Samuel Rodriguez

Samuel Rodriguez is the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization with 42,000 plus U.S. churches and many additional churches spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora.  

[Release] NHCLC Appoints Juan Rivera As New Executive Director of Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition

Oct. 4, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Juan Rivera, a well-known pastor from Youngstown OH, as the executive director of the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC). HILC is the pro-Israel arm of the NHCLC, The Hispanic Evangelical Association and CONELA.

Rev. Rivera’s commitment to Israel is extraordinary. He is well respected within the Christian and Jewish communities both throughout Ohio and nationally,” said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the NHCLC. “Israel is not a side-issue for the NHCLC. It is foundational. We believe that Rev. Rivera is the perfect leader for this pivotal role in this moment of our growth and expansion.

“I offer my sincere congratulations to Rev. Rivera on his appointment”, said Bonnie Deutsch Burdman, director of community relations and government affairs for the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation. “We in the Jewish community throughout Ohio have great trust in Rev. Rivera’s leadership capacity.

Previously, Rev. Rivera served as the Ohio Chapter Director of NHCLC and as an Advisory Board Member HILC.

I’m incredibly excited and grateful to Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and the NHCLC for entrusting me with this important position,” says Rev. Rivera. “My goal, and that of the entire NHCLC, is to continue growing HILC into the largest Hispanic pro-Israel organization in the U.S. and Latin America. Our focus will be on educating our people about Israel through conferences, workshops and trips to Israel. We will also be actively forging new, and strengthening existing partnerships with Jewish people and Jewish organizations locally, nationally and internationally.  Finally, will want to expand our role as advocates for strong US-Israel relations as well as influencing Latin American governments to adopt strong pro-Israel policies and relations.”

Additionally, Bishop Robert Stearns, Founder and President of Eagles’ Wings and senior leader at the historic Tabernacle Church in Buffalo, NY, has been appointed as Chairman of HILC.

Though Bishop Stearns is not Hispanic, he has traveled extensively in ministry throughout Latin America for the past 20 years, has led worship in Spanish, and 5 of his books have been translated into Spanish and distributed widely through the Latino evangelical community,” added Rev. Rodriguez.  “He understands Latino Evangelical culture, and he understands Israel. We believe his experience and wisdom will be of great resource to us as we endeavor to grow HILC as the pro-Israel arm and voice of the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,118 U.S. churches and over 450,000 churches spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora.

“Every generation has to confront anti-semitism in whatever shape it presents itself to that generation. We will build a fire-wall against all forms of anti-semitism to ensure that ‘Never Again’ truly means never again,” added Rev. Rivera.


Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America. 

Rev. Juan Rivera is lead pastor of New Life Church a growing, multi-generational, multi-ethnic, vibrant church located in Poland Ohio a suburb of Youngstown.  In addition to his position as Executive Director of HILC, Pastor Rivera serves in an advisory capacity to the Governor of the State of Ohio by serving on the Ohio Commission of Hispanic/Latino Affairs.

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is recognized and identified by Time Magazine, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News, CNN, and a number of additional media outlets, publications, and periodicals as America’s largest and most influential Hispanic/Latino Christian organization with 40,118 certified member churches in the United States and chapters in Latin America. 

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