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National Hispanic Leadership Conference President Visits Bethel

Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Leadership Conference, spoke in Chapel as part of the Convocation Series. (Photo credit: Reid Harer '18)

Bethel’s Convocation Chapel series continued with Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Leadership Conference, writer, and pastor. Rodriguez has received national recognition from media outlets, including CNN and Fox News, naming him “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement.” NBC and Telemundo called him “America’s most influential Latino Evangelical leader.” And TIME magazine nominated him for their “100 Most Influential People in the World” list in 2013, also using his description of the Latino faith community—The Latino Reformation—as the April 15, 2013, cover story.

At Bethel, Rodriguez delivered a hope-filled message that focused on being the light Jesus has called us to be. “God always begins by turning the lights on,” he told the Bethel crowd of mostly undergraduate students. “We live in dark times and this may be the darkest hour, yet in the midst of that darkness there is the following truth: Jesus still lives. Jesus still reigns.”

Rodriguez started his Chapel address by saying that we are to be the light by who we are. “We will never change the world unless we define who we are,” he said. “How this generation in this audience responds will determine if light will overcome darkness.”

As Christians we are also called to be the light by where we stand. “We stand on righteousness and justice,” said Rodriguez. “Justice does not flow from the left to the right, but from the ground to on high.”

And finally, we are to be the light by what we do. “We shine the brightest when we understand that the only agenda that can save America is not the donkey or the elephant, but instead the agenda of the lamb,” Rodriguez said. “The lamp of God has not gone out yet, so I ask you, people of Bethel, to be the light. Be light and live like Jesus.”

The Convocation Series “Transforming Culture” will continue on December 9 when Andy Crouch, executive editor of Christianity Today and author of Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power and Culture Making: Recovering our Creative Calling, visits campus. He will speak in Chapel, during a luncheon afterwards, at a Work With Purpose event at Bethel Seminary, and at a pastors and ministry leaders seminar on December 10.


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