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Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
Samuel Rodriguez, photo by Robin Holland
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February 8, 2008

The Latino vote will decide who the next President of the United States will be. -Rev. Samuel Rodriguez

If the early weeks of the 2008 campaign show anything it's that traditional voting blocs can't be counted upon in either party. The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is at the nexus of some of these sought-after voters — Hispanics and evangelicals. And he is at the center of the national discussion about two equally contested issues — faith-based politics and immigration. It's no wonder that THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE dubbed Rodriguez "the Karl Rove of Latino evangelical strategy."


Sam Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. The NHCLC serves 15 million Hispanic Christians and advocates for 40 million Hispanics in respect to family, political, spiritual and socio-economic empowerment. NEWSWEEK named him one of the Top 12 People to Look For in 2008.

Rodriguez earned his Masters degree in Educational Leadership in Agile Organizations from Lehigh University. Currently he in pursing a doctoral degree in Organizational Management and Behavior. His ministerial experience has ranged from functioning as a prominent youth leader, a worldwide evangelist, founding pastor of Third Day Worship Centers and leadership of NHCLC.

Rodriquez has been featured by numerous media outlets and currently blogs for THE WASHINGTON POST's OnFaith feature as well as on Latino Issues at the NHCLC site.

Rev. Rodriguez has written and spoken widely on the issue of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. He frequently meets and consults members of both parties in Congress and participates in White House meetings on social justice, Latino and values issues.

Guest photo by Robin Holland.

Published on February 8, 2008.

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References and Reading:
Latino Trends
Read Rev. Rodriguez's blog at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Web site. The site also provides streaming video of several of Rev. Rodgriguez's sermons.

Samuel Rodriguez: OnFaith
Read Rev. Rodriguez's blog entries on THE WASHINGTON POST's On Faith blog.

"The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez: Ministering to the Needs of His People," NEWSWEEK, Arian Campo-Flores, December 31, 2008
NEWSWEEK's profile of "one to watch in 2008.

"Pastor dubbed the Karl Rove of Latino evangelical strategy," THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Margaret Ramirez, January 28, 2008

"The Call of Samuel," Tim Stafford, CHRISTIANITY TODAY, September 1, 2006.
Samuel Rodriguez wants to build a bridge between Hispanic and Anglo evangelicals.

RELIGION AND ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY: Hispanic Voters. October 6, 2006
The PBS show's coverage of Hispanic voters includes an extended interview with Samuel Rodriguez.

"Issues Start Rush to Vote by Hispanics," Julia Preston, THE NEW YORK TIMES, February 5, 2008.
"Spurred by the widespread crackdown on illegal immigration and by the contentious tone of the national immigration debate, Latinos are gearing up for Tuesday's voting with an eye toward making Hispanics a decisive voting bloc nationwide in November."

Latinos, religion and change: Minnesota Public Radio
"A new report from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life indicates that Hispanics are transforming the religious landscape in America, and that transformation may have political implications as well."

Moved by the Spirit; Hispanics Drawn to Festive Worship Fuel Rise of Charismatic Church Services (pdf)
by Tal Abaddy, SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL, May 27, 2007.

Pew Hispanic Center
"Founded in 2001, the Pew Hispanic Center is a nonpartisan research organization supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Its mission is to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the entire nation."

Religion Important, but Overlooked, Element in Immigration Debate, Experts Say
by Bob Allen, ETHICS DAILY, Sept. 20, 2007
"Religion has a major role to play in the outcome of immigration debate but is largely overlooked amid local tensions and failed efforts in Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform, three experts said in a telephone news conference Wednesday."

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Rev. Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, gives his perspective on the role faith is playing in this campaign season and his take on what's happening with the evangelical vote in the primaries.

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