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New Church Development

Where we’ve been and where we are:

Methodist Latino/a ministries have existed in Florida since the late nineteenth century.  From 1873 when the first congregation was formed in Key West until the present time, our history has been full of glorious adventures, painful challenges, and a sordid racial history.

At this point in history we approach this conversation with great anticipation and hope, and also, paradoxically, with weariness and a great sense of urgency. As we will see, our FL Conference does not reflect our state’s community — which is largely Latino/a and growing.

Our sense of urgency, however, is not only due to the unreached masses but to the reality of the long-term consequences of prejudiced systemic structures that have brought us to where we are and a denominational history of racism that we have yet to address and heal.

Latinos/as total about 23% of Fl population.

  • 51% are native born (In US 62%) - Average Age: 20, who have a higher education and earn more than __________________
  • 49% are foreign born - Average Age: 44

Historically, Latino/a pastors seeking to minister in cross-cultural settings have not received clear support from conference structure and/or had the opportunity to do so.

Majority of structures struggle reflecting Latino/a ministries on Conference, District and Local scales.

We’re not culturally competent as a Conference or as local churches.

  • Many of our UM programs are unintentionally designed to cultivate language & culture of 1st Generation
  • Many Anglo & Latino/a churches do not understand the nuances of Latino/a Ministry for today. It is more than just speaking Spanish or a different language
  • Many Anglo congregations do not know how to receive a Latino/a pastor.

1st Generation prefer speaking in Spanish or Portuguese.

2nd & 3rd generation Latinos/as prefer speaking in English.

Latino/a Churches – Face Multi-Lingual, Multi-cultural and Multi-Generational challenges.

A nuance of ministry is also immigration status and the dynamics of social justice.