One of the nation's largest Pentecostal denominations, the Assemblies of God, recently joined America's largest Hispanic Christian organization, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
Dr. Jesse Miranda, CEO of NHCLC, called the new partnership "a natural fit" because the Assemblies of God already has the largest Hispanic membership out of all the denominations that have fully joined the association.
Also, he pointed to the predictions of Pew Research and Dr. Gaston Espinosa, a Latino evangelical expert, that the growth of the Pentecostal Hispanic community within the larger American evangelical community will transform the national religious landscape.
"With the recent launch of the National Hispanic Pentecostal Congress, in addition to this historic membership/partnership agreement with The General Council of the Assemblies of God, we are demonstrating our commitment to serve a vibrant and powerful emerging community," commented the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of NHCLC.
Rodriguez, who is an ordained Assemblies of God minister, added, "The relationship between the Assemblies of God and Hispanics can be traced to the early 20th Century when AG missionaries began an outreach to Hispanics in America and abroad resulting in the Pentecostal explosion both domestically and abroad."
In addition to the membership, the Assemblies of God General Superintendent Dr. George Wood will join the NHCLC Board of Advisors.
NHCLC CEO Dr. Jesse Miranda and the group's Board Chairman Dr. Gilbert Velez are also Assemblies of God ministers.
NHCLC is made up of 25,434 member churches and represents about 16 million Hispanic Christians. It seeks to serve as the voice of Hispanic evangelicals in the United States.
Correction: Friday, September 4, 2009:
An article on Thursday, September 3, 2009, about the Assemblies of God joining the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference incorrectly reported that AOG is the largest Pentecostal denomination in the country. The Church of God in Christ is the largest Pentecostal group in the United States. The Assemblies of God, meanwhile, is the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world.