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Samuel Rodriguez Jr. (born September 29, 1969) is a Christian Protestant evangelist born to Puerto Rican parents in the United States. He is a pastor, movie producer, author, civil rights activist and television personality.
|Born||September 29, 1969|
|Alma mater||Lehigh University (M.A. Organization Leadership)|
Northwest University and Baptist University of the Americas (Honorary Doctorates)
|Occupation||Founder and Pastor, New Season Christian Worship Center|
At age 16, Rodriguez delivered his first sermon and quickly grew to be a leading and acclaimed evangelical preacher. In 1992, he became an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God , a Pentecostal Fellowship. In 2000, he founded and is currently the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC/CONEL), the largest Hispanic Christian Protestant (i.e., Evangelical/Pentecostal) organization in the world. With over 40,000 Latino Evangelical churches as members, NHCLC/CONEL helps to cultivate a network of Latino leaders in the Christian community.
In an April 2013 issue of Time Magazine, the cover story entitled “The Latino Reformation” included a quote by Rodriguez that claimed, “We are in the first generation of the Hispanic Protestant Reformation.” In 2015, Pastor Samuel Rodriguez was named as one of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.”
As a spokesperson for Hispanic Evangelicals, Rodriguez often meets with lawmakers and provides input on policy decisions. Rodriguez has been a featured speaker in White House and Congressional meetings on Hispanic American issues and justice concerns. He is a member of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships initiative and the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (both under President Barack Obama). He currently serves on the board of directors for the National Association of Evangelicals.
During the George W. Bush administration, Rodriguez advocated for bipartisan discussion on immigration reform. He also participated in President Obama’s 2008 inaugural prayer service at Saint Johns Episcopal Church, reading from the Gospel of Luke. Rodriguez was invited to offer readings and deliver an invocation at the 58th U.S. presidential inauguration on January 20, 2017. In his remarks, Rodriguez read from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5. On Inauguration Day, Rodriguez sat down for an interview with CNN and explained why he decided to speak at the Inauguration of President Trump.
Rodriguez has had several meetings with Trump administration officials to discuss comprehensive immigration reform, which includes both securing the border and providing a path to citizenship for current immigrants.
In a letter acquired by Politico in January 2017, Sam Rodriguez was one of several evangelical leaders that pressed President Trump to reconsider the suspension of the refugee resettlement program that temporarily prevented refugees from several countries from emigrating to the U.S. The letter argued that the program provided a lifeline to many oppressed individuals and an opportunity for churches to minister to them.
On January 25, 2017, Rodriguez issued a statement indicating he agreed with President Trump that securing the U.S/Mexico border was vital for the safety of the U.S., and he agreed that the rule of law needed to be respected and that America reserves the right to determine who is allowed to enter the country. But Rodriguez also stated that he believes the President needs to build bridges with the Latino community in America. He likewise stated emphatically that he is opposed to forcibly removing the millions of undocumented individuals and families already in America with the exception of criminals and drug dealers.
In 2013, Rodriguez received a nomination for Time Magazine's "Top 100 Most Influential People." He also received an honorary doctorate from William Jessup in 2019 where he delivered the keynote commencement address.
Rodriguez is the bestselling author of multiple books, including Be Light (WaterBrook) and You Are Next (Charisma House). In June 2016, Be Light, was featured #1 on the LA Times Bestsellers List. You Are Next, released in 2019, is a Publishers Weekly bestseller.
Rodriguez is the executive producer for the Fox Searchlight film Flamin Hot, a true story about the man behind Flamin' Hot Cheetos, produced by DeVon Franklin of Franklin Entertainment and directed by Eva Longoria. Rodriguez is also the executive producer for the 20th Century Fox motion picture, Breakthrough.
- Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Biography. "About Lead Pastors". Retrieved 29 June 2016.
- Board of Trustees of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. "Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary About Us: Leadership Team". Retrieved 29 June 2016.
- "100 Influential Protestants You Ought to Know," juicyecumenism.com/2017/12/06
- "The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez: Ministering to the Needs of His People". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 2012-05-23. Retrieved 2014-04-24.
- Samuel Smith (2016-12-29). "Franklin Graham, Paula White, Samuel Rodriguez to participate in Trump inauguration". Christian Post. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
- Dias, Elizabeth (2013-04-15). "Evangélicos!". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
- "Newsmax's Top 100 Christian Leaders in America". Newsmax. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
- "President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships" (PDF). Obama White House Archives. Whitehouse.gov. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "Executive Leadership". NAE. Nae.net. Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "The Call of Samuel". Christianity Today.
- "Latinos courted as wild card among shifting evangelical voters". Chicago Tribune.
- "Inaugural Invitation". Assemblies of God News.
- "Trump inauguration to feature faith leaders, including Franklin Graham, Samuel Rodriguez, and Paula White". www.christiantimes.com. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
- "Scripture read by the Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez at inauguration". CNN. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
- Latino pastor explains inauguration prayer - CNN Video, retrieved 2017-02-15
- Michael Gryboski (2016-12-13). "Rev. Samuel Rodriguez 'Impressed' with Trump's promise to help Obama's Dreamers". Christian Post. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
- "President Trump, Please Think Again: Evangelical Leaders Plead For Rethink On Refugee Ban | Christian News on Christian Today". www.christiantoday.com. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
- "Letter obtained by Politico" (PDF). Politico. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 29, 2017.
- Conference, National Hispanic Christian Leadership. "Statement by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, in Response to President Trump's Executive Orders on Immigration". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
- "The 2013 TIME 100 Poll". Time.
- "About Pastor Sam". Pastor Sam.
- "Jessup: Rev. Samuel Rodriguez - Commencement Keynote - Spring 2019". Youtube.
- "Bestsellers". latimes.com. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
- "Samuel Rodriguez's 'You Are Next' Hits Publishers Weekly and ECPA Bestseller Lists". Hallels. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
- "Eva Longoria to Direct Biopic About Flamin' Hot Cheetos Creator". Variety.
- "That Flamin' Hot Cheetos Movie Is Still Coming, and Eva Longoria Will Direct It". Slash Film.
- "Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and DeVon Franklin Are Producing a Movie About Flamin' Hot Cheetos". RELEVANT Magazine. 2018-03-22. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
- "Breakthrough". PENews. 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2018-10-20.