Commencement Speaker 2016
REV. SAMUEL RODRIGUEZ
President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
In addition to providing oversight and leadership to over 34,200 churches in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, Pastor Sam and Eva Rodriguez stand upon a rich and blessed history of church planting initiatives that includes works in Pennsylvania, New York, California, Puerto Rico, Texas, Canada and Africa.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was nominated by TIME magazine for their “100 Most Influential People in The World” list in 2013 and his description of the Latino faith community emerged as TIME Magazine’s April 15, 2013 cover story, The Latino Reformation. CNN named Rev. Samuel Rodriguez “The leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement.” NBC/Telemundo called him “America’s most influential Latino Evangelical leader.” The Wall St. Journal identified him as one of America’s most influential Hispanic Leaders, and the only religious leader on the list.
On the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech, Black Christian News Network identified Rev. Samuel Rodriguez as one of the top “10 White & Brown MLK’s of Our Time.” The San Francisco Chronicle described Samuel as one of the six leaders of the New Evangelical Leadership. Charisma Magazine identifies Rev. Samuel Rodriguez as America’s most influential spirit-filled Christian Leader in the political sphere. By God’s Grace, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez stands as one of America’s leading Christian voices and lives to build the Kingdom of God, reconciling a platform of righteousness and justice.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. The NHCLC is the nation’s largest Hispanic Christian organization representing millions of Evangelicals, with more than 40,000 U.S. churches, and seeks to reconcile evangelist Billy Graham’s message of salvation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march of prophetic activism through its “Seven Directives” of Life, Family, Compassionate Evangelism, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth.
On January 21, 2013, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the first Latino to ever be invited, gave the Keynote speech at the Martin Luther King, Jr. 40th Anniversary Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. Rodriguez also gave a historic Keynote speech at the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s 2013 National Religious Freedom Conference in Washington, D.C., in June 2013.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of some of America’s leading Evangelical organizations such as: Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, National Association of Evangelicals, Empowered21, PCCNA, Liberty Counsel, and Christianity Today. Rodriguez is also the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award presented by the Congress of Racial Equality.
Rodriguez is the author of The Lamb’s Agenda (Thomas Nelson, 2013) and Path of Miracles (2009). Rodriguez earned his Master’s degree in educational leadership from Lehigh University and most recently received an Honorary Doctorate from The Baptist Universities of The Americas. He is an Assemblies of God ordained minister since the age of 23. Rodriguez also serves as Senior Pastor of New Season Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, CA, where he resides with his wife of 24 years, Eva, and their three children.