SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/CONELA will hold its annual convention in Houston, April 28-30, for more than 1,000 Latino Evangelical leaders across the globe during which issues of immigration, education, religious persecution, Israel, racial reconciliation, religious liberty, and family and marriage will be discussed.
A number of guest speakers across politics, education, religion and business will join NHCLC/CONELA President Rev. Samuel Rodriguez to address each topic.
During the 1 p.m. CDT session on Tuesday, April 28 – the same day the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that could decide whether gay and lesbian couples nationwide have the constitutional right to marry – Dr. Russell Moore, President of The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, will speak to protecting the family and traditional marriage. Additionally, NHCLC/CONELA will announce a new initiative to build a firewall against anti-Semitism and the campaign to delegitimize the nation of Israel as well as raise awareness of the critical intersection of Israel and America's future.
On Tuesday evening during the 7 p.m. CDT session, Luis Gutierrez, U.S. Representative of Illinois, will speak regarding immigration reform.
Wednesday, April 29, will include a panel during the 8:30 a.m. CDT session on the issue of immigration featuring Leon Rodriguez, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Galen Carey, National Association of Evangelical Vice President, Government Affairs; Matthew Soerens, U.S. Church Training Specialist for World Relief; and Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research and Director of the Research Institute for The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
Gov. Jeb Bush, 43rd Governor of Florida, will speak April 29 at noon regarding a number of topics including the importance of education standards for the Hispanic community.
During the evening of April 29, John Jenkins, pastor of First Baptist Church of Glenarden, will join the 7 p.m. CDT session to speak about racial reconciliation while Reuven Azar, Deputy Head of Mission for The Embassy of Israel to the United States, will address Israeli relations during the 7 p.m. CDT session and again on April 30, beginning at 8:30 a.m. CDT.
Gov. Mike Huckabee, 44th Governor of Arkansas, will be the guest speaker at the NHCLC/CONELA Awards Dinner at 6 p.m. CDT on April 29.
"We are in a crucial moment for Hispanics in the U.S. as we approach the 2016 election," said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez. "The Latino population is growing and with that comes concerns related to issues of importance to our community including family, education, religion and business, which we will be watching for the presidential candidates to address. There is no doubt Latinos will play a critical role in choosing our next president."
The theme of the 2015 convention is, "From Survive to Thrive." More than 1,000 global Christian leaders are expected to attend.
"Our community must repudiate all vestiges of spiritual, social and economic failure, and neither tolerate unending survival mode with dependency on Uncle Sam rather than on the gifts and abilities God deposited in each and every one of us," Rev. Samuel Rodriguez said of the theme. "We must thrive so we can become a blessing to others and the answer to someone else's prayer."
NHCLC/CONELA is the world's largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org.