Hispanic ministries: Another field waiting to be harvested
By Paul Black
PEORIA – Ministry with a growing Hispanic population represents one of the largest fields awaiting a discipleship harvest.
IGRC Associate Coordinator for Hispanic Ministries Adrian Garcia believes that with planning and strategy, Hispanic ministries could be a bountiful harvest.
He noted in his presentation as part of the Connectional Ministries report:
- 1 of every 5 Illinois residents has a Hispanic background
- There are Hispanic residents in every county of Illinois, with the largest concentrations within the IGRC in the Spoon River District (Quad Cities), Iroquois River District (Champaign-Urbana) and the Mississippi River District (Metro East St. Louis)
- Jesus es el Senor UMC in Cobden, Cache River District
- Manantiel de Vida, Moline, Spoon River District
- Peoria First UMC, Peoria, Illinois River District
- Nueva Jerusalen, Kankakee, Vermilion River District
- Nueva Esperanza, Caseyville, Mississippi River District
“District ministry teams need to envision a disciple-making strategy to reach Hispanic communities,” Garcia said. “Boards of Ordained Ministry need to recruit seminary students who can reach out to second and third generation Hispanics. And clergy with a skill set and calling to have a passion for the Hispanic population.”