© Carlos Padilla, July 2019


Continuation of History of Christian Leadership in Spain I

Protestant Leadership and the Bible in Spanish

Antonio del Corro tells that Protestantism in Spain started in Seville in 1540 with the preaching of the already mentioned doctor Egidio, theologian who studied in the University of Alcalá de Henares under the name of Juan Gill, cannoning of the Cathedral of Seville, and to whom Constantino Ponce would provide with the prohibited books of European Protestantism. Ponce was appointed chaplain and preacher of Emperor Charles V and author of Summa de Doctrina Christiana, until he was accused by the Inquisition. Many had gone to Geneva, from Seville Cipriano de Valera and Juan Pérez de Pineda who gathered with Casiodoro de Reina. Reina,  Valera y Corro are the three great. Reina and Valera are the leaders, Hieronymite monks  from the Monastery of Saint Isidoro del Campo in Seville, for the translation of the Bible with their name, but Antonio del Corro is going to offer such gifts of leadership to be taken into account, like his analytic mind capable of dismantling all the battery of deviated doctrines that he tells in his books, and in his target, king Felipe II to whom he would write a letter of exhortation with much respect, risking his own life before the corrupted papacy and clergy. His effort to provide all in language of the people is remarkable, so that everyone could know the truth and of the machinations of the ecclesiastic power in their lives. He did not only do that, he also wrote in Ambers letters for the brotherly love amongst the different groups of the emerging Protestantism making emphasis in the theology of the Bible, justice by faith, the Holy Supper, defence of religious freedom. His faith and humanist spirit and brotherly love are a great example for leaders of great influence.

The leadership gifts in a Hieronymus monk, his love for Truth and the Gospel, would provide that the complete Bible in Spanish would of Casiodoro de Reina would see the light in 1569 in Basil. There had been an Old Testament published translated by Jews in 1553 known as the Ferrara Bible, and versions of the New Testament in 1543 by Francisco de Enzinas and in 1556 by Juan Pérez de Pineda. Then, in 1602 Cipriano de Valera would revise the translation of Reina, resulting in the version used by the missionaries until the XX century to evangelize the Hispanic world, version Reina-Valera. The gifts of these leaders show a discipline capable of achieving being resolute in their work for the glory of God, even living in the way, under persecution, vision and faith for love to Christ and His beloved Church, wisdom, decision, and great courage and servant work that today, recently celebrated the V centenary of that did that the Holy Spirit guided, we enjoy reading and studying and with which many of us have converted to Christ. Those brave risked their lives and blessed us. Only one more current is to be mentioned as paralleled to the Reformation in Spain: Misticism, who's adalids were Juan de la Cruz and Teresa de Jesús. Their writings gave light to catholicism, prisoner of the Inquisition. Despite such a vast army of converts in Spain, of bishops, cardinals, priests, monks and laics, the cruel opposition and dictatorial from the Inquisition would eradicate the Reformation in Spain until the "second Reformation" in the XIX century with some tolerance, more light and religious freedom in both civil wars until, after franquism, the Constitution of 1978 would provide a legal frame of true freedom of worship in Spain, which would open the country to missionaries and of support to raise churches and resources for leaders and for the development of evangelism with the Bible.


Evangelical Leadership Until Today

Have evangelical leaders consolidated the “Five Solas” in the believing Spain? The truth is that Spain had a second reformation in the XIX century, but in the XX there are two fundamental events: law of religious freedom in 1967 and agreements between the state and the evangelical churches in 1992. However the evangelical leadership in Spain, since then and until today, instead of concentrating the light of the faith of the Bible in unity, it has dedicated to blurred in a lack of doctrinal clarity, many denominations and a lack of holiness and compromise, in other words of leadership. It is possible that the evangelical church in Spain has lost the train, that opportunity that it had of impacting Spain before what we live today, a bipolar society, social or idolatric Catholicism, and on the other hand laic and laicist, enemy of Christianity and that only seeks the pleasures of the flesh without limitations, for what it counts with the new laws in favour. If we look back, the regency of María Cristina, was when the first missionaries arrived to Spain as well as the Constitution of 1869, the first that includes in its titles the religious freedom. Methodist minister Rule, from Gibraltar managed to open the first protestant worship place in Spain. Followed by Graydon, serving the British Bible Society. The work of Borrow as colporteur The Bible in Spain, valid today, had an admirer who contributed to its diffusion in Manuel Azaña in 1921. Blanco White, Matamoros, Cabrera, Gulick and Fliedner, all had the support of countries such as England, United States and Germany. Many had Gibraltar as base. But remained the neogothic temple of Cabrera and over all the work of Fliedner, the residence school El Porvenir. The pastor, writer, editor and tireless fighter for the cause or religious freedom Samuel Vila had the opening of the temple in Tarrasa in 1925. After 1936 Spain enters in the national Catholicism of the dictatorship. But in 1957 José María Martínez, pastor of the church in street Verdi had the opening without the permit but having informed the governor of Barcelona, without opposition, with a capacity of 650 people. His work in Spain has become a reference, called at his recent death “hero of the faith” to what he would have opposed in life. Affable, simple, humble and with great love for the Lord Jesus Christ, he leaves an empty gap. FIEIDE would follow (Federation of Independent Evangelical Churches of Spain) until the Constitution of 1978 its articles 14, 16:1 and 27:1 guarantee religious freedom. In 1986 FEREDE was created (Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain) and to represent churches and evangelical denominations before the State; here we find will of unity in the Christian evangelical leadership that serves the church of Christ until today. Another Spanish evangelical leader is José Pablo Sánchez director of “Buenas Nuevas TV (Good News TV)” in 2 channel of Spanish TV. Great communicator, humble and simple character, pastor of the church Cristo Vive (Christ Lives) for 14 years and Decisión, link to Billy Graham in Spain, evangelism and Operación Niño de la Navidad (Christmas Child). The future of the efforts of the evangelical leadership in Spain sees how missionaries that were coming as “to the end of the earth” now sends new missionaries from those who converted by the work of the previous, converted into mission “form the ends of the earth” because “the Word of God will not return empty”.


