Julio Crespo received his call to ministry in 1997 while serving in the Air Force in Valdosta, Ga. He was born in Dover, NJ, but grew up in Aguada, Puerto Rico and joined the Air Force after serving graduated from high school in 1992. He was rescued in 1994 while stationed at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska.
Following his call to the ministry, he returned to Puerto Rico and earned a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Technology. His first ministry was to plant a Hispanic church in Atlanta. After completing his Masters of Divinity at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, he moved to Oklahoma to serve as pastor of Iglesia Bautista Central in Oklahoma City.
In addition to serving as a Hispanic church pastor, Crespo also works as a SEND Oklahoma Hispanic Catalyst, training, recruiting, and motivating churches to plant other healthy, multiplying churches. He was recently given the responsibility of leading the American Midwest as Hispanic Champion for the North American Mission Board, whose goal is to help Hispanic churches start church planting residences to plant more churches in the Midwest.
At his church in Oklahoma City, Crespo has been involved in training 22 church planters through the residency program.
“We also commissioned our first missionary from the International Missionary Council and sent one of our pastors to plant a church in Paraguay,” Crespo said.
Iglesia Bautista Central has a street preaching ministry, hospitality ministry, and trains church members to evangelize where they work, attend school, or participate in recreational activities.
“Additionally, we have a Ministry of Food Banks and a Ministry of Translation which covers hospitals, courts and foster families,” Crespo pointed out. “Outside of the church, we serve the Midwest to help start a church planting movement. We plan to launch 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.