Latino Minister Fires Up Ebenezer on King Day

Latino Minister Fires Up Ebenezer on King Day


Atlanta (CNN) – In all the 45 years of a commemorative service on the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., there had never been a Latino delivering the keynote address.

That changed Monday as the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez took the podium and belted out a sermon that would have surely made King proud. His message was sown together with the language of faith and justice:

“Justice is not the purpose of big government. Justice is the passion of a big God,” he told the crowd at Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta.

“Justice is not a political term to be exploited but a prophetic term to be lived out.”

For Rodriguez, an evangelical minister and the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the invitation to speak in King’s church on the day America reserves to honor its greatest civil rights activist is a lifelong dream come true.