Samuel Rodriguez

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Samuel Rodriguez
Born (1969-09-29) September 29, 1969 (age 51)
Alma materLehigh University (M.A. Organization Leadership)[1][2]
Northwest University and Baptist University of the Americas (Honorary Doctorates)[1][2]
OccupationFounder and Pastor, New Season Christian Worship Center
Years active2010–present

Samuel Rodriguez Jr. (born September 29, 1969) is an Evangelical Christian evangelist born to Puerto Rican parents in the United States.[3] He is a pastor, movie producer, author, civil rights activist and television personality. He is the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.


At age 16, Rodriguez delivered his first sermon. He quickly grew to be a leading and acclaimed evangelical preacher.[4] In 1992, he became an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal denomination.[1] In 2000, he founded the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC/CONEL), the largest Hispanic Evangelical Christian organization in the world.[5] With over 40,000 Latino Evangelical churches as members, NHCLC/CONEL helps to cultivate a network of Latino leaders in the Christian community.[6]

Rodriguez became a member of the board of the National Association of Evangelicals in 2013.[7][better source needed]

Books and films[edit]

In June 2016, Rodriguez's book, Be Light, reached #1 on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List.[8] You Are Next, released in 2019, was a Publishers Weekly bestseller.[9] In November 2020, Rodriguez's book, From Survive to Thrive, reached #1 in Amazon’s Evangelism and Christian Church Leadership books.[10]

Rodriguez was the executive producer for the 20th Century Fox motion picture Breakthrough.[11] In 2019, Rodriguez was announced as the executive producer for the Fox Searchlight film Flamin Hot, a true story about the man behind Flamin' Hot Cheetos. The film was produced by DeVon Franklin of Franklin Entertainment and directed by Eva Longoria.[12][13]

Political activity[edit]

During the George W. Bush administration, Rodriguez advocated for bipartisan discussion on immigration reform.[14][15] He participated in President Obama’s 2009 inaugural prayer service at Saint Johns Episcopal Church, reading from the Gospel of Luke.[16] As a spokesperson for Hispanic evangelicals, Rodriguez has been a featured speaker in White House and congressional meetings. He has served as a member of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships initiative and the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (both under President Barack Obama).[17][better source needed]

Rodriguez was invited to offer readings and deliver an invocation at the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017.[18] In his remarks, Rodriguez read from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5.[19] On Inauguration Day, Rodriguez was interviewed by CNN.[20] Rodriguez met with Trump administration officials to discuss a comprehensive immigration reform measure that would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.[21]

In a letter acquired by Politico in January 2017, Rodriguez was one of several evangelical leaders that pressed President Trump to reconsider the suspension of the refugee resettlement program that temporarily prevented refugees from several countries from emigrating to the U.S. The letter argued that the program provided a lifeline to many oppressed individuals and an opportunity for churches to minister to them.[22][23]

On January 25, 2017, Rodriguez issued a statement indicating he agreed with President Trump that securing the U.S/Mexico border was vital for the safety of the U.S. He added that he opposed forcibly removing undocumented individuals and families already in the U.S. (with the exception of criminals and drug dealers).[24]


In 2013, Rodriguez received a nomination for Time Magazine's "Top 100 Most Influential People."[25] He also received an honorary doctorate from William Jessup in 2019 where he delivered the keynote commencement address.[26][27][better source needed]

In 2015, Rodriguez and his wife, Eva, received The Rosa Parks Courage Award for their civil rights work from the Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute (SYLDI) and the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). The award was granted in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.[28]


  1. ^ a b c d Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Biography. "About Lead Pastors". Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b Board of Trustees of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. "Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary About Us: Leadership Team". Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  3. ^ "100 Influential Protestants You Ought to Know,"
  4. ^ "The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez: Ministering to the Needs of His People". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 2012-05-23. Retrieved 2014-04-24.
  5. ^ Dias, Elizabeth (2013-04-15). "Evangélicos!". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  6. ^ Samuel Smith (2016-12-29). "Franklin Graham, Paula White, Samuel Rodriguez to participate in Trump inauguration". Christian Post. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  7. ^ "Executive Leadership". NAE. Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
  8. ^ "Bestsellers". Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  9. ^ "Samuel Rodriguez's 'You Are Next' Hits Publishers Weekly and ECPA Bestseller Lists". Hallels. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  10. ^ "[Release] 'From Survive to Thrive,' by Samuel Rodriguez, hits #1 in two Amazon bestseller lists on release week".
  11. ^ "Samuel Rodriguez reveals what convicted him as a pastor while making 'Breakthrough' movie".
  12. ^ "Eva Longoria to Direct Biopic About Flamin' Hot Cheetos Creator". Variety.
  13. ^ "That Flamin' Hot Cheetos Movie Is Still Coming, and Eva Longoria Will Direct It". Slash Film.
  14. ^ "The Call of Samuel". Christianity Today.
  15. ^ "Latinos courted as wild card among shifting evangelical voters". Chicago Tribune.
  16. ^ "Inaugural Invitation". Assemblies of God News.
  17. ^ "President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships" (PDF). Obama White House Archives. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
  18. ^ "Trump inauguration to feature faith leaders, including Franklin Graham, Samuel Rodriguez, and Paula White". Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  19. ^ "Scripture read by the Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez at inauguration". CNN. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  20. ^ Latino pastor explains inauguration prayer - CNN Video, retrieved 2017-02-15
  21. ^ Michael Gryboski (2016-12-13). "Rev. Samuel Rodriguez 'Impressed' with Trump's promise to help Obama's Dreamers". Christian Post. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  22. ^ "President Trump, Please Think Again: Evangelical Leaders Plead For Rethink On Refugee Ban | Christian News on Christian Today". Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  23. ^ "Letter obtained by Politico" (PDF). Politico. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 29, 2017.
  24. ^ Conference, National Hispanic Christian Leadership. "Statement by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, in Response to President Trump's Executive Orders on Immigration". Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  25. ^ "The 2013 TIME 100 Poll". Time.
  26. ^ "About Pastor Sam". Pastor Sam.
  27. ^ "Jessup: Rev. Samuel Rodriguez - Commencement Keynote - Spring 2019". Youtube.
  28. ^ Amos L. Otis | Tennessee State University Newsroom. (n.d.). Tennessee State University Newsroom. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from