By Jill Riley
(August 12, 2020)—The Board of Directors and search committee for Centro Hispano de Estudio Teológicos (CHET) is pleased to announce the election of Juan Martinez as the fourth president of the 31-year-old Covenant Bible institute.
Martinez has served more than 30 years in pastoral ministry and is the author of several books about Hispanic ministry in the U.S. He earned a master’s degree and a PhD from Fuller Seminary. He is a child of immigrant workers who were also pastors among migrant workers.
“Because of the places God has called me to serve, he has given me the privilege of being a bridge, connecting people so they can serve more effectively,” Martinez says. “I want to connect people with opportunities, people of different ethnic groups, culture, language, and organizations with similar vision to serve God and others in new and creative ways. I always want to remember that I serve God the Creator, that I follow Jesus as my Lord and life model and that I do everything I do in the power of the Holy Spirit, giver of new life and spiritual power.”
Catherine Barsotti, chair of the search committee and CHET board member, says Martinez brings “an incredible commitment, knowledge, and experience of Latino communities in the southwest. He has such a commitment to leadership development in Latino churches and communities. He is all about empowering and raising up more Latino leaders for the church. He has a love and commitment to making education accessible to people who have very little formal education and not a lot of financial means.”
“The entire Covenant is blessed and honored by the appointment of Dr. Juan Martinez as the president of CHET,” said John Wenrich, president of the ECC. “His passion for leadership development, academic scholarship, and living in the Spirit make him an outstanding choice and one that every Covenanter can be proud of. CHET is crucial to the ongoing mission, health, and growth of the ECC. There are exciting days ahead!”
Of his election Martinez says, “Por causa de la gracia divina en mi vida tengo el privilegio de servirle. Quiero estar atento a lo que Dios está haciendo en el mundo y participar por medio de capacitar a líderes para servir a Dios, su reino, su iglesia y su mundo.”
Translation: “Because of God’s divine grace in my life I have the privilege of serving him. I want to be attentive to God’s work in the world and participate by preparing leaders to serve God, his kingdom, his church, and his people.”
CHET, located in Compton, California, has an attendance of 350-400 part-time students studying in four programs.
Martinez began serving in his new role on August 3.