Rolando Castro listens in at a meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention Hispanic Leadership Council in Atlanta. Castro, currently with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, will be joining the Georgia Baptist Mission Board as Missions consultant for the Northwest region in March. ROLANDO CASTRO/Special
DULUTH — On March 2 Rolando Castro, currently a consultant in Hispanic Church and Language Planting/Development for the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, will join the Georgia Baptist Mission Board as Missions consultant for the Northwest region.
Castro has held the Maryland/Delaware position since 2006, at that time one jointly-funded through the state convention and the North American Mission Board. In 2015 the position became fully supported through NAMB.
A path to the ministry began with a challenging start. In his native Costa Rica, Castro was born to ceremonially religious parents in an environment that made the concept of God to be considered in only a formal or social context. “Spirituality was nothing of importance in my childhood and teenage years,” Castro explained. “My father died when I was 14 years old, and that was a very traumatic experience for me.” As the elder child, Castro took on the responsibilities of caring for his family.
Later Castro moved to San José, where he entered law school at the University of Costa Rica. He admits these years brought life experiences that led him away from any idea of God and actually brought him toward the cusp of atheism.
While in school, he also met his future wife, Zulma, and the two were married one year before he finished his studies in 1988. The couple moved to Bagaces, a small town in northwestern Costa Rica, to work as lawyers and eventually had a son, Fabian, and daughter, Ariana.
It was at this time, though, that they began to experience trouble in their marriage. They made the decision to divorce, but the night before signing the papers agreed to turn to God over the matter. They called a Baptist pastor, and that conversation leading them to accept Christ as their Savior and begin a much different journey.
In 2003 a door opened for Castro to move to southern Maryland as a church planter for Ministerio de Amor en Cristo (Ministry of Live in Christ). The church eventually grew from three families to 80 people in three years, leading to Castro’s position with the state convention. Over the years he has also served as an interim pastor to two other churches and planting another one.
Castro has served as president of the Language Leaders Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention and coordinator of the Hispanic Pastors Network for the Mid-Atlantic region. In addition to his law degree, he has also earned his Master of Arts in Christian Leadership from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and is completing his Doctor of Ministry degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“With Rolando’s background in another state convention, working with the North American Mission Board, and church planting, along with his keen legal mind, I see him as a great asset specifically for the Northwest region of Georgia,” said Buck Burch, Georgia Baptist Missions catalyst. “The Northwest region deserves quality and humility in leadership, and Rolando brings both to the table.”
Castro told The Index the opportunity to come to Georgia has been one of God’s timing.
“We’ve been praying about this and everyone has assured us this is the right moment,” he said. “I’m so excited about this new role God has given me.
“This specific position represents everything the Lord has been putting into my heart for the last 3-4 years. To know that I’ll be helping mobilize and equip churches to do Acts 1:8 missions is a dream come true. I love it.”
Scott Barkley serves as editor of The Christian Index.