Vargas prepares to retire
from long MBC service
JEFFERSON CITY—The Dec. 31 retirement from full-time ministry on the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) staff by Mauricio Vargas has caused him to reflect on his work in multicultural church planting since 1987.
Vargas, a native of El Salvador, remembered how Missouri was quite Anglo in terms of its Missouri Baptist worship when he first came to the Baptist Building.
“Missouri was an area where they needed language work,” he said. “So we came when the ground was ready, and we started running, and we didn’t stop until 21 years later.”
A big part of his legacy is that Missourians now worship in 30 different languages.
Vargas earned his bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Ark., and his master’s in religious education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He planted a church in New Orleans and another in Baton Rouge, La., before moving to North Carolina to help plant churches and lead mission groups.
After serving as a regional team leader and coordinator of multicultural initiatives in Missouri, Vargas was appointed in 2004 to a gubernatorial commission on Hispanic affairs. And in 2005, he received the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Hispanic Church Planting Lifetime Award in suburban Nashville, Tenn.
Vargas will go on working part-time for the MBC in January as coordinator of the convention’s El Salvador partnership, guiding teams of Missouri Baptist leaders into his homeland.