Latino Americans make up 17% of the population and are present in religious groups of every kind. While there is a rising presence of Latino Muslims in America, the majority of Latinos identify with the Roman Catholic Church or some Protestant denomination.
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, The Hufffington Post is proud to recognize these seven religious leaders who represent a range of religious perspectives and are shaping the wider religious, spiritual and political landscape of America.
If you have other Latino leaders that you would like to honor, we invite you to leave a description of them in the comments!
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is the Current President of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (Hispanic Evangelical Association), America’s largest Hispanic Christian Organization with 40,118 member churches. Rodriguez leads an organization identified as the Hispanic faith leaders in support of Life, Family, Great Commission, Stewardship, Education, Justice and Youth.
Father Albert Cutié
Father Albert Cutié is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dilemma: A Priest’s Struggle with Faith and Love. Since 1999, Father Albert has had the special privilege of entering millions of homes throughout the world with his television and radio talk shows, as well as his newspaper advice columns. He was the first priest to host a daily “talk-show” as part of a major network on national and international secular television. His first self-help book, Real Life, Real Love was published by Penguin and became a best-seller in Spanish. Formerly a Roman Catholic priest, since May 2009 he is a married priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida.
Guillermo and Ana Maldonado
Guillermo and Ana Maldonado are pastors of El Rey Jesus, a Christian Apostolic and Prophetic church located in Miami, Florida with a general attendance between 15,000 and 20,000 individuals per week. According to Christian News Report, the church is the largest Hispanic church in the United States.
Archbishop José H. Gomez
Archbishop José Horacio Gomez is the fifth Archbishop of Los Angeles. On April 6, 2010, Archbishop José H. Gomez was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California, by Pope Benedict XVI. On February 27, 2011, he was installed Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He is the first Hispanic to serve as Archbishop of Los Angeles, as well as the highest-ranking Hispanic bishop in the United States.
Marcos Witt is an American, four-time Latin Grammy award winning Christian singer. He is married to Miriam Lee Witt.
Rev. Gabriel Salguero
Rev. Gabriel Salguero is the Senior Pastors of the multicultural Lamb’s Church in New York City. His life’s work is bringing an ethical framework to public policy and empowering multicultural leadership. He has worked on issues of indigenous leadership development, faith and public policy, as well as racial and economic justice. Rev. Gabriel Salguero is the founder of P.O.G. international, a ministry focused on diversity leadership empowerment and training. He presently serves as the President of the National Latino Evangelical Coaltion. Salguero is an executive member of the Latino Leadership Circle. He is recognized as one of the emerging national leaders among Latino(a) faith leaders.
Bishop Minerva Carcano
Minerva Garza Carcaño is the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church (UMC), the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States. She was elected in 2004. She is currently the Resident Bishop of the Los Angeles Episcopal Area, providing oversight to the California-Pacific Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.