The congregation voted on November 21, 2016 with a 94% majority to authorize the search for a bilingual (English & Spanish) pastor who will lead this effort. Candidate Calixto Roman will be presented to the congregation on November 19, 2017 for confirmation.
Biography: Calixto “Cal” Roman
Candidate for Pastor of Spanish Ministries
I grew up on the west side of midtown Manhattan (also known as “Hell’s Kitchen), where I was raised in a Spanish-speaking home of Puerto Rican descent. I was raised in a Catholic home but I came to saving faith in Christ as my personal Savior and Lord at the age of 16 after being exposed to the gospel of grace.
Early on in my Christian walk, I had a burden for the lost and sought to share the gospel with others. Prayer, studying God’s Word and the fellowship of believer’s became a regular part of my life. After spending a year at a secular college, I felt led to study for the gospel ministry and enrolled in Baptist Bible College East and completed their 3-year program.
I married my wife, Diane, and I have been married for 35 years. To support my family, I have worked for the NYC District Council of Carpenters union. In 2003 I became a certified shop steward and have continued in that position to the present. On a daily basis I am able to converse in Spanish with many Hispanics of different ethnic backgrounds.
In 2009, in God’s providence I was able to complete my bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Boston Baptist College (formerly BBCE), with a minor in Church Ministries. For the last 18 years, we have lived in Blairstown and have been members of the Evangelical Free Church of Blairstown, where I served as an elder from about 2006 to 2010. I currently usher and teach to 5th-6th graders and have served on the nominating committee as well.
We have been blessed with five children and four grandchildren and several are serving the Lord. One of my married sons is even studying at Cairn University in their School of Divinity.
Since my college days, I have felt a special burden to reach Spanish-speaking people with the message of salvation. It led me to spend three years in an informal internship with a Hispanic church in Hoboken. Currently, I volunteer to help a Southern Baptist missionary pastor at a Spanish-speaking church plant launched in 2015.
Voting on Calixto as our new Spanish Pastor will be held at the Business Meeting on November 19. Be on the lookout for events where you will be able to meet, get to know and ask questions to Calixto and his wife, Diane. The first opportunity to meet and mingle with Calixto and Diane will be on Sunday, October 8, at the 6:00 PM “Spanish Foods” Potluck.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: ARE WE PLANNING A SPANISH-SPEAKING WORSHIP SERVICE?
A: Our target is to rach the fastest growing, most extensive, people group in our ministry area (Hispanics) with the best possible strategies.
Q: IS THIS A CHURCH PLANT?
A: It is not a church plant. We hope to see a thriving Spanish ministry on the Mount. In the future, if God leads this ministry into a church plant, we will celebrate and support it.
Q: WHY A PART-TIME PASTOR?
A: We believe fiscal responsibility dictates that we begin immediately with a part-time position. The position can always change as the ministry grows and matures. (Luke 14.28)
Q: IS THIS THE BEST USE OF OUR RESOURCES?
A: Yes, through prayer, fasting, and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Pastors, Elder Board, and staff of Grace Church have come to a unanimous “Yes, this is the next step we should take together.” This leading allows us to expand the Kingdom of Christ in the ministry area entrusted to us. (Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:16-20)
Q: WILL THIS CHANGE THE CULTURE OF THE GRACE CHURCH I HAVE COME TO KNOW AND LOVE?
A: Our Sunday morning and evening worship experiences will remain the same. The core values of Grace Church on the Mount, represented by our foundation in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11) and our Vision (to raise up generations of families that are built to last), will not change. However, with the launch of a Spanish-service, we look forward to welcoming new attenders and we anticipate the Spanish ministry will reflect their culture.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME STRATEGIES WE WILL USE TO REACH SPANISH-SPEAKING PEOPLE?
A: First and foremost, we will confirm the right man before we construct a detailed plan. The leader must play a key role in the formation and execution of the strategies.
Q: HOW CAN I BE A PART OF THIS PROCESS?
YOU CAN PRAY AND SPREAD THE WORD!
- Pray for the Spanish community around us
- Pray for the pastoral candidate and family
- Tell your friends and family!
- Consider being a part of the launch team.