A preacher and social justice advocate, the Rev. F. Salvador Orellana is well-equipped for the challenging duties as American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) director of Intercultural Ministries; Latino Ministries; and Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico.
Among his goals is to train pastors and leaders to develop new ministries. For the church to touch the lives of all people, he says, it must extend its reach.
“Most of our churches are strong in evangelism and discipleship, but not enough of our ministries relate to the community,” he says. “I want to motivate and encourage churches to begin ministries that transform and heal communities.”
Orellana has witnessed firsthand the constant struggles of immigrants, both as an immigrant himself and as founder of an organization that provides legal services to immigrants.
“Millions of undocumented people live in the United States. Many of them are being mistreated and taken advantage of. I have heard many stories of their struggles to buy food, to get housing,” he says. “As Christians, we must do something.”
He sees his ABHMS role as another phase of his faith journey.
“I have dedicated my life to serving people in the name of Christ,” he says. “And this position is a new facet of the same calling.”