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North Texas Annual Conference!

It has been over two years since the pandemic that we were unable to meet like we did this time for Annual Conference, and let me tell you, that was amazing!

Wow, God, you were felt!

What a fantastic opening worship service we had at North Texas Annual Conference 🙌🏼 and a miracle was witnessed!

First, we were received by a fantastic hospitality team from the host church, First Richardson. Then, I went to leave my beautiful Adriana at their nursery. I want to thank the nursery workers for love poured out to my baby girl throughout the three days and all the kids that stayed there while we attended this important event.

Photo credit to North Texas Conference Facebook page

That first night, at the opening worship service, I was beyond blessed by the musicians, the chorus, and the singers that gave us Spirit-led worship. I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity we had as Hispanic pastors to perform two songs, one in Spanish and the other one bilingual. Our "Banda de Pastores" was led by Pastor Carlos Ramirez on the drums, Pastor Ruben Alvarez in the base, Pastor Amy Spaur with the guitar, Pastor Martha Valencia with the keys, and Pastor Georgiennette Rafael Haddock and me as vocals. We met for one practice at Christ Foundry, and our last practice was the Saturday before the worship with a whole chorus. Even Adriana joined us in practice as well!

Photo credit to Pastor Amy Spaur

We sang those two songs after the 🔥 sermon by Bishop Cynthia Harvey. It was a miracle for us, as Hispanic pastors, to see a whole group of more than 500 people singing in Spanish with us. It was a miracle seeing the chorus so invested in learning the words of Spanish that they were about to sing and poured out their hearts singing with us to our God as one body of Christ. It indeed left our hearts full of emotion because we didn't feel left out as a Hispanic community in the Annual Conference but embraced. They were embracing our culture, our language, for that particular night.

Photo credit to North Texas Conference Facebook page

Bishop Cynthia was incredible! Her words reminded us about our Wesleyan roots, founded on the "theology of grace, grounded on Scripture, and based in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and the continued movement of the Holy Spirit." She called us to action by reminding us of our call "to a life of vision for all God's people. Don't settle!"

Photo credit to North Texas Conference Facebook page

Then, day two began! We had the blessing of hearing Bishop Gregory Palmer as our Keynote Speaker during the Annual Conference. A summary of what he said throughout the Conference.

  • "the true challenge is that we are in the wilderness,"

  • "the same Spirit who drove our Lord & Savior into the wilderness" is with us too!

  • "Jesus sometimes is a little hard to find"

  • "How am I choosing to love?"

  • "We are stuck and uncreative"

  • "We are always in the process of becoming"

  • "I see you, I'm choosing the grace & mercy of God…not let the color, language, culture be a barrier to get into relationship."

  • "Are you sure you want to be a Wesleyan Christian? I hope you do!"

Photo credit to North Texas Conference Facebook page

I was joyful to see so many friends be commissioned and ordained, and I'm hopeful that one day it will be me up there! In another post, I will share why I decided to put a pause on my journey to be commissioned as an elder. But I'm so grateful and blessed for the ministry of my friends as they continue to live out their callings from God.

Photo credit to North Texas Conference Facebook page

Then, we had the opportunity to hear the many reports. One of them was Mission With Grant, where I stood up with a group of people that represented different ministries. In my case, I was representing Esperanza Strings (One + One Dallas & StringRise partners). Also, we had the Together We Dine experience. It was just a life changing moment to seat at a table and talk about racism. I'm grateful for the opportunity to lead the conversation!

We finished the Annual Conference with a baptism renewal. But the way we ended the legislation part of the Conference, people were heartbroken, some mad, others disappointed; it just didn't feel the good atmosphere to enter into a holy, sacred moment like remembering our baptism. As we participated in the baptismal renewal, the appointments were shown on the screen. As I sat waiting for my turn, I rejoiced to see my name, being appointed as associate pastor to Spring Valley.

I'm grateful for a great Annual Conference. It was a great time to be with friends in ministry and be hopeful for the movement of the Spirit in our Conference!

Looking forward to our next Annual Conference!


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