DULUTH — Samuel Ayala, pastor of Hebron Español at Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula, has become the first Hispanic to join the Administration Committee of the Georgia Baptist Convention.
In addition to his position with Hebron Español, Ayala has been a member of the Georgia Baptist Convention Executive Committee since November 2015. He joins other new members of the Committee elected by fellow Executive Committee members in December: Atlanta pastor Robert “Doc” Wilson and Pelham pastor Matt Peek as well as Associational Missions Strategist JoJo Thomas of Chattahoochee Baptist Association. Wilson is the first African-American to serve on the Administration Committee.
Ayala’s parents moved from Puerto Rica to New York, where he was born, without speaking any English. Their son’s ministry has consisted largely of reaching that generation who only speak Spanish. Lately, though, he’s been feeling God leading him to work more with that generation of Hispanics who only speak English.
“God has spoken to me about how I’ve been given the blessing of speaking in both languages,” he said. “All my initial theology studies were in Spanish. Now, though, I’m finishing my Master’s degree in Church Planting and Pastoral Leadership at Southeastern Seminary in English. God is stretching me to reach that second generation.”
Other Committee members include: Stephen Fountain, First Baptist Buford; Billy Godwin, Ephesus Baptist in Villa Rica; Wayne Robertson, Morningside Baptist in Valdosta; Barry Snapp, Victory Baptist in Rockmart; John Waters, First Baptist Statesboro; and Al Wright, First Baptist Waynesboro.
Ex officio members include Georgia Baptist Convention President Robby Foster, pastor of Northside Baptist Church in Valdosta; Executive Committee Chairman Andy Childs, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist in Toccoa; Executive Committee Vice Chairman Tommy Fountain, pastor of Grace Baptist in Monroe; and Thomas Hammond, Georgia Baptist Executive Director.
Administration Committee members serve in their capacity during their term on the Executive Committee, meeting as necessary to carry out the business and affairs of the latter group during the interim periods between the Executive Committee’s four meetings during the year.
Actions of the Administration Committee are considered reflective of the Executive Committee unless an action is deemed contrary to a specific policy or instruction of the Executive Committee. In addition, the Administration Committee presents a report at each Executive Committee meeting, covering matters such as administration, finance, and personnel.