Nov. 16, 2011
For Immediate Release
Campbellsville University is making plans to partner with the Baptist Convention of Eastern Cuba in order to help train seminary professors in Cuba. From left are: John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president; Dr. Twyla Hernandez, assistant professor of Christian missions; Pastor Ernesto Font, who pastors Hispanic churches in Springfield and Danville, Ky., and is a professor at the Hispanic Baptist Bible Institute; the Rev. Joel Luis Dupont, president of the Eastern Baptist Convention of Cuba; and Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of CU. (Campbellsville University Photo by Christina Kern)
By Christina L. Kern, office assistant
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.— Campbellsville University is making plans to partner with the Hispanic Baptist Bible Institute and the Baptist Convention of Eastern Cuba to provide training for professors at the seminary in Santiago, Cuba.
CU administration along with School of Theology faculty members met two pastors to discuss establishing a partnership: the Rev. Joel Luis Dupont, president of the Baptist Convention of Eastern Cuba, and Pastor Ernesto Font, who pastors Hispanic churches in Springfield and Danville, Ky., and serves as a professor at the Hispanic Baptist Bible Institute.
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of CU, said, “We were very pleased to host the Rev. Joel Luis Dupont, president of the Eastern Cuba Baptist Convention. His passion for reaching the people of Cuba for Jesus Christ was very much evident in our discussions.”
Dr. Twyla Hernandez, assistant professor of Christian missions at CU and director of the Hispanic Baptist Bible Institute, said, “The Eastern Baptist Convention of Cuba has one seminary, 264 pastors and 490 churches. Just these few numbers highlight the need for additional leadership training, and the experience and expertise of Campbellsville University could be highly beneficial.”
Carter said, “Campbellsville University continues to provide strong support and partnership with the Hispanic Baptist Bible Institute; we are thrilled to have Dr. Hernandez as our professor of Christian missions and as she continues to serve as director of the HBBI; and we are going to work with Dr. Hernandez, Rev. Dupont, and others on an ongoing relationship and emerging partnership with the East Cuba Baptist Convention.
“CU is a Great Commission institution, and this is but another example of we are committed to helping prepare a global community of Christian servant leaders.”
The Hispanic Baptist Bible Institute began its relationship with the Baptist Convention of Eastern Cuba in 2010. In June 2011, the institute raised enough funds to start an extension center of the Bible institute in Cuba.
Hernandez said, “Because the average salary in Cuba is $20 per month, we cannot charge tuition or even books. With various donors, we were able to raise funds to supply the textbooks for 10 students. Currently, we have approximately 30 students studying in the extension center in Contramaestre, Cuba, all sharing the 10 books per course that we were able to provide. We hope to be able to expand this important ministry in the future.”
In the 1990s when the Soviet Union fell, Cubans began “turning to the Lord in record numbers,” Hernandez said. “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the Cuban convention needs more trained leaders in order to assimilate the many new believers who are being incorporated into the body of Christ.”
In addition, the Cuban government has also asked the Baptist Convention of Eastern Cuba to provide additional training for seminary professors.
“This moment in Cuba’s history is very important as restrictions are beginning to loosen for the first time in 50 years,” Hernandez said. “I believe that if we could come alongside our Cuban brothers and sisters at this moment,
Campbellsville University could have a long-lasting impact on a health of the church in Cuba.”
CU’s School of Theology faculty members are planning a mission trip to Cuba for 2013. Hernandez will also make the trip in May/June of 2012.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.
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Posted on Wed, November 16, 2011
by Christina Kern