Spotlight Story

14 September 2022

Pastor Almanidia Velasco: Learning to Build a Resilient Ministry

Category: Spotlight Story

Born in Sanger and raised in Parlier, California, Pastor Almanidia was instilled from a young age the power of community. Her family loved being involved in the community and took pride in the small agricultural town.

From a young age, Almanidia knew that she wanted to dedicate her life to pastoral work. She came from a family of pastors who had been in ministry for generations. To her, her biggest inspiration came from her grandmother who went to bible school. From that moment, she felt the calling in her heart. It was a calling from God that was placed at a really young age for her - she knew this is where she needed to be.

However, she did not want to be a pastor until her third year of school. Prior to the change of heart, she felt her calling to be a missionary. Through different experiences and prayer, she finally decided to turn to pastoral work and felt it change her way of thinking and seeing the efforts of a pastor.

From that moment on, Pastor Almanidia has served as a pastor for her community because she learned how to love through the power of the written word and God.

“My first love is God, my family, my community, and my church family. I always try to show love and compassion to others.”

In the spring of 2021, her grandmother passed and Almanidia felt her world drastically change. She began to feel a bland moment in her life and felt her foundation shake. Pastor Almanidia felt she could no longer lead her church effectively.

For various years, she had heard about Hispanic Access from different friends and mentors from bible school but never got around to looking into the resources they had for pastors. One day, Christine Tamara reached out to her and invited her to apply to be part of the Hispanic Leadership Network.

Since joining the third cohort of the Hispanic Leadership Network, Pastor Almanidia has felt her ministry come back in full force. She learned from her peers that loss affects everyone and carrying the torch can be a burden to carry when not being able to grieve like others. Every webinar, she felt she came back stronger.

“From participating in the different webinars and trainings, I learned to shake off what I was going through and seguir para adelante,” she shared.

Her grandmother’s death made her pause and think, what type of legacy do I want to leave? She knew deep inside she wanted to make an impact in her congregation and community. Now, she strives to bring those same trainings to leaders of her church to help them heal and restore.

“Hispanic Access and the Hispanic Leadership Network have been a blessing in my life and I hope I can inspire others to have the resources they need to heal and thrive.”

Hispanic Access is inspiring, training, and working with leaders like Pastor Almanidia Velasco, who have a stake in their community and have the drive for positive change. To help support and continue this work, please consider making a Charitable Donation

About Us

Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

Phone: (202) 640-4342

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