Longtime Clovis pastor appointed to state Baptist council

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Pedro Escobar grew up in El Salvador and came to the United States in 1978 at the age of 30 to follow God’s call to pursue the ministry.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Longtime Clovis pastor Pedro Escobar has been selected to join the Baptist Convention of New Mexico staff as its new regional Spanish strategist for eastern New Mexico.

Escobar, husband of 44 years and father of four, said he is excited about the new position.

“I feel honored with this new position,” he said.

Escobar said the convention sought him out for the position and appointed him on April 20 during a BCNM executive board session.

John Loudat, editor of the BCNM’s journal the Baptist New Mexican, said Escobar was appointed by the board in an unanimous vote.

“It’s certainly a blessing when someone of his caliber, someone as qualified as he is, is in our state,” he said.

Loudat said Escobar has been a key pastor in New Mexico since coming to Clovis in 1981. His work with churches in the state and with Hispanic cultures makes him qualified for the job, Loudat said.

“The fact that he knows Spanish Baptist work in New Mexico and the number of Spanish cultures that need to be reached are both huge qualifications,” Loudat said.

Escobar’s position as regional Spanish strategist is jointly funded by the North American Missionary Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and the BCNM, Loudat said.

Escobar said his job includes many duties, but centers mainly around helping Hispanic Baptist churches that don’t have a pastor.

“A large part of the community here is Hispanic,” Escobar said. “My purpose is to help Hispanic families.”

Escobar, who was born and raised in El Salvador, said one of the biggest issues with Hispanic churches is the wide variety of cultures.

“They’re from different places, have different cultures and backgrounds and have different ways of doing things,” he said.

Escobar said he has the experience to help people from different cultures because he has lived in different countries and studied their different cultures.

“Each culture has its idiosyncrasies,” Escobar said.

Escobar has been the pastor at Iglesia Bautista Belen in Clovis for the past 13 years. Because his new position will require him to travel across eastern New Mexico, he left his position at the church.

“There’s no time to be a pastor as well,” he said. “I’ll have the opportunity to preach at different places during my work.”

Escobar came to the U.S. from El Salvador at the age of 30 in 1978.

He said God made it clear to him that he wanted him to pursue the ministry in the U.S.

“God has a special way of calling people and telling them where he wants them to go. It’s God’s plan,” he said.