hope for churches in stress
Hispanic Collecting Initiative

In what can only be described as a sovereign move of God,

a single Brethren in Christ (BIC) church planting in Kendall,

Florida proliferated over a 30 year timespan into a vibrant

church planting (and adopting) movement of 110 churches,

50 located in south Florida and another 60 in Latin America.

 

There are few written reports. This unfolding story exists

primarily as oral history, retained only in the memories of

first-hand participants. To share this remarkable testimony, 

Barnabas Initiatives launched a project to tell the story of

the BIC in south Florida, recording and transcribing a number

of interviews. In 2020, the BIC Historical Library and Archives

of Messiah University took on this project as the Hispanic

Congregations and Leaders Collecting Initiative.  

 

This project will involve numerous focused and intentional efforts to document and preserve the story of the Hispanic BIC community in South Florida, now the third-largest concentration of BIC churches in North America, after central Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada. Through this initiative, Archives staff, student workers, and volunteers will:

 

  • Record, preserve, and transcribe oral histories of significant leaders and early congregations in the Hispanic BIC community in and around Miami, Florida;

  • Record, preserve, and transcribe oral histories of missionary efforts by the BIC in Cuba and Nicaragua, which indirectly led to the origin and development of the Hispanic BIC community in South Florida;

  • Collect and/or digitize photographs and other material culture related to the Hispanic BIC community in and around Miami, Florida;

  • Process and make available to researchers various committee records related to the Hispanic BIC community in and around Miami, Florida; and

  • Other initiatives as time and money permit, or as community partners and advisors recommend.

The BIC Historical Library and Archives welcomes donations to this significant and timely project. A $5,000 challenge grant will match gifts up to an additional $5,000. Checks can be made payable to Messiah University with "Hispanic BIC Archives" in the memo line. 100% of all designated dollars raised will go toward this project.

 

If you desire further information, you can contact Devin Manzullo-Thomas, Director of the Archives, at dcthomas@messiah.edu.