis Wilson Institute’s desire to increase the study of Pentecostal heritage.

Named in honor of Dr. Lewis Wilson, a former history professor and retired dean of the college, the Lewis Wilson Institute strives to “highlight Vanguard’s Pentecostal heritage and identity,” Dr. Rosenior said. Looking back on the event, Dr. Rosenior noted the good discussions during the Q&A session, and that the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez “preached a powerful message.”

Tamara detailed the entire day’s setup as a success and a great time of fellowship, acquiring knowledge and empowering Hispanics in the Pentecostal movement to take up and carry the legacy passed on to them. Having the opportunity to hear theologians speak on the topic of Hispanic Pentecostalism and to see attendees be responsive in the Q&A session “deeply enriched” the event, Tamara said.

Speakers and attendees discussed the messages within the books: The Silent Pentecostals and Silent No More. These books address the Hispanic legacy and leadership in American Pentecostalism. “Even if we don’t have leaders who can advocate for Latinos, we’re still working and we’re still here,” Tamara said in reference to all of the Latino individuals attending the conference.

Looking to the future, Tamara said he would love to see a more diverse group in attendance, including pastors from local churches outside of the Latino community.  Speaking of The Jesse Miranda Center, Tamara said: “We want to be a center that promotes racial recognition.” With this goal in mind, Tamara plans for future events to educate a wider audience.

“The event was extraordinary,” Tamara said. Attendees walked away knowing more about how Pentecostalism emerged, disseminated and spread the Gospel message.

For more information on the Lewis Wilson Institute and its events, click here.

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