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Editor’s note: This Presidential Perspective is an excerpt from Albert Reyes’ new book, The Jesus Agenda: Becoming an Agent of Redemp- tion, published by Believer’s Press.

My story of redemption began in the early 1930s on a farm near

Snyder, Texas. My paternal grandparents, José Maria Reyes and Francisca Rodriguez Reyes carved out a living with their nine chil- dren by picking cotton in the fields of West Texas as migrant workers. My father recounts the story of picking cotton all day long with the hopes of filling a 100-pound burlap sack of cotton for seventy-five cents pay and living off beans and tortillas three times a day. During one of those harvest seasons, a missionary/church planter gathered migrant workers and their families to hold evangelistic services. It was in those services that my paternal grandmother, Francisca Rodriguez Reyes, opened her heart to the good news of the gospel of salvation. She prayed to receive Jesus Christ as her savior and was baptized there in the watering hole used for the cows and horses on the farm. My grandfather also prayed to re- ceive Christ as his savior sometime later. Then one by one, each of my uncles and aunts came to saving faith in Jesus. The Reyes family settled in Corpus Christi, Texas and began attending Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana, the First Mexican Baptist Church of Corpus Christi. My father, Agustín Reyes, later married Gloria Garcia of Corpus Christi, and they began attending Primera. After moving to Southern California in the 1960s, we became members of Memorial Baptist Church. I remember the day I came home from church and asked my mother how I could know my sins were forgiven and how I might have eternal life. She shared her faith and showed me God’s plan for my salvation. I opened my heart to Jesus and my parents led me in a prayer to receive Christ as my savior at home. The next Sunday, I shared my new faith with the pastor and the church. About a year later I was baptized into the fellowship of Memorial Baptist Church of Rialto, California. My family returned to Corpus Christi in the early 1970s and we became members of my father’s home church at Primera Corpus. Dr. Rudy Hernández was pastor when we first arrived at Primera. His evangelistic zeal shaped my thinking about my responsibility

to share the good news of Jesus with friends and family. He was followed by Dr. Rudy Sánchez as pastor at Primera. At the age of 15, I answered a call to vocational ministry under Dr. Sánchez’s ministry. He immediately put me to work and asked me to lead the children’s service on Sunday mornings. By the time I was 16, he invited me to preach my first sermon at Primera. I remember Dr. Sánchez’s heart and passion for the entire community, beyond the congregation he served. He was focused on developing relationships with leaders of other faiths as well as business and political leaders. He saw himself as their pastor, too. After I left Corpus Christi for college and seminary, I later came to appreciate Dr. Sánchez’s passion for the least of these, the alienated, the marginalized, the oppressed, the orphan, and the widow. He seemed to always be concerned with the neglected, the under-privileged, and the economically challenged. His passion for the poor and his calling to the community-at-large continues to shape my thinking and ministry today. I can see the story of redemption written all over my

past, my calling, my journey in ministry, my men- tors, pastors, and coaches, and my responsibility today as the leader of a vast ministry. Unlike many of his generation, Dr. Sánchez saw the connection be- tween evangelism and social ministry.

My own educational experience at Angelo State University,

Southwestern Seminary, and Andrews University provided a seamless mosaic of God’s redemptive activity in my life and development as a servant. Experiences in business, ministry, higher education administration, and missions all reflect God’s weaving and shaping of my life into his redemptive plan for me and those in my circle of influence. I live with the conviction that I was blessed to bless others, saved to share with others, and redeemed for a pur- pose in God’s story of redemption. My story is part of God’s story of redemption. I have become an agent of redemption; called into service by Jesus my Redeemer!

Albert L. Reyes, President and CEO Buckner International Visit my blog at

4 Buckner Today • SUMMER 2015 ISSUE

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