ABOUT THIS BOOK
Every year an estimated 600,000 U.S. Latinos convert from Catholicism to Protestantism. Today, 12.5 million Latinos self-identify as Protestant--a population larger than all U.S. Jews and Muslims combined. Spearheading this spiritual transformation is the Pentecostal movement and Assemblies of God, which is the destination for one out of four converts. In a deeply researched social and cultural history, Gastón Espinosa uncovers the roots of this remarkable turn and the Latino AG's growing leadership nationwide.
Latino Pentecostals in America traces the Latino AG back to the Azusa Street Revivals in Los Angeles and Apostolic Faith Revivals in Houston from 1906 to 1909. Espinosa describes the uphill struggles for indigenous leadership, racial equality, women in the ministry, social and political activism, and immigration reform. His analysis of their independent political views and voting patterns from 1996 to 2012 challenges the stereotypes that they are all apolitical, right-wing, or politically marginal. Their outspoken commitment to an active faith has led a new generation of leaders to blend righteousness and justice, by which they mean the reconciling message of Billy Graham and the social transformation of Martin Luther King Jr. Latino AG leaders and their 2,400 churches across the nation represent a new and growing force in denominational, Evangelical, and presidential politics.
This eye-opening study explains why this group of working-class Latinos once called "the Silent Pentecostals" is silent no more. By giving voice to their untold story, Espinosa enriches our understanding of the diversity of Latino religion, Evangelicalism, and American culture.
This magnificently researched book about the Latino contribution to the American Assemblies of God brings to public consciousness a minority whose history has been overlain by what Gastón Espinosa calls the European-American history of Pentecostalism in North America, including Puerto Rico.
-- David Martin Church Times
This is an excellent study of the Latino movement within the Assemblies of God (AG) denomination… This is finely crafted denominational history and, given the size and importance of Hispanics in the AG and in American Pentecostalism generally, it is an important resource for understanding the future of Christianity in North America.
-- D. Jacobsen Choice
Those interested in the religious experience of Latinos or in the history of Pentecostalism will find Espinosa’s study to be both informative and useful.
-- John Jaeger Library Journal
Espinosa has provided a powerful history of the Latino Assemblies of God. Marshaling rich and often untapped sources, he rewards the reader with a wonderful tapestry of the religious lives and struggles of an important movement and people.
-- Efraín Agosto, New York Theological Seminary
Espinosa’s magisterial study of Latino Pentecostalism will be the most authoritative work on this subject in the field of Latino history and religion for years to come.
-- Mario T. Garcia, University of California, Santa Barbara
This is by far the best researched and most provocative study on the origins and history of U.S. Latino Pentecostalism. It destroys so many common misconceptions that reading it is an absolute necessity for anyone claiming to know anything about the subject.
-- Justo L. González, author of The Story of Christianity
Latino Pentecostals in America is a landmark study that will be the gold standard on the topic for years to come.
-- Jesse Miranda, Director, Miranda Center for Hispanic Leadership, Vanguard University
This illuminating history of Latino Pentecostalism’s largest denomination and its social and political effect on the broader society is an invaluable contribution to the study of religions in the United States and Latino history.
-- Mayra Rivera, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University
Latino Pentecostals in America is a provocative, myth-busting, and truth-telling work. Espinosa’s placing of the story of the Latino Assemblies of God within a larger sociocultural framework is groundbreaking, relevant, and prophetic. A must-read!
-- Eldin Villafañe, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Holy Ghost and Fire: Azusa Street and Mexican Pentecostal Origins
2. Victory Is Coming Now: Mexican Pentecostals in Texas
3. Their Salvation May Depend on Us: Missionary Origins in Texas
4. The Gringos Have Control: Francisco Olazábal’s Reformation in the Borderlands
5. Pentecostal Origins in the Southwest and the Struggle for Self-Determination
6. The Challenges of Freedom: Mexican American Leadership in the Southwest
7. We Preach the Truth: Azusa Street and Puerto Rican Pentecostal Origins and Expansion
8. The “Puerto Rico Problem”: The Struggle for Integration, Independence, and Rebirth
9. Spirit and Power: Puerto Rican Pentecostalism in New York City
10. Your Daughters Shall Prophesy: The Uphill Struggle of Women in Ministry
11. Righteousness and Justice: Faith-Based Action for Social Change
12. Balancing the Horizontal with the Vertical: Latino Growth, Social Views, and Influence in National Politics