Died: Jesse Miranda, Hispanic Evangelicals’ Bridge-Builder

The ministry founder, educator, and Assemblies of God leader elevated the voices of his community and paved the way for future leaders.

Jesse Miranda, a Pentecostal leader and the “granddaddy of US Latino Protestantism,” died last Friday at the age of 82.

Several weeks ago, Miranda learned that he had inoperable B-cell lymphoma and entered hospice care.

As founder of the National Alliance of Evangelical Ministries (AMEN, Alianza de Ministerios Evangélicos Nacionales) and then executive director of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), Miranda was known for bringing together Latino leaders and elevating their voices within American evangelicalism.

A 2002 CT profile called him “the primary visionary uniting disparate US Hispanic evangelicals” and praised his “reputation as a sharp listener and bridge-builder who has put his vision, imagination, and wit to the service of the Latino church.”

“His commitment to Christ, real. His prophetic voice, renewing. His love for the marginalized, relentless,” wrote current NHCLC president (and a CT board member) Samuel Rodriguez in tribute this week. “I love and forever will honor you Bro. Jesse! You changed my life!”

Assemblies of God pastors and National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC) cofounders Gabriel and Jeannette Salguero considered him “a mentor to our generation of evangelicals.”

One of the most important lessons Miranda passed down was showing how to lead in both Hispanic and majority culture spaces, said Dennis J. Rivera, director of the Office of Hispanic Relations for the Assemblies of God.

“Jesse modeled and taught young leaders that Hispanics are not either/or, but are both/and, bilingual and bicultural, and therefore can navigate and serve in two worlds,” Rivera said.

Miranda’s organization, …

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