© Carlos Padilla, June 2019



Christian leadership in Spain goes back to the times of Paul, who mentions in the Bible his intention to visit the Iberian Peninsula, roman territory. His leadership was leaving his mark of his patriarchal character of conquering the world for Christ in Spain. From its paternal loving character, the church would move to a medieval stoicism of military implacable bishops. Cisneros was the spiritual counsellor of the queen Elizabeth, who showed character and wisdom different to the inquisitorial spirit that Casiodoro de Reina suffered, the monk patriarch of Spanish Protestantism after publishing “Confession of Christian Faith” and together with his group, be persecuted by leaders of the inquisition, implacable and without mercy, far from Christ, who only sought power and the authority of the position, even killing the loyal to Christ. The colporteur leader Julianillo, the more humble but who left a mark of a committed missionary and affable brother who gave his life for the church of Christ. Or George Borrow “the English” who thanks to his character and relationships with the high class, dedicated time to the gipsies translating the Gospel into slang for their love. Matamoros, from Málaga in the XIX and his association of mutual aid and to the sick. Then in the XX the Baptist establish churches and leave names like Samuel Vila who has educated the evangelical Spain together with Ernest Trenchard. José María Martínez legated to his son Pablo Martínez, both provide a foundation, an example of leadership in Spain, even José Pablo Sánchez, the TV leader follower of Billy Graham. But, what is today’s evangelical leadership in Spain missing for the church to grow, not divided in excluding denominations? Is there a lack of faith, prayer, doctrine, preparation, character, humbleness, vision, anointing of the Holy Spirit, or is there hope?


Possible Apostolic Leadership in Spain

Spain appears twice in the plans of Paul in the Scriptures, specifically mentioned about his desire to visit it, exposed in his letter to the Romans 15:24 and 28. The influence of the spiritual leadership of the chosen apostle by Jesus to visit the known world must have impregnated the mission to Spain, forever. The, also called and known by the Romans as the limit of the West or finis terrae, would be the fulfilled destiny of Paul in his expansion of the Gospel, as we find in a letter from Clement of Rome to the Corinthians, according to the historian A. Rovira i Virgili, which also appears in the Fragment of Moratoria, from the II century. But Athanasius, John Chrysostom, Epiphanus and Geronimo’s, in the successive centuries accepted that Paul visited Spain. Whether he did or not, his influence as a charismatic leader left his mark, and the Spirit would take care of the fast expansion. It is accepted that the first churches were established in the Betica and Tarragona. From there, we find that in the IV century the Council of Granada denounced the moral problems of Christianity mixed with paganism. Soon the leadership of the church in Spain would suffer deviation but some brothers appeared, whom I will call proto reformers, like Prisciliano, bishop of Ávila who then in the year 380, due to his capacity of leadership, his erudition, his sharpness, dialectic ability and his ascetics commanded a group of seculars who formed congregations who were seeking the correct doctrine, for this they received persecution from Higinio, bishop of Córdoba. His cause got to such a point that he was executed for heresy by order of the emperor. But organized warship outside the church continued in Galicia and in western Spain, until the Council of Braga (561) eradicated it. Also in this period another leader stands out, also fervent for purity of doctrine and for his character was taken to be president of the Council of Nicaea against Aryanism, was Osio of Córdoba and showed brotherhood defending Athanasius, accused by Arian bishops. The period of Visigoth invasion already showed the deviation from the simple and holy character of the apostles to leave way to a deviated imposition of rites under a strong authority of the bishop, who imparted the Holy Spirit through baptism an without whom the believers could not have a relationship with God. The leadership of the church, to this point, had become an imposed needed dictatorship; sacraments and man commandments and the leaders were seen as executers of a human law who threatened with hell. After the pope of Rome and his supposed papal infallibility , the bishop were seen as such, proud and arrogant, not loving the church but their own popularity and authority, which soon would blend with politics, unifying all in the catholic kingdom. Where did that Christian leadership that loved the sheep remain, humble and servant of the church which efforts to follow the Master? In the book “The City of God” from Saint Augustine, his author, the last of the times of “the giants” left a complete guide that would impact Christianity about how to leader the Church of Christ, far from corruption in which it had fallen, and during the Middle Ages no other theologian would be cited more than him, the favourite author of the reformers. Maybe it was already so far that the Islamic invasion, seen by many as the divine punishment for such a deviation from the true faith, a before and after so that before the Reconquest, Spain would receive some leaders, even though catholic wanted to maintain the truth of Christ until the imposition appeared again under the despicable scour of the Inquisition.


