The Racial Ethnic Council (REC) is a leadership body formed by representatives from each of the Racial Ethnic groups across Mennonite Church USA. The REC meets yearly with the Executive Board and/ or the EB moderator providing the invaluable perspective of people of color across the denomination on issues and decisions that impact people of color. The REC works together to voice common concerns and ideas that advance equitable access to church programs and resources. It also works with congregations and conferences (by invitation), providing perspective, insight and accompaniment into ministry initiatives and decision-making.
In addition the REC connects the distinct Racial Ethnic bodies across Mennonite Church USA – providing a space for building relationships, leadership development and carrying together the overlapping work of each of the distinct Racial Ethnic groups.
Members of the Racial Ethnic Council
Iglesia Menonita Hispana
Pastor Guadalupe Aguilar was born in Brownsville, Texas where he still lives with Yolanda, his wife of 50 years. He is lead pastor at Iglesia Menonita Rey de Gloria in Brownsville. A Retired teacher, and father of 4, Pastor Aguilar has been very active in the Brownsville community and South Central Mennonite Conference since the joined the Mennonite church in 1984. He still pastors the church and is the Regional Conference Minister for South Texas where he works closely with the undocumented and the UCIM (Unidad Cristiana de Iglesias Menonitas) community.
African Belizean Carribbean Mennonite Mission Association (ABCMMA)
Born in Nigeria West Africa to the family of Da Samuel D. Pam (deceased) and Ngo Vou Pam, Grace is the 5th of nine children, Grace has been happily Married to Pastor Chuwang R. Pam for 32 years and are blessed with 3 children Kaneng, Rwang and Pam.
Grace received her Elementary and Secondary Education and an AA Degree in Town Planning and Civil build Engineering in Nigeria, she received a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Argosy University Orange County California. Grace has Christian Bible vocational training from Nigeria Mission for Christ bible school. Grace is Bi-Vocational currently working with McKinley Children’s Center San Dimas California as a Child Counselor and Co-Pastoring Los Angeles Faith Chapel with her husband.
Grace immigrated to the United States of America in 1994 with her Husband and 3 children. Since arriving the US, they have been fully engaged with Pastoring Los Angeles Faith Chapel And a vibrant mission to skid row Los Angeles With salvation in Christ Jesus and the Vision of Reaching the lost, hurt, hopeless with the Gospel of Salvation in Christ Jesus bringing Healing and Restoration by the Power of the Holy Spirit And the Mission to the Homeless Providing Housing, social services and Counseling on Vocational skills.
Los Angeles Faith Chapel has been a member church of the Pacific Southwest MENNONITE Conference since 1998, Grace has had the honor of participating and serving the Conference, on Camp KEOLA Board, District Elder to local churches and relates very well with conference churches. Grace has served in leadership search committees for Conference minister. Grace has been passionately involved with west-coast Mennonite Central Committee festival of sale since year 2000 and currently serving as a west coast Board member, Grace is an Officer with the ABCMMA constituency group and represents the organization at IRRC of the Mennonite Church U S and the Constituency Leadership Counsel CLC.
Femi Fatunmbi is the outgoing Moderator of Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference and of the representative of African, Belizean & Caribbean Mennonite Mission Association on Racial/Ethnic Council of Mennonite Church USA. He is both a church planter and the Senior Pastor of Royal Dominion International Church in Los Angeles, California. Pastor Femi has served in various capacities within the larger church. He is a writer with three published on demand books. He is married to Pastor Mrs. Sade Fatunmbi with four children, two girls and two boys living in Niagara Falls New York.
African American Mennonite Association (AAMA)
Bishop L.W. Francisco III
Bishop L.W. Francisco, III is the senior pastor of Calvary Community Church in Hampton, Virginia, and presiding bishop of Calvary Covenant Ministries, Inc., an organization which provides spiritual oversight and counsel, as well as ministerial and administrative support to churches throughout the United States and abroad. He has a passion for seeing individuals continually live fulfilled and productive lives that will positively impact their communities and the world. His message is cutting-edge, humorous and relevant for today’s generation. Excellence is at the forefront of what he lives and teaches.
Bishop Francisco also serves as President of the African American Mennonite Association (AAMA).
He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad. As a result, he has had the privilege of establishing relationships by offering support and spiritual guidance to churches in West and South Africa as well as Jamaica.
Francisco earned a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry from International Bible College & Seminary in Independence, Mo., and a Master of Arts as well as a Doctorate of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology in Manassas, Va. Bishop Francisco is the author of Breaking the Chains of Limitations, God’s Formula for Productive Faith, The Needs of the Male Man, The 21st Century Man, How to Succeed in Changing Times, Get The Hell Out! How to Gain The Kingdom Mentality and Begin Living an Abundant Life, and his latest title Dating and Relating: Friends with Benefits (released in May 2013 by St. Paul Press).
Bishop Francisco is married to Dr. Natalie A. Francisco. They have been married for over thirty years and are the parents of three beautiful daughters: Nicole, Lesley and Lauren.
Indonesian Mennonite Association (IMA)
Virgo Handojo is an educator and a tentmaker. His experience includes more than 30 years in pastoral ministry as a church planter and pastoral trainer and since 1992 as senior pastor of Grace Indonesian Christian Fellowship at Sierra Madre, CA. He serves on the board of the US Mennonite Central Committee and the Racial Ethnic Council in the Mennonite Church USA. He is a Professor of Behavioral Sciences at California Baptist University, Riverside, CA. He lives in Pasadena, CA with his wife Jeanne and his two children.
Native Mennonite Ministries (NMM)
Carol Roth, serves at the Staff Leader for Native Mennonite Ministries of MCUSA. She has worked in the court system for her tribe and currently is working with people of disabilities. She with her husband, Mark have 3 children.
Asian Mennonite Ministries (AMM)
Jonah Yang and his family reside in Minnesota; all the while he is currently attending Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary pursuing his Masters of Arts in Christian Formation. Yang has been a pastor since 2010 with Mennonite Church USA (MCUSA) and has previously served as the President of Hmong Mennonite Churches Mission for four years. Throughout his career with MCUSA, he and his wife, Memee, have started eight missions to Thailand and Laos serving Hmong communities and have assisted three churches in developing foundations. Born and raised in Southeast Asia, Yang and his wife were eager to share the Mennonite perspective with the Hmong community. His mission is to continuously share the Anabaptist history to the Hmong as both histories interrelate with one another.