Samuel Rodriguez

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Samuel Rodriguez
Samuel Rodriguez Jr.

(1969-09-29) September 29, 1969 (age 53)
EducationLehigh University (M.A. in Organization Leadership)[1][2]
Occupation(s)Founder and Pastor, New Season Church
Years active2010–present

Samuel Rodriguez Jr. (born September 29, 1969) is an Evangelical American Christian leader 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.[4]


At age 16, Rodriguez delivered his first sermon. He quickly grew to be a leading and acclaimed evangelical preacher.[5] 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.[6] With over 40,000 Latino Evangelical churches as members, NHCLC/CONEL helps to cultivate a network of Latino leaders in the Christian community.[7]

Rodriguez became a member of the board of the National Association of Evangelicals in 2006.[8]

Books and films[edit]

In June 2016, Rodriguez's book, Be Light, reached #1 on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List.[9] You Are Next, released in 2019, was a Publishers Weekly bestseller.[10]

Persevere with Power, Rodriguez's 2021 release, made both English and Spanish best-seller status on ECPA's Christian Bestsellers Lists,[11] as well as reaching #20 on ECPA's January 2022 Christian New Releases.[12]

Rodriguez was the executive producer for the 20th Century Fox motion picture Breakthrough,[13] which received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song[14] and received a GMA Dove Award for Inspirational Film of the Year.[15] 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.[16][17]

Political activity[edit]

During the George W. Bush administration, Rodriguez advocated for bipartisan discussion on immigration reform.[18][19] He was brought in as an advisor to President Bush and later also served in an advisory capacity for Presidents Obama and Trump.[20][21][22] He participated in President Obama’s 2009 inaugural prayer service at Saint Johns Episcopal Church, reading from the Gospel of Luke.[23] As a spokesperson for Hispanic evangelicals, Rodriguez has been a featured speaker in White House and congressional meetings.[24] He has served on the President's Advisory Council for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships initiative with the Fatherhood and Healthy Families Task Force and also on the Abortion Reduction Task Force (both under President Obama).[25][26]

Rodriguez was invited to offer readings and deliver an invocation at the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017.[27] In his remarks, Rodriguez read from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5.[28] On Inauguration Day, Rodriguez was interviewed by CNN.[29] Rodriguez met with Trump administration officials to discuss a comprehensive immigration reform measure that would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.[30]

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.[31][32]

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).[33]

Also in 2017, Rodriguez was involved in a conversation at the White House with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump that led to the creation of the First Step Act, which helps to prevent individuals who have served time from returning to prison.[20][21] At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rev. Rodriguez joined the Heritage Foundation as a spokesperson for the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission.[34][35]

Rev. Rodriguez signed an amicus brief on behalf of the NHCLC along with the Frederick Douglas Foundation, Dr. Alveda King, Deacon Keith Fournier, Esq., and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tyler, which was cited in the historical Dobbs v. Jackson case that overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022. [36]


In 2008, Newsweek called Rodriguez one of the "Top 12 People to Look For."[37] Presented by the Congress of Racial Equality in 2011, Rodriguez was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award.[38][39] In 2013, Rodriguez received a nomination for Time Magazine's "Top 100 Most Influential People."[40] That same year, he became the first Latino keynote speaker at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Service.[41] Rodriguez has been a part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Service four times (2010, 2011, 2013 and 2021); he is the only person to be features on this many occasions.[42][43][44][45] In 2015, Latino Leaders Magazine included him on their "101 Most Influential Leaders" list as the first evangelical leader to make the list.[46] The Wall St. Journal has called Rodriguez one of the top 12 latino leaders.[47] Rodriguez was also included in Charisma Magazine's "40 People Who Radically Changed Our World" series.[48] He has received honorary doctorates from William Jessup University, Northwest University and Baptist University of the Americas.[49] Rodriguez regularly comments for publications and media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, PBS, Telemundo, NBC and others.[50][51]

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.[52]

In 2021, Rodriguez was named in 'Israel's Top 50 Christian Allies' by The Israel Allies Foundation. This exclusive list selects Christian leaders who remain steadfast in their love and support of Israel, which stems from their Christian faith.[53]

In 2022. Deseret Magazine named Rodriguez one of their 20 “New Reformers,” referring to faith leaders “challenging the conservative movement to change,” citing his advocacy for granting immigrants immediate citizenship.[54]


Year Title Role Notes
Flamin' Hot Executive Producer Pre-production
2021 A Walking Miracle Executive Producer
2020 My Brothers' Crossing Executive Producer
2020 Trump 2024: The World After Trump Himself Documentary
2019 Breakthrough Executive Producer
2018 God's Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness Himself
2017 In God We Trust: 9/11 Triumph from Tragedy Himself TV move documentary
2015 Empowered 21: Jerusalem Himself Video
2014 Un Reino Sin Fronteras Himself TV move documentary
Year Title Role Notes
2020 Ministry Now Himself 2 episodes
2013-2020 Praise Himself 4 episodes
2019 Fox & Friends Himself 1 episode
2015-2019 Marcus & Joni Himself 2 episodes
2014 Huckabee Himself 1 episode, "How Can the Republican Party Win?"