Needs of the Different Leaderships and Three Solutions

“Some believe in prophecies and other don’t,

Some preach the faith and others love,

One talks in tongs and other shows off virtue,

And the world dies, dies, dies without seen the light”.


With the words of the song “Nada Especial (Nothing Special)” from the evangelical leader, pastor and singer Marcos Vidal, we can resume the problem of lack of focus and of leadership of the Spanish evangelical church in Spain. But some will say that, that is a critic about the work in a national level, when we can concentrate towards the local level. We have seen over the history of the Spanish evangelical leadership different styles according to the time. We will now concentrate in analyzing those that are more recurrent, their defects and three possible solutions. Instead of just accepting the syncretism of the plurality of all the denominations, we must focus in love “which is the perfect link”. We have left the primitive leadership behind, which use to pastor the church in a simple way at the beginning and had the supervision of the apostles, and even then they still had problems that we can read in the Letters. Heresies, flesh, lack of humbleness and of mortification of sin. Soon the church of the Middle Ages would corrupt in its abuse of power and the lack of the Bible. After the imposition to death in time of the Reformation. And in the last centuries the appearing of the different movements that exclude the previous, until the current denominations. If we observe Pentecostalism it usually points out the gifts and prosperity, and on the opposite the reformed to traditionalist, and in the mean time the church dies  and the testimony is short, missionaries receive less support because the energy is lost in internal disputes to all levels, elders and members. Some for not focusing to the sheep and others for wanting to rule before time, they offer an appalling testimony that goes far from the key: “Seek first the Kingdom of God”.

The three solutions are base on three gifts which every leadership must have: humbleness, mortification of sin and love. The local church, governed by a group of elders who supervise each other so that no one falls, nor abuses power, nor preaches heresy, is a warrant of a holy congregation in Christ. If they live in prayer, spend time together in mutual help and Bible study, are truly humble and truly give glory to God and love the brethren, they may truly bless their city and people of God that live there. Only this way they may confess their sins one another and seek strategies to mortify sin. But love is the king of leadership “...but the greater of all is love” (1 Co. 13:13), that Sanders calls the master peace of the Master based in Marc 10:43:44 to be a spiritual leader and servant. It is imperative that everyone looks in his heart if he so much loves Christ as to give his life for His beloved Church; if he so much loves the brother as to follow the model of Christ being a leader who is a servant, as He washed the feet of His disciples (John 13). Avoid the abuse of leaders that call themselves apostles who live from donations without serving the church through these filters of proof and capability, gifts, humbleness, holiness, erudition, following the model of 2 Peter 1:5-7 adding to faith, virtue, knowledge, self control, patience, mercy, brotherly kindness and love.


Our trip through the history of the evangelical leadership in Spain concludes with many advances and having seen what the first brothers experienced, the guide and legacy of the apostles and the fast deterioration of the priesthood who abused the power over the people of God. Got to the ignorance of the Bible, but love for the Word and the Church came in the Reformation. After that type of leadership of ferrea doctrine and Biblical base came the denominations and their lack of focus. Today, in Spain we count with FEREDE, have had leaders like José María Martínez and there is a generation of youth that prepare to succeed them like Will Graham. To them we must legate the spirit of loyal servant. Before closing we must provide three solutions to the government of the present church. Congregationalism provides democracy but blocks leaders of new vision. Presbyterianism blocks the people and only the elder rule. Episcopalism is for the bishops and monarchy is papal, but it can also be seen in Baptists, as Rick Warren tells. Two last references about spiritual leadership of servant that have been of blessing to me help me close. Billy Graham tells how he would submit to the approval of the leaders he served. Blanchard and Hodges conclude that the servant leader must place the kingdom of God first in all his work, which gives glory to God and provides a focus centred in the blessing of the church for which Christ died.



  • 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.

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