SBTC’s Molina wants NHBN to promote unity, stronger connections among Hispanics

NASHVILLE (BP) – Bruno Molina, president of the recently rebranded and revitalized National Hispanic Baptist Network (NHBN), said he wants the group’s new name and logo to promote unity and inclusion among Hispanics in the SBC.

Molina serves as the language and interfaith evangelism associate for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and an adjunct professor for both Southwestern and Midwestern seminaries.

After being elected president during the group’s meeting at the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim, one of Molina’s first priorities was creating a new name and logo for the group as a step to better connect Hispanic Baptists.

Formed in 2017 as the Hispanic Baptist Leadership Council, the group was designed to help coordinate efforts of Hispanic churches and various Hispanic entities as well as improve communication between Hispanics and the SBC Executive Committee.

Now in the official process of renaming themselves the NHBN, the group will serve a similar purpose of unifying Hispanic Southern Baptists, while also carrying out the task of fulfilling the Great Commission.

“The reason for these changes is due to the need to emphasize the importance of the purposes of the NHBN which are to connect on the mission, to contribute and share resources and to celebrate what God is doing among Hispanic Baptists,” Molina said.

“The Network also recognizes the need and the opportunity to address certain challenges with the Hispanic community such as single mothers, retired Hispanic pastors and health issues. Addressing these challenges will facilitate the flourishing of the Hispanic community.

“There are more than 64 million Hispanics in the United States, and the majority, 48 million, do not know Christ as their Savior. This is an alarming indication that we live in a time of grave urgency regarding the Gospel. The task of reaching Hispanics without Christ is not an ethnic issue but a Kingdom issue encompassing a particular key ethnicity.”

In addition to the name change, the group’s new logo is also designed to promote inclusion among all different types of Hispanics.

The logo’s image resembles three stylized people in three different colors, all locking arms around an open Bible. Each colors represents a different heritage within Hispanic culture.

The color red is for Indian heritage, the color gold is for European heritage and the color black is for African heritage.

Molina explained those three heritages are the ethnic mixture in most Latin American countries which resulted in modern day Latinos or Hispanics.

“My hope for the network is for unity in both vision and action, expressed to the benefit of our own ethnic community and beyond to the whole body of Christ,” Molina said in an interview with Baptist Press.

“We’re going to from good intentions and simply ‘being here,’ to saying how are we going to concretely live out this vision?”

Luis Lopez has been serving as executive director of Hispanic relations and mobilization at the SBC Executive Committee since April 2022.

He praised the network’s officers for their passion to promote unity, even within the name and logo of the group.

“The new name better reflects the connection with all Hispanic churches and is a way to encourage and partner in ministry,” Lopez said. “As more people get involved, the involvement of Hispanic churches in SBC life will be accelerated.

“I am excited to see the enthusiasm and dedication of the leaders of the National Network in taking the work of cooperation, support and fellowship to the highest level in order to fulfill the Great Commission during these times. God is glorified when our churches are unified in proclaiming the Gospel.”

Lopez has helped Molina and the officers steadily connect with other Hispanic pastors, leaders and churches throughout the SBC to get them more involved with the network.

Some of the practical ways the network is hoping to help Hispanics is through resources shared on its website and hosting monthly Zoom meetings.

The network has also designated several “teams” or sub-networks within the group to focus on mentorship, leadership and mobilization. Examples of the teams include women’s ministry, emerging leaders, state leaders, evangelism, church planting and stewardship.

Lopez said the network’s desire for unity among Hispanics in the SBC will also serve to increase unity and cooperation throughout the whole convention.

“We’re a big family, and obviously in a big family you will connect more easily with those who look more like you,” Lopez said. “So you need to feel like you have that connection, but you also on the other hand want to feel like you are a part of a bigger family. Those two things work well together, and we need to make sure that every member feels a part of the greater body.”

This article originally appeared on Baptist Press.

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Staff Writer
Timothy Cockes
Baptist Press
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