Rev. Dr. Eddie Cruz
American Baptist Home Mission Societies
Work Phone: 800.222.3872, x2423
The Rev. Dr. Eddie Cruz has always been what he refers to as a “social and religious entrepreneur.” The “social” part is innate. The “religious” part came later.
“No matter how successful you think you are, if you are not successful in relationships, you aren’t successful,” he says.
His talent for relationship building has been evident throughout his career in ministry and community outreach. As director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Mission Advancement and Passionary Movement, he has set goals that will use this gift.
“My goal is to design a comprehensive strategy to utilize people’s talents for the glory of Jesus Christ, to promote a culture of generosity and to make a transformational difference in people’s lives,” he says.
Since accepting Jesus Christ in 1972, Cruz has focused his ministry on making a difference in people’s lives and communities. As a pastor, community activist and leader of social justice organizations, Cruz says he has tried to follow Christ’s lead.
“Jesus Christ was invested in people,” he says. “He was always with people doing ministry.”
Cruz says he asks God for creativity to think outside the box, and Cruz’s ability to do just that has not gone unnoticed. He was asked by Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago to appear in a public service announcement relating to the city’s community activism and invited twice by the White House during the George W. Bush administration to participate in a national immigration think tank. While serving as a unit director of the Boys and Girls Club in Chicago, he worked closely with community leaders and Metro Chicago Interfaith Coalition to foment a synergy of education, peace and justice.
Born and raised in Chicago, Cruz is well acquainted with that city’s mean streets. While at his home church—North Shore Spanish Baptist Church—he was in the choir, served as a Sunday school teacher and preached at many local churches, where he met and was inspired by the words of the Rev. Modesto Lopez, a man who, to this day, remains one of Cruz’s heroes.
“It was a transformational moment in my life, and I made the decision to become a Jesus-follower,” Cruz says. “It was a life changing experience that impacted my whole family, who eventually met and accepted Christ as well.”
Blessed with the gift of leadership as a youth, Cruz was voted president of the Tri-State (Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana) Youth Evangelism Team. He sensed a call from the Lord to pursue ministry.
- D.Min., Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lombard, Ill.
- M.Div., Northern Baptist Theological Seminary
- B.A., Psychology-Human Relations with minor in Business, Judson University, Elgin, Ill.
- Executive Director, ACLAMO Family Centers/Warren Development Corp., Norristown, Pa.
- U.S./Missionary Partnership Team International Director, and National Director for Hispanic, Portuguese and Haitian Ministries, United States and Puerto Rico, American Baptist Churches USA
- Senior Pastor, First Missionary Church, Iglesia Evangélica Misionera, Chicago
- Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Chicago
- Unit Director, Boys and Girls Club of Chicago
- Ordained: Oct. 1982
- Birthday: Sept. 2