Date: Fri, Feb 16, 1996 10:10 AM EDT



By Valentin Gonzalez
AD 2000 Hispanic World Director

On February 5th, 1996, the Association of Hispanic Pastors of Greater Miami, which includes more than 90% of the 400 Spanish speaking pastors in Miami, Florida, called an historic meeting. Together they would receive the vision and take the first steps to develop a strategy for saturation evangelism, church planting and mission mobilization towards the year 2,000. This pastoral initiative was the direct fruit of some of Miami pastors' participation in GCOWE '95. They returned from Korea inspired to start a unified project which would awaken the Miami Church to its potential for world evangelization.

Pastor Humberto Cruz of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, with more than 1,800 members, and pastor Yolanda Eden of the Cathedral of the People Church, with more than 1,500 members, challenged leaders of the Association of Pastors to call an eight hour meeting to discuss the possibility of beginning "Christ for All," the Miami Initiative.

The AD2000 plenary speakers and panelists were: Luis Bush, International Director; Valentin Gonzalez, Regional Director for the Hispanic World; Bernardo Salcedo, Regional Coordinator of Research and Church Planting for the Hispanic World; Rolando Justiniano, Regional Coordinator for Hispanic Evangelism; Doris Bush, staff member of the AD2000 international office, and Paul Landrey, AD2000 International Coordinator of Cities Network.

The convocation was extraordinarily well attended by the pastors of the city, with approximately 240 pastors and Hispanic leaders supporting the activity. Several participants indicated that they had never been in a similar pastors' meeting which called together so many of Miami's key pastors. In the morning sessions, the speakers presented a vision of what the Lord is doing among Hispanics on a world-wide and regional levels, such as the Peruvian Model of a National Initiative and some large cities of the world. In the afternoon they developed a profile of the city of Miami, which focused on the realities, tendencies and perspectives bearing on the development of a project that would include the greatest number of churches and Christian service groups working in the city. Their goal is to share the Gospel to every Hispanic speaker in Miami, plant churches accessible to the 1.5 million Miami Hispanics, and recruit, train and mobilize a mission force directed towards Miami's unreached immigrant people groups and the unreached within Joshua Project 2000.

In the next few months, this same model will be used to start City Initiatives among the growing Hispanic populations and thousands of Hispanic churches of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.