BETHANY, W.Va. – The Reverend Dr. Juan Antonio Rodriguez, a 1979 Bethany graduate and Regional Minister of the Florida Disciples Regional Church, will be the featured speaker for the annual Bethany College Baccalaureate Service to be held Friday, May 15, at 6 p.m. in Commencement Hall.
The service is a part of Commencement Weekend at Bethany College. Commencement is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 18 in the Tilock Amphitheater in the Pennington Quadrangle.
“With our strong ties to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), dating back to our founding, it is fitting to have Rev. Rodriquez, a national leader in the church, join us for this event,” said Bethany College President Dr. Scott D. Miller.“It will be an honor to welcome Rev. Rodriguez back to Bethany to speak to the class of 2015.”
Rodriquez and Rev. Guy Waldrop, Executive Director of The Council of Colleges and Universities of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), will receive honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees at the service.
Prior to serving as Regional Minister, which began in January, 2012, Rodriguez was the organizing pastor of Iglesia del Pueblo-Hope Center in Hammond, Indiana, for 30 years. The church, now a predominantly Latino multi-cultural congregation, has become a growing urban ministry center seeking to serve its diverse community. From 1986 to 1992, Rodriguez simultaneously served as pastor for the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Hammond, Indiana.
He has also served as a pastoral psychotherapist intern and as an adjunct professor for field education at McCormick Theological Seminary.
Rodriguez was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethany College, and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.
Rodriguez has been married to Sonia Colon, a life-long Disciple leader, for 37 years.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.