Rev. Miriam Méndez
The American Baptist Churches of New Jersey
The Rev. Miriam Méndez is the Executive Minister and Senior Regional Pastor for the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey. She is a native New Yorker and Puerto Rican who enjoys a long history with American Baptist Churches USA. She has been shaped by over 20 years of leadership in pastoral ministry, regional work, teaching and mentoring, and community leadership. Rev. Mendez has served on all levels of the pastorate from interim to lead pastor, which gave her unique insight into the complexities of pastoral ministry. For fifteen years, she served as adjunct faculty at George Fox Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, where she taught spiritual leadership, reconciliation, and prayer.
Rev. Mendez is committed to the spiritual formation and leadership development of young people and empowering leaders and congregations to build Christ-centered communities that will serve locally, regionally, and globally.
Rev. Mendez holds dear to our American Baptist values such as inclusion across cultural and ethnic lines, seeking justice, and the importance of mission and evangelism. She welcomes the theological diversity that lives within the ABC family. Working in cross-cultural communities has prepared her to serve and lead in a way that facilitates accountability, honesty, and support to praise God and bless those who are working together. She is grateful and committed to the work in God’s reign and to the call of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Edgardo M. Caraballo
Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico
From a young age Rev. Edgardo M. Caraballo had different positions in his church as youth ministry president, counselor, deacon, president of the evangelism ministry and Bible school teacher, process in which the Lord called him to be a pastor. He stood out in the Union of Young Baptists of Puerto Rico, occupying various positions and on the Board of Directors of the Baptist Churches of Puerto Rico. Represented the region of Puerto Rico in the Hispanic Baptist National Caucus, ABCUSA.
In January 2003, he was assigned to lead the Almácigo Baptist Mission in Yauco, PR. In 2007 he was endorsed as a pastor by the Baptist Churches of PR. For three years he was a member of the associate pastoral ministry of the First Carolina Baptist Church, he was working in the areas of chaplaincy, new members and youth ministry. In 2012 he was called as the General Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Canóvanas and administrator of the Baptist Academy Sotera Sánchez. It was in this church that he was ordained to the Holy Ministry. He is currently the Executive Minister of the Baptist Churches of Puerto Rico.
Edgardo has an Associate Degree (magna cum laude) in Physical Therapy from the University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus. In addition, he has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management, graduating cum laude, and also he has a Master's Degree in Divinity from the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico.
He is married to Lilybeth Rodriguez with whom he had two children, Karina Nicole and Edgardo Manuel.