Ruben Ortiz experiences deep fulfilment from his calling as a bridge builder between the church in Latin America and the United States.
But it comes at a price.
“Sometimes it’s difficult — all of the driving is causing me back problems,” Ortiz, 42, says with a laugh.
Stepping down recently as moderator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida isn’t likely to reduce the 20,000 miles a year Ortiz puts on his car for Fellowship and other ministries.
“I drive a lot of miles visiting churches and I have a lot of work with [CBF national] in Atlanta,” Ortiz says when pressed to list his obligations. “I am part of the [CBF] Missions Council, too.”
He also works with an organization coordinating the work of Hispanic churches from various denominations.
And as if the relentless pace of domestic and international outreach weren’t enough, Ortiz is the full-time pastor of a Hispanic church in Deltona, Fla.
His congregation has him pegged.
“One of my members said to me, ‘There’s my Superman pastor,’” Ortiz recalls.
Neither the Superman comment nor the sore back would surprise anyone at CBF, American Baptist Churches USA or elsewhere who knows Ortiz and has seen him at work. By all accounts the Cuban-born Ortiz has the energy and personality to match the passion he has for church and relationship building.
Those who have worked in a wide range of ministries with Ortiz describe him as possessing the skills and calling needed most by churches in an increasingly diverse culture.
And it doesn’t hurt that he seems to know everyone, no matter where he goes.
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SOURCE: Baptist News Global