June 22, 2017
By Aaron Weaver and Carrie McGuffin
DECATUR, Ga. — Faith leaders from across the United States have offered their praise for Rubén Ortiz, who was recently added to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship staff to guide the missions, ministries and advocacy work of the Fellowship in the Latino context.
In the newly-created senior role of CBF Latino Field Coordinator, Ortiz will focus on charting a future for the Fellowship in Latino contexts and implementing related short- and long-term strategies, as well as work to more fully integrate the CBF Latino Network into the life of the Fellowship. The selection of Ortiz comes as CBF deepens its engagement with and service to local congregations, which includes a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity, through an intentional focus on nurturing relationships and forming partnerships with African-American and Latino churches and denominations.
Johnny Sears, who serves as director of Academy for Spiritual Formation of CBF-partner The Upper Room offered his praise for Ortiz and emphasized his long-time focus on building relationships to empower others.
“I’m delighted that Rubén Ortiz will be serving in this new role as Latino Field Coordinator. This is a good direction for CBF to place some focus and Rubén is the perfect person to lead it. As a member of my Advisory Board for The Academy for Spiritual Formation, I have worked closely with Rubén and know first-hand his ability to build relationships that empower people to achieve common goals. Not only is Rubén widely connected and respected throughout Latin America, he is also a pastor at heart who is committed to his own continued formation as a follower of Christ and loves to create pathways to nurture others in that journey. I can’t wait to see where this leads.”
“I have known Rev. Rubén Ortiz for three years, and his witness as a Christian and a minister of the Gospel are true to God’s calling in his life. There is no doubt that his commitment as a servant leader will be a blessing and will prosper the Latino ministries of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.”
Ortiz, a noted church planter, has pastored La Primera Iglesia Bautista de Deltona in Deltona, Fla., since 2002. For the past 15 years, he has led his congregation to foster relationships with more than 25 churches and missions in Cuba and Puerto Rico, committing financial support as well as physical labor to aid their growth and become self-sustaining. He is a former member of the CBF Missions Council and the former moderator of CBF of Florida — the first Latino to serve in this state/regional position in the 25-year history of CBF.
A native of Santiago de Cuba, Ortiz relocated to Quito, Ecuador in 1993 after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in music. In Quito, he completed a degree in Christian Communication Studies at the Center for Christian Communication. During his eight years in Ecuador, Ortiz became the Regional Communication Coordinator for MAP International, a nonprofit organization specializing in reaching and developing impoverished communities through holistic missions. He relocated to the United States in 2000. Ortiz and his wife, Xiomara, have two teenage children, Natalia Sofia and Daniel Andrés.
Below is additional praise for Ortiz from Latino and other Christian leaders:
“Ruben Ortiz is a proven and gifted leader. CBF is fortunate to have him serve on the CBF Global Leadership Team as Field Coordinator for the Latino Context. His journey from Cuba to South America for several years and then on to the United States has uniquely equipped him to coordinate and facilitate the growing and dynamic Latino community within the Fellowship. As a gifted pastor, communicator, networker and organizer, his engaging style and commitment to evangelism and discipleship will expand and deepen what God is already doing in the CBF Latino Context.”
—Harry Rowland, Director of Missional Congregations, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
“I’m grateful to CBF for naming Rubén Ortiz as Latino Field Coordinator. Rubén is a great leader among the Latino communities and always been engaged and great support of our ministries. I have known him for several years and always have seen his cheerful and cooperative spirit. He is a great man of God that I’m sure will be excellent for this new position.”
