Nearly 700 Spanish-speaking pastors, leaders and church members gathered this fall for the 43rd annual Biola Hispanic Conference, hosted by Talbot’s Center for the Study of the Work and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit Today.
The event, themed “The Church and the Future: Co-creating Paths with Present and Future Generations,” offered numerous workshops and plenary sessions aimed at equipping people to minister to the needs of younger Latino Christians, one of the fastest-growing segments of the evangelical church. Speakers included Dr. Lucas Leys of e625, one of the best known authors and speakers in the Hispanic world, along with numerous local pastors and Biola faculty, staff and alumni.
Oscar Merlo, the center’s director, was encouraged by the high level of participation from both the local region and from as far away as New York, Colombia and Monterrey, Mexico. Among the nearly 700 attendees were more than 200 pastors from 10 denominations, representing a wide range of small, medium and megachurches in the Los Angeles and San Bernardino areas and beyond.
“I believe that the future of our work with our Hispanic community in California, the U.S. and the Americas is just in the beginning stages,” said Merlo, who helped to organize the event. “In 2024 we are planning to have the largest conference on ‘Evangelism and Discipleship’ for the most influential Hispanic Latino leaders in the four regions of the Americas.”
Event attendees said they were encouraged and equipped by the conference. “I have no words to describe that day,” said Susan Arguijo. “It was awesome for me. It was my first time in this place and it was super excellent. God bless the whole team and the coordinators and of course they are making memories and I want to come back again and take more people.”
The Center for the Study of the Work and Ministry of the Holy Spirit Today is a resource for students and scholars seeking a greater understanding and experience of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. Housed at Talbot School of Theology, the center aims to produce biblically faithful resources that equip Christians to be transformed and empowered by the Spirit for the sake of the gospel.