  1. ^ a b c Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Biography. "About Lead Pastors". Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  2. ^ 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. ^ Bowyer, Jerry. "America's Most Prominent Latino Evangelical Leader On How To Fight Political Darkness". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ Dias, Elizabeth (2013-04-15). "Evangélicos!". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  7. ^ Samuel Smith (2016-12-29). "Franklin Graham, Paula White, Samuel Rodriguez to participate in Trump inauguration". Christian Post. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  8. ^ "Leadership". National Association of Evangelicals. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  9. ^ "Bestsellers". Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  10. ^ "Samuel Rodriguez's 'You Are Next' Hits Publishers Weekly and ECPA Bestseller Lists". Hallels. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  11. ^ "Christian Book Expo: ECPA Christian Bestsellers, November 2021".
  12. ^ "Christian Book Expo: ECPA Christian New Releases, January 2022". Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  13. ^ "Samuel Rodriguez reveals what convicted him as a pastor while making 'Breakthrough' movie". 24 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Oscar Nominations 2020: Elton John and Randy Newman Up for Best Original Song, Beyoncé and Thom Yorke Shut Out". Pitchfork. 2020-01-13. Retrieved 2022-04-11.
  15. ^ "'To God Be the Glory': 'Breakthrough' and These Faith-Inspired Films Received Oscar Nods". CBN News. 2020-01-14. Retrieved 2022-04-11.
  16. ^ "Eva Longoria to Direct Biopic About Flamin' Hot Cheetos Creator". Variety. 27 August 2019.
  17. ^ "That Flamin' Hot Cheetos Movie Is Still Coming, and Eva Longoria Will Direct It". Slash Film. 27 August 2019.
  18. ^ "The Call of Samuel". Christianity Today.
  19. ^ "Latinos courted as wild card among shifting evangelical voters". Chicago Tribune.
  20. ^ a b "White House faith advisor: Donald Trump values faith input more than past presidents - Premier Christian News | Headlines, Breaking News, Comment & Analysis". Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  21. ^ a b "How evangelicals teamed up with the White House on prison reform". Religion News Service. 2018-05-25. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  22. ^ Goodstein, Laurie (2018-03-27). "'I Know I Will Be Criticized': The Latino Evangelical Who Advises Trump on Immigration". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  23. ^ "Inaugural Invitation". Assemblies of God News. 12 January 2017.
  24. ^ "January 2019". Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  25. ^ "President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships" (PDF). Obama White House Archives. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
  26. ^ "Trump's Latino support could grow as Democrats seen as 'party of infanticide'". The Christian Post. 10 October 2020. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  27. ^ "Trump inauguration to feature faith leaders, including Franklin Graham, Samuel Rodriguez, and Paula White". Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  28. ^ "Scripture read by the Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez at inauguration". CNN. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  29. ^ Latino pastor explains inauguration prayer - CNN Video, retrieved 2017-02-15
  30. ^ Michael Gryboski (2016-12-13). "Rev. Samuel Rodriguez 'Impressed' with Trump's promise to help Obama's Dreamers". Christian Post. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  31. ^ "President Trump, Please Think Again: Evangelical Leaders Plead For Rethink On Refugee Ban | Christian News on Christian Today". Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  32. ^ "Letter obtained by Politico" (PDF). Politico.
  33. ^ 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.
  34. ^ "National Coronavirus Recovery Commission Releases Spanish-Language PSA to Promote Health and Safety". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  35. ^ "'There's Beauty in Midst of Ashes,' Pastor on COVID-19 Panel Says". The Daily Signal. 2020-04-20. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  36. ^ "Hope and a Prayer: Liberals Condemn the Conservative Justices After Dubious Rolling Stone Article". JONATHAN TURLEY. 2022-07-08. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  37. ^ "Rev. Samuel Rodriguez on the Collision of Politics and Faith". Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  38. ^ Darling, Daniel. "Friday Five Interview: Samuel Rodriquez". CT Pastors. Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  39. ^ "DBU Hosts Hispanic Evangelical Leader Samuel Rodriguez". Dallas Baptist University. Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  40. ^ "The 2013 TIME 100 Poll". Time.
  41. ^ Whitehead, Cory. "Board Member Samuel Rodriguez Gives Keynote Address at Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service". Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  42. ^ Martin Luther Kings Service by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Part 2, retrieved 2021-07-29
  43. ^ VIDEO Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Speech at MLK Day Services2.wmv, retrieved 2021-07-29
  44. ^ Rev. Samuel Rodriguez -First Latino Keynote Speaker at Martin Luther King National Service, retrieved 2021-07-29
  45. ^ 2021 King Holiday Observance Beloved Community Commemorative Service, retrieved 2021-07-29
  46. ^ NHCLC. "Sam Rodriguez Named as 1 of 101 Most Influential Latinos in America". Charisma News. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  47. ^ "Samuel Rodriguez". Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  48. ^ "Charisma Magazine". Charisma Magazine. Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  49. ^ "Samuel Rodriguez". Retrieved 2021-07-20.
  50. ^ "Sam Rodriguez | Guest | Amanpour & Company | PBS". Amanpour & Company. Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  51. ^ Bowyer, Jerry. "America's Most Prominent Latino Evangelical Leader On How To Fight Political Darkness". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  52. ^ Amos L. Otis | Tennessee State University Newsroom. (n.d.). Tennessee State University Newsroom. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from
  53. ^ "Israel's Top 50 Christian Allies - 2021".
  54. ^ "20 leaders who are changing the conversation about religion and politics". Deseret News. 2022-04-12. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  55. ^ a b "Samuel Rodriguez". IMDb. Retrieved 2021-07-08.