Concilio Latinoamericano de Nueva York, also known as Latin American Council of New York, is an organization of Spanish churches that follows the movement of Pentecostalism and has branched from the Pentecostal Church of God in Puerto Rico, which is now the Pentecostal Church of God, International Movement. The council started in 1951 under Rev. Abelardo Berrios and since then, has spread throughout the Spanish community with churches in the US, Central America, South America, the Caribbeans, and Europe.
The Latin American Council began in 1951 with the Late Rev. Abelardo Berrios pastoring the Latin American Pentecostal Church, known to the community as “The Synagogue (‘La Sinagoga’ in Spanish).” At that time, the church was a Jewish Synagogue located on E. 109th Street, between Park and Madison Avenue in New York City, NY and was still affiliated with the Pentecostal Church of God in Puerto Rico.
In 1952, the Latin American Bible Institute was inaugurated into the church. Rev. Abelardo Berrios made it clear that the Institute would be governed by the mother church in New York and constantly declared that the Bible Institute was “our school.” He selected notable teachers such as Felicita M. Serrano and Miguel Salas but due to his love to teach, Rev. Berrios not only was the Director of Bible Institute but also a teacher. A few years after the establishment of the Latin American Council, it was officially recognized. On December 1, 1954, the Latin American Council of the Pentecostal Church of God was recognized as a Religious Organization. Three years later, Rev. Abelardo Berrios had a two day meetings with officials of the Pentecostal Church of God of Puerto Rico on July 26 and 27, 1957. By the end of the meeting, it was decided that Rev. Abelardo Berrios and the Latin American Council of the Pentecostal Church of God separate from the Pentecostal Church of God of Puerto Rico and start a new under the Latin American Council of the Pentecostal Church of God Inc. Five months later on December 7, 1957, the Latin American Council of the Pentecostal Church of God Inc. was recognized by the State of New York.
Two years later in 1959, the church was relocated. The city of New York purchased the building for an urban renewal project. The name “The Synagogue” and the Latin American Council moved to their current location at 104 E. 126th St. in New York, just a few blocks away from the original location between Park and Lexington Avenue. Since then, the name “The Synagogue” became a staple of the Latin American Council and for decades, a legend for the community. It was in 1965 that the Latin American Council began doing missionary work. They began in Republic of El Salvador and over time, extended throughout the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe.
Rev. Abelardo Berrios continued his mission until his passing in 1991. During his time, he became known as a “Titan” in the Latin Evangelical movement and can be considered a Great Orator. He was succeeded by Vice-President and current Senior Pastor, Rev. Santos Ramon. Over the years, the Latin American Council continued to grow and in 2004, the Council celebrated their 50th Anniversary in the place they originated, “The Synagogue.”
In 2005, the Latin American Council, Inc. released the following:
2005 - Summary of the work of the Latin American Council Inc.: Our Council is organized in 26 countries and in 20 States of the Nation. Our Council counts with 626 established churches; 1,409 ministers; 44,672 members and 325 churches own their worship facilities.
(includes churches, ministries, and/or schools)
Rev. Santos Roman was born on March 18, 1937, in Manati, Puerto Rico.
1967 - Began pastoring with the Latin American Council in the City of New York, the church “Mount Zion”.
1976 - Was transferred to pastor the church “First House of Prayer” in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
1978 - Was elected as Vocal of the Executive Committee of the Latin American Council.
1981 - Was transferred to pastor the church “Christian Pentecostal Church” in Passaic, New Jersey.
1984 - Was elected as Vice President of the Latin American Council.
1991 - Temporarily, acts as President of the Latin American Council, upon the passing of Founder and President Abelardo Berrios.
1992 - Was officially elected by the general assembly of the council on October 16, 1992, as President of the Latin American Council.
1998 - Was re-elected as President of the Latin American Council for another 2 years. The current Presidential term expires on October 2006.
2008 - Rev. Santos Roman is re-elected as Bishop of the Latin American Council for another 2 years.