Billy Graham Center

Interview with Jose E. Hernandez - Collection 474

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions


An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

List Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)

Brief Description
Interview with Hernandez in which he discusses his conversion; mission work in Spain; ministry in the jails and prisons of Miami, Florida; jail conditions; the work of the South Florida Jail Ministries; the work of the Agape Women's Homes; church/state relations; emotional and organizational problems in Christian ministry.

Collection 474
[September 11, 2000]
Hernandez, Jose E.; 1952
Interview; 1993

Audio Tape

Restrictions: None


Full name: Jose E. Hernandez

Birth date: December 13, 1952, in Havana, Cuba

    Marital Status: Married
    Children: 2 sons

Conversion: Late teens


    Florida Bible College, B.A. Theology
    North Florida Baptist Theological Seminary, M.A. Ministries
    North Florida Baptist Theological Seminary, D .M .Ministries

    1974-1976 Athletic director, Little River Elementary School
    1975-1978 Pastor, Iglesia Cristiana Espana, Miami, Florida
    1978-1981 Independent missionary among college and university students in Grenada, Spain
    1981- Religious Coordinator for Metro Dade Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - oversaw and developed religious programming for all inmates of all religious backgrounds. Coordinated the community volunteers within the eight jail facilities of the county and ministered to the department personnel whenever necessary.
    1982- Founder and executive director, South Florida Jail Ministries, Inc.
    Ca. 1986- Founder and executive director, Agape Women's Homes, halfway houses for women struggling with drug addiction

Other significant information: Rev. Hernandez was born in Cuba. His family immigrated to the United States in 1961. Parents divorced in 1971.

Scope and Content

Jose Hernandez was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on January 13,1993, at the offices of South Florida Jail Ministry. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1961-1993.

T1 (75 minutes). Recollections of his family leaving Cuba; Jose's search for meaning as a teenager in marijuana and LSD; hearing about Christ from a friend who was saved in prison; testing God for seven days; call to be a missionary to university students in Granada, Spain as an independent missionary; development of a mission work among Spanish college students; the nondenominational aspect of his mission; leaving Spain because of lack of financial support; difficulty of Spain as a mission field; Franco's government's support of the Catholic Church as state policy; lessons of Jose' experiences in Spain; Jose's wife's experiences in Spain and her support of him; the background to Jose's becoming a religious coordinator in Dade County jails in 1981; "it was a scary responsibility," description of the prison and jail populations; development of the position; winning the confidence of guards and staff; learning how to get volunteers involved; description of his program and its activities among inmates, families and parolees; crisis in the Evangelical church because they have become too comfortable and cold-hearted in their faith; administrative responsibilities; the necessity of multiplying himself through community involvement; combining the requirements of his duties as a county employee with his desire to lead people to Christ; demographics of the jail and prison population in metro Miami; influence of alcohol and other drugs on crime; demographics of the South Florida Jail Ministry volunteers; presenting the Gospel without raising denominational issues; friendly reception volunteers receive; ethnic groups in the jails; development of the Agape Women's Homes; turnover rates in prisoners; difficulties caused by lack of funds for the South Florida Jail Ministry; the Christian love volunteers have for inmates; hopes for the future of SFJM; attitudes of prison staff toward the ministry; the need to love Christ and love the message; the difficulties of therapy for women addicts and ex-inmates; failure and apathy of the church in making the Gospel real; jealousy and burnout in Christian ministry


The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Jose Hernandez in January 1993.

Accession: 93-5

September 11, 2000
Robert Shuster

Accession: 93-5
Type of Material: Audio Tapes
The following items are located in the Audio Tape file.

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, 75 minutes, one side only. Interview of Rev. Jose Hernandez by Paul Ericksen on January 13, 1993, at Rev. Hernandez's office in Miami, Florida. Original was recorded on a cassette tape which was then transferred to a reel.

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Last Revised: 9/11/00
Expiration: indefinite