One of the most fruitful conferences with the SBC of Virginia has been the Annual Hispanic Conference. Catalytic church planter Fernando Mangieri has coordinated this ministry. Pastor Mangieri has recently moved to lead a large ministry organization in Dallas, TX. We interviewed Mangieri to ask him about the impact the SBC of Virginia Hispanic Conferences have had on Hispanic churches and on his ministry.
SBCV: Over the past four years, you have coordinated the SBCV Hispanic Conferences. What kind of impact has this had on developing leaders?
Mangieri: Coordinating these conferences has allowed me to involve pastors, leaders, and future leaders so that, while walking together, they can see what it means to coordinate a conference, starting with prayer, planning, logistics, and all the details involved. When they became engaged in the process, there was growth in commitment, service, organization skills, and group management.
SBCV: The SBCV Hispanic Conferences have increased the number of Hispanic churches that are now a part of the SBCV network of churches. How have the conferences accomplished this?
Mangieri: In the last four years, the network of Hispanic churches has grown by Independent Baptist churches becoming a part and by SBCV churches that were a part (but not involved) getting involved. This was achieved through the topics, the workshops, and the focus of each conference. The approach is always a response to the current needs of the churches. A very important part of this achievement—reaching new churches that join the SBCV—is all the work prior to the conferences, which consists in visiting, calling the pastors, going to the churches—basically making a bridge between the church and the SBCV.
SBCV: What have you learned about yourself because of coordinating the conferences?
Mangieri: I have learned the importance of asking for help from others. There are many waiting to be asked but they need to be asked. I have learned the importance of delegation and to trust others to get things done and to work as a team…and a lot of patience.
SBCV: How important has it been for the SBC of Virginia to support and promote these conferences and other Spanish language training events?
Mangieri: I think it has been enriching and a blessing on both sides. As Hispanic churches, we feel supported and we feel a part of the convention to see that they care and invest in our churches. And I believe that the convention is blessed by supporting and including the Hispanic churches as part of a single convention. We have seen the hand of God. During the first conference, we had 130 people from 11 different churches, and this year we had 275 attendees from 26 different churches.
Pastor Mangieri and his family will be missed! We pray the Lord will continue to bless His Kingdom both through Mangieri’s ministry and through future SBCV Hispanic Conferences.