—Raquel Contreras, General Director, Baptist Spanish Publishing House
“Rubén Ortiz is a courageous choice as our new Latino Field Coordinator. He will not only integrate the Latino spiritual contexts in ways that are beneficial to the CBF, but also help us to appreciate why our knowledge of the Christian faith is incomplete without embracing the transformation of the Christian faith within the Latino Fellowship and communities. Rubén’s contributions to our fellowship in this leadership position will enrich our lives and strengthen our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
—Caleb Oladipo, CBF Missions Council Chair and Chair of Christian Evangelism and Missions, Campbell University Divinity School
“Rubén Ortiz is one of God’s choicest servants of the word and of mission and of service. He has a caring heart and deep commitment for the Gospel and has always been helpful in bridging opportunities for ministry among the Spanish speaking communities of the Americas and the Caribbean. His assistance in editing the Spanish version of the Operation Inasmuch workshop has made it possible for us to share our models of compassion ministry among our sisters and brothers whose heart-language is Spanish. God will continue to use Ruben to further the cause of the Gospel and of the Fellowship.”
— John Daugherty, Executive Director, Operation Inasmuch, Inc.
“For the last three years I have been witness to the many gifts of Rubén Ortiz. His focused vision and commitment to an integral gospel message will be instrumental in the future growth of Latino ministries in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. As national Christian leader, and as a Latino, I celebrate his appointment.”
— Carlos L. Malavé, Executive Director, Christian Churches Together
“Rubén Ortiz has a passion for strengthening Latino churches in order for them to impact their community with the gospel of Christ. I look forward to Rubén’s role in developing leaders, networking churches and enabling resources for the Latino Familia of faith.”
— Jesse Rincones, Executive Director, Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas
“Rubén Ortiz has been very supportive to all of the Latinos who are part of CBF. I constantly tell him that he is like a bridge, looking to connect people in God’s Kingdom. I admire his passion, dedication and willingness to help so many people. I am so glad that CBF is intentionally heightening its work with Latinos and that Rubén has been selected to serve as Field Coordinator for Latinos.”
— Jesús E. Garcia, Pastor, Iglesia Bautista Metrópolis, Carolina, Puerto Rico
“I’m honored to endorse my friend and partner in ministry Rubén Ortiz as Latino Field Coordinator of the CBF family. I have witnessed Rubén’s work and commitment. He has been dynamic and effective in strengthening the CBF Latino Network. Rubén is a visionary leader and dedicated to advance the Kingdom through missions and innovative ideas. He is an asset and will enhance the present and the future of the Latino ministries in the United States and beyond.”
— Daniel Martino, Senior Pastor, Church of the City, New London, Conn.
“Rev. Rubén Ortiz’s well-honed skills as vision caster, mentor and cultivator of capacity are suited perfectly for the churches and ministries in the CBF Latino Network. His commitment to Jesus Christ and profound understanding of the Latino and Anglophone communities positions him to encourage cooperation and build unity across member congregations. As Latino Field Coordinator, Rev. Ortiz is poised to enable local congregations to grow in faith; to demonstrate the Gospel; and, to create the conditions for collaboration, advocacy and missions initiatives to thrive.
— Jim Oehrig, Vice President of Integral Mission, American Leprosy Missions
“When the next history of CBF Florida is written, Rubén Ortiz will be noted as one of its significant, transformative figures. He is probably the most catalytic leader I have known, and, as a result of his giftedness, deep spirituality, keen wit and gregariousness, he has been the central person in CBF Florida’s work with Hispanics in general and Cuba in particular.”
— Ray Johnson, Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida
“Congratulations to Rubén Ortiz and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship for taking on this important new role in the life of the Church. Latinos are growing in the U.S. population and within the church. I am grateful for Ruben’s leadership and look forward to continuing our work together. Adelante!”
— Marco A. Grimaldo, Senior National Associate for Latino Engagement and Deputy Director of Church Relations, Bread for the World
“Congratulations to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship for its visionary decision of naming Rev. Rubén Ortiz as Latino Field Coordinator. This is the right time and he is the right person to expand and advance your efforts to better serve the growing Hispanic-Latino population in this country.”
— Fernando A. Cascante, Executive Director, Association of Hispanic Theological Education
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.