Julio Crespo received his call to ministry in 1997 while serving in the Air Force in Valdosta, Ga. He was born in Dover, N.J., but grew up in Aguada, Puerto Rico and joined the Air Force following high school graduation in 1992. He was saved in 1994 while stationed in Elmendorf AFB in Alaska.

Following his call to ministry, he returned to Puerto Rico and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in electronic technology. His first ministry assignment was planting a Hispanic Church in Atlanta. After he finished his Master of Divinity degree at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky., he moved to Oklahoma to be pastor of Iglesia Bautista Central in Oklahoma City.

In addition to serving as pastor of the Hispanic church, Crespo is also working as the Hispanic SEND Oklahoma Catalyst, training, recruiting and motivating churches to plant other healthy multiplying churches. He was recently given the responsibility to lead the Midwest U.S. as a Hispanic Champion for the North American Mission Board, where the goal is to assist Hispanic churches to start church planting residencies to plant more churches in the Midwest.

At his Oklahoma City church, Crespo has been involved in training 22 church planters through the residency program.

“We also commissioned our first International Mission Board missionary and sent out one of our pastors to plant a church in Paraguay,” Crespo said.

Iglesia Bautista Central has a street preaching ministry, a hospitality ministry and trains church members to evangelize where they are working, going to school or participating in recreation activities.

“In addition, we have a food bank ministry and a translation ministry that covers hospitals, court and foster care,” Crespo pointed out. “Out of the church, we are serving the Midwest to help start a church planting movement. We are expecting to start new residencies for Hispanic church planters throughout the Midwest with Send Network Español.”

Crespo and his wife, Jamilie, have four children, Jaziel, Ezekiel, Immanuel and Odeily, and three grandchildren, Liam, Sebastian and Solomon.