We received this information Friday (August 27, 2010) in the form of a prayer request from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina....
One of our pastors in the Hispanic Network was arrested last Thursday. Hector Villanueva has a green card, a social security card, legal resident since the 1980s, and has been in the United States since he was three. He and his wife Martha, a US Citizen, have four children, and are in the process of adopting two foster children.
Hector is warm, engaging, and speaks fluent English. Recently, Hector applied for US citizenship. When he did this, a background check found an old conviction for trying to cash a bad check while homeless. Hector served his sentence and became a Christian 15 years ago, and has dedicated himself to a life of ministry. He pastors Iglesia Bautista la Roca in Siler City, but previously helped our CBFNC Hispanic Leader Coach Javier Benitez start Iglesia Bautista la Roca in Raleigh.
Any non-citizen with a prior conviction faces deportation, regardless if they have served their sentence or not. Because of this, authorities are planning to deport him. Church members were quoted as saying, "We love him. We need him." His wife Martha shares, "I need my husband home."
Hector has an immigration lawyer, who is petitioning on his behalf to be released on bond. Many of us have written character reference letters, but now we need your prayers. Please pray for Hector and his family in their time of need.
Here is the link to the WRAL story on Hector
, with a video interview with his wife Martha.
Thank you for your prayers,
Larry Hovis, Executive Coordinator
Linda Jones, Missions Coordinator
Laura Barclay, Social Ministries Coordinator
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina