Billy Graham Center

Interview with Rafael Maldonado, Jr. - Collection 395

[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent. Some or all of this collection can be borrowed through interlibrary loan. ]

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Rafael Maldonado, Jr.

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

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)

Brief Description.

Interview with Maldonado, pastor in a small store front church, Hope Christian Fellowship, in Chicago's Puerto Rican community. He describes his conversion; education and training for ministry; the church's holistic evangelistic outreach to his community, including a school, food pantry and thrift shop; Chicago's Hispanic communities; church planting; congregational life; worship and leadership; urban ministry; adaptation of the Gospel to the Puerto Rican communitiy's context, and that community's social conditions. Approximate time period covered:1952-1988.

Collection 395 [May 30, 2000]
Maldonado, Rafael Jr.; 1952-
Interview; 1988

3 Reels of Audio Tapes


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.


Full name: Rafael Maldonado, Jr.
Birth date:
October 31, 1952
Birth place:
Chicago, Illinois
Marital Status:
Married to Teresa

Moody Bible Institute, graduating in 1982
Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE) Program
Training Apprenticeship for Urban Ministry, Calvin Theological Seminary

1983- Pastor of Hope Christian Fellowship, Chicago, Illinois

Scope and Content

Rafael Maldonado, Jr., was interviewed by Paul A. Ericksen on June 30, 1988, at Hope Christian Fellowship. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1952 to 1988. Time elapsed in minutes and seconds is recorded to the left of the topics discussed in the interview. The index is keyed to the cassette copy and not to the reel-to-reel original.

T1 - side 1
00:00 Start of tape
00:40 Introduction of interview
01:00 Birth, childhood, attendance at Catholic parochial schools, family nominal Catholics, cultural religious practices and language
09:00 Conversion as adult, spiritual growth
12:30 Call to become a pastor, attendance at Moody Bible Institute first in evening school and then full time in 1979, burden for urban Hispanic ministry, especially second generation Hispanics
19:45 Spirit and Truth Fellowship Church ministry experience under Manuel Ortiz, church growth
21:00 Cultural community conversion: had left Hispanic culture and then rediscovered and embraced Hispanic culture and values
26:30 Cultural differences result in different social problems, issues of justice and how Scripture would deal with Hispanic community problems
29:45 Cell groups from the Spirit and Truth Fellowship break off and form new churches, identification of pastoral area, perception of what pastors should be like, pastoring the Hope Christian Fellowship Church
34:15 Completion of the SCUPE (Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education) program, Training Apprenticeship for Urban Ministry through Calvin Theological Seminary offered education without being uprooted
37:00 Misconceptions the Anglo community has about Hispanics, such as (1) that they are all alike when in fact there are three distinct emigrant groups: Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Cuban, which differ culturally, politically, in citizenship, etc., (2) that there is no religious fervor, although most believe in the existence of God, and (3) that God is not at work in the Hispanic community because of the crime, violence, etc.
43:00 Relations between various Hispanic groups
44:00 End of side 1

T1 - side 2
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:15 Overlap from side 1
01:00 Class and nationalistic differences and issues in Hispanic communities, affects on economics, financial success, education, family, and on leadership development, few trained pastors
10:45 Relationship of Puerto Rican community with black community
13:30 Major problems include lack of education, lack of political representation, young people disenchanted with Christianity, having to compete in Anglo institutions where culture is looked down upon, poor self perception
20:45 Discrimination at Moody, Hispanic groups set up their own schools
22:30 End of tape

T2 - side 1
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:45 Education at Moody did not prepare for dealing with urban community, need to contextualize the Bible in addressing issues, see gospel as holistic, touching all aspects of life, not just the spiritual
05:15 Success not in numbers, but in doing God's will, addressing needs of individuals, thrift shop, grammar school
08:00 View of school and church by community, charismatic movement in Catholic church, evangelistic work in the Puerto Rican community
13:00 Affects on evangelism: hopelessness, functional illiteracy, continual poverty, gangs, drugs
19:00 Start with self, then minister to physical needs which opens doors, networking
22:30 Mass evangelism carried out mostly by Pentecostals and Baptists, but it needs better follow-up
25:30 Strengths and weaknesses of church, typical Sunday service, church music
43:00 Typical pastor's week
44:15 End of side 1

T2 - side 2
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:05 Continuation of pastor's typical week, the food pantry, make-up of congregation
09:15 Process of membership in the church, church discipline
16:00 End of tape

T3 - side 1
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:45 Pastor and deacons constitute the main leadership of the church, requirements to be a pastor or deacon
04:30 Role of women in church contrasted with Pentecostal churches, Hispanic community largely patriarchal, importance of extended family
09:30 Functions of pastors, expectations for pastor's wife
13:45 Outreach on part of congregation, visitation, relationship between school and church, description of food pantry
19:15 Affiliation with and assistance from Christian Reformed Church, relationship with other Hispanic pastors
24:00 Community commends church for school, thrift shop, food pantry, reaching out to poor, second-generation Hispanics; criticisms of the church involve women's dress, movies
31:00 Hazards of pastoring in urban area: physical safely, rearing children in area of gangs and crime, discouragement at slow rate of change, getting callous to needs of people
35:00 Enjoyment of knowing that God's will is being done, seeing a difference in individual lives; difficulty of dealing with people of low self-esteem and seeing financial struggle and hurting of community
40:15 Future leadership, time spent with family, view of church's future
44:00 End of side 1

T3 - side 2
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:15 Overlap from side 1. Future of the church continued
02:45 Reaction of family to conversion, work as a pastor
04:00 End of tape


The materials for this collection were received by the Center in June 1988 from Rafael Maldonado, Jr.0

Accession 88-75
June 6, 1995
Janyce H. Nasgowitz

Accession 89-130, 89-123
Type of material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, approximately 65 minutes. One side. Interview with Rafael Maldonado, Jr., by Paul Ericksen on June 30, 1988. Discussion of his birth, childhood, conversion, attendance at Moody Bible Institute, completion of the SCUPE program, education under Calvin Theological Seminary's Training Apprenticeship for Urban Ministry, the Spirit and Truth Fellowship Church under Manuel Ortiz, the three distinct Hispanic communities and their problems and relationships.

T2 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, approximately 60 minutes. One side. Continuation of interview with Rafael Maldonado, Jr., by Paul Ericksen on June 30, 1988. Discussion of preparation by Moody for urban ministry, pastoring the Hope Christian Fellowship, needs of individuals, thrift shop, school begun by church, evangelistic work in the Puerto Rican community, strengths and weaknesses of church, typical Sunday service, typical pastor's week.

T3 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, approximately 58 minutes. One side. Interview with Rafael Maldonado, Jr., by Paul Ericksen on June 30, 1988. Discussion of church leadership, requirements for pastor and for deacons, relationship with other Hispanic pastors, hazards of pastoring in an urban area, community commendation of church, enjoyment of being in God's will, the best and worst about being a pastor in the Hispanic community, future leaders, free time, church's future.

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