The Catholic Medieval Leadership and the Inquisition

In Navas de Tolosa, in the year 1212, the Reconquest started officially after the great battle won by the troops of the Christian kings with the support of the pope. From there comes the great power reached by the medieval Catholic church. But the Spanish would go in masse, in peregrination to the monasteries founded by Fructuous of Braga, an isolated monk student of manuscripts and lover of the contemplative live which he changed at the end to go and reach the multitudes until Seville and Cadiz that was his charisma. Another leader who left his mark was King Alfonso X the Wise who impulse culture to Christian, Arab and Jewish people, giving an example to all the populations and setting the foundation of a united nation. To these cultures, the first great mystic of the Iberian Peninsula Ramón Llul dedicated, and evangelized in an abnegated and humble manner until his death by lapidating of his opposites. The Spanish Catholic Church would submit to the dictations of the Vatican, like many kings would do. The modern era opened then with the reign of the Catholic Kings. Elizabeth and Ferdinand believed in the unity of Spain only as catholic, expelling Muslims and finally Jews. After that they would concentrate in what became the discovery of America on the 12th of October 1492, the same year of the expelling of the Jews. But before that it had to counterpoints, a good and wise Christian, confessor of the queen herself, cardinal Cisneros; and the scour of the Inquisition which was established in Spain in 1478 with the approval of pope Sixto IV. Cisneros reformed the life of the church against the moral relaxation of the clergy, one of the points of the Protestant Reform, but also he focused on providing the Bible in the original tongs and Latin, his famous Poliglota Complutense, a place shared with the university, and the university of Alcala de Henares, which continues until today, obtaining from pope Alexander VI a Bulled Letter to build the until today known school of “Saint Ildefonso” where students would read the teaching of the Faculties of Theology, Canonical Law and Arts, as well as Medicine. Due to his high loyalty to the crown he had to rule Spain after the death of Elizabeth until Charles V would undertake the throne. His defect was to tolerate the Inquisition. But Erasmus would introduce his humanist influence through the court of Elizabeth and Cisneros himself, thanks to the reforming spirit of the cardinal, with reformed doctrines that would impact Alfonso and Juan de Valdes. As martyr leaders we cannot forget to mention those who suffered in the autos of faith of such vil and cruel institution, and be inspired by their courage and love for Christ, gifts that we are not used to in the western world today: Juan Ponce de Leon, Juan Gonzalez “the preacher”, four Sevillian women, Fernando Fernandez, Juan de Leon (monk in the Monastery of Saint Isidoro del Campo in Seville), Francisca Chaves, the medial doctor Cristobal Losada, Cristobal Arrellano, Garcia Arias “the white teacher”, doctor Juan Egidio (canon preacher at the cathedral of Seville) and doctor Constantine de la Fuente (canon preacher of the cathedral of Seville). Cisneros was the third general inquisitor of the kingdom, reformed the ways of the inquisition and changed the worthless officials, protecting the falsely accused and their families, like Antonio de Nebrija, humanist and translator who even worked in the Poliglota Complutense Bible.

It continues and finishes in the next delivery HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP IN SPAIN II which includes:

The Protestant Leadership and The Bible in Spanish

The Evangelical Leadership Until Today




  • For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Prophecy of Isaiah 9:6.

  • I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6. Words of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.
  • You want to know God, but you know the way is not through organized religion, nor by sects, nor by society. The world has failed. ...I pray for them;  I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours... John 17:9. Prayer of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.

  • If you really seek God, begin today the new life though the true hand of God. The Gospel is the message for all nations, no matter their race, their origins or culture. God is the saviour of those from humanity who open their hearts to Him.

  • ...Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  1Corinthians 15:58.

   Copyright © Yahshua.net All rights reserved.  At Yahshua.net  we authorize using these texts, by previous request, without altering the content and quoting the source.