By Fellowship Southwest
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Advocacy, CBF Global Missions and Fellowship Southwest are collaborating to place Elket Rodríguez, an attorney with extensive experience in immigration law, on their team on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rodríguez, a native of Puerto Rico who lives and practices law in Harlingen, Texas, will become CBF’s immigrant and refugee specialist Monday, March 2.
He will coordinate CBF’s immigration advocacy efforts, help coordinate and educate Fellowship Southwest immigrant-relief volunteers, provide legal aid to asylum seekers and gather stories of refugees and immigration issues. He also will connect with the numerous other CBF-related ministries providing services to immigrants, although he will be the first to offer legal aid for asylum seekers on the border.
”I’m excited to be working with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Fellowship Southwest,” he said. “I’m looking forward to doing great things together for God’s kingdom.”
“Elket is clearly an exceptionally talented individual with unique experiences and a deep passion for this work. I am thrilled he has felt led to join our team,” noted Stephen Reeves, CBF associate coordinator of partnerships and advocacy.
“Based on CBF Global Missions’ commitment to ministry in the context of global migration, advocacy for immigrants and refugees already has been a hallmark of CBF Advocacy’s efforts. Formed in 2017, our advocacy action team for immigrants and refugees will be greatly strengthened by Elket’s coordination and leadership.
“I’m grateful for the enthusiastic support that border work has received from folks across the Fellowship,” Reeves added. “With Elket in place, I’m certain that we’ll quickly increase our advocacy visibility and impact.”
“Time and again, the word of God admonishes Israel—and us—to welcome the stranger, for our forebears once were strangers in Egypt,” notes Steven Porter, coordinator of CBF Global Missions. “How can we in the American church look at refugee camps on our own borders and not hear the echoes of Scripture?
“God has sent Elket Rodríguez to CBF for such a time as this. His heart and mind will lead us more deeply into the mission of the God revealed in a child refugee named Jesus.”
Rodríguez was born and raised in Puerto Rico and lived on the island until 2017, when he moved to West Texas. He is bilingual and has five years of legal experience and 17 years of involvement in ministry. He earned an undergraduate degree in journalism and a law degree from the University of Puerto Rico and is pursuing a master of divinity degree from the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute.
In Puerto Rico, he worked for two law firms, the Court of Appeals and the Department of Family. He also served in various capacities with the Christian Missionary Alliance. In Texas, he has worked for a law firm, Child Protective Services, and First Baptist Church of Midland, where he was a family and senior-adult ministry assistant, taught citizenship classes and served as an English as a Second Language consultant, and also established a Spanish Sunday school class/ministry that continues to thrive.
Rodríguez is married to Yesenia Zayas, a geographer. They have two sons, Yesel, 7, and Sahir, 4.
“We’re delighted to welcome Elket to Fellowship Southwest’s immigrant relief ministry team,” FSW Coordinator Marv Knox said. “Elket will make valuable contributions to the physical, emotional and spiritual care of refugees along the border. He also will strengthen the work of Jorge Zapata, our immigrant ministry director, and Jeni and Ray Cook Furr, our volunteer coordinators.
“We’re all excited to serve alongside Elket, who possesses remarkable legal and ministry skills, fueled by compassion for immigrants created in the image of God.”
To support Fellowship Southwest’s Immigrant Relief Ministry, click here.