Be Light Event Attracts 1200 Leaders
Over 1,200 Latino Leaders Attend the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Annual Convention
ANAHEIM, Calif., May 21, 2016 – More then 1,200 Latino Evangelical Christian leaders came together to address issues of interest and importance to the Hispanic community and to be encouraged, equipped and empowered during the "Be Light" Latin Leaders Fest May 20-21 in Anaheim. The convention, which was sponsored by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/Conel. The event featured sessions and workshops to help the Latino community execute action-oriented initiatives, generate innovative ideas and advance their leadership. Throughout the two-day event, the impact and influence of the Hispanic Christian community was reinforced – particularly in light of this election season. At the invitation of NHCLC leadership,presumed Democratic and Republican presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump sent video messages addressing attendees, which were shown during the convention's opening session on May 20."America doesn't need a new political movement," said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, NHCLC president and author of the new book, "Be Light: Shining God's Beauty, Truth, and Hope into a Darkened World." "What we need is to see the Church of Jesus Christ rise up and shine. While the Church is waiting for Jesus to come down, Jesus is waiting for His Church to stand up. It's time for us to be light."The Conference featured renowned speakers, pastors and musicians, including Evangelist Luis Palau, founder of the Luis Palau Association, and Alberto Delgado, founding pastor of the bilingual Alpha & Omega church in Miami, Florida, the Alpha & Omega Bible Institutes and the founder and president of Latin Mission Ministries.Each presenter challenged attendees to be bold in representing Jesus in every aspect of their lives. Speakers encouraged the leaders to engage with the culture in an impactful way and make their mark on the world in all areas of influence, including business, finance, education, the arts and government.Marcos Witt, an award-winning singer and composer and founder of CanZion, the largest Spanish-Christian record company and distributor in the world, inspired the crowd of Evangelical leaders to not isolate themselves from the world but rather to run to the darkness with light."God wants you to go out there and get your hands dirty. You need to raise up your shirt sleeves and start helping people who are sick, dirty and ugly," said Witt. "To be able to be light, you are going to have to change your approach, your vocabulary. You don't change your message, but you change the way you do ministry." Nick Hall, founder of Pulse and the visionary of Together 2016, a gathering on the National Mall inviting Christians to unify in prayer, worship and a call for catalytic change, reminded attendees that God can use each of them in a unique way. "God loves to use unlikely people from unlikely places because He wants to make it clear it's all about Him," he said. During a panel on ministry in the marketplace, Executive Vice President for PepsiCo North America Richard Montanez, President of Meguir's Inc. Berry Meguiar, Siempre Tax COO Laura Contreras-Rowe and RISCO Insurance Services Founder Javier Rodriguez each spoke of the rise of Latino leaders within the corporate world and the importance for Evangelicals to not separate their faith from their work.Contreras-Rowe specifically noted the importance of teaching Latina women at a young age that they can become leaders in the workplace, mentioning that currently only .5 percent the nation's CEO or COO positions are held by Hispanic females.
Throughout the event, Jaci Velasquez and Nic Gonzales, an award-winning husband and wife musical duo, led worship. The event ended with a concert featuring Christine D'Clario, a prominent singer and passionate songwriter who is considered a trendsetting worship leader to the next generation.