The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention has given $25,000 to endow the Rudy A. and Lucy L. Hernandez Scholarship for Hispanic PhD. students at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The scholarship, part of the SBTC’s Hispanic Initiative and its Hispanic Education Superhighway to encourage theological education among Hispanic Baptists, marks a milestone for the Hispanic Initiative, launched in full last summer with the hiring of Mike Gonzales to the SBTC staff as the Hispanic Initiative director.
“We believe this scholarship could help cultivate future state executive directors, denominational leaders, seminary professors and missionaries from Hispanic ranks,” Gonzales said. “This is the first tangible step for the Hispanic Initiative in furthering theological education among Hispanic Baptists.”
SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards said: “It is only appropriate that the SBTC scholarship for bilingual Hispanic PhD. students be named after Dr. and Mrs. Rudy Hernandez. Brother Rudy has been a powerful influence for evangelism and education. He has been a leader among all Southern Baptists, not just Hispanics. Being the first Hispanic president of a state convention in Texas shows the type of respect and admiration the people of God have for him. His legacy is a passion for souls that has been transferred to all of us who know him and love him.”
Hernandez is a San Antonio native and was the SBTC’s second president. He also served as SBC second vice president.
He began preaching at age 13, was licensed to preach at 15 and ordained at age 19. He was the first director of the SBTC’s Hispanic Initiative and served numerous Texas churches. Hernandez holds doctor of divinity degrees from Howard Payne University, where he earned his undergraduate degree, and Criswell College. He is also a Southwestern Seminary graduate.
The Hispanic Initiative also plans to partner with SBTC affiliates Criswell College and Jacksonville College in furthering theological education among Hispanics.