Héctor J. Hernández Marcial
Rev. Héctor J. Hernández Marcial currently serves as Director of Community Engagement. In this role, Héctor’s primary responsibility is to identify, establish, and deepen collaborative relationships that strengthen all NBA programs’ work and capacity. He also works with other NBA staff to design, implement and evaluate programs with specific attention given to leadership development and advocacy/activism/organizing initiatives. In addition to that, Hector also collaborates with all of NBA’s program areas to ensure diverse voices are included and heard equitably.
Before becoming the Director of Community Engagement, Héctor served as Connect Coordinator and supported NBA’s Mental Health & Wellness Initiative, where his focus was specifically on Hispanic/Latinx communities. As Connect Coordinator, Héctor launched and served as convener of the second cohort (2018-2020) of the Prison and Jail Ministries Peer Learning and Wellness Group. In addition to that, Héctor launched the NBA’s first Spanish-speaking Peer Learning and Wellness Group in 2020, for which he is one of the group’s conveners. Lastly, Héctor supervises all other Peer Learning and Wellness Groups for NBA.
Héctor was born in the beautiful Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. He enjoys running reading comic books as self-care practices. He is a toy collector, sci-fi nerd who loves Star Wars and Animation geek. He has been married to his lovely wife Lorna B. Hernández since 1996, and together they are the proud parents of 6 cats (yes six cats!).
Getting to know Héctor
Why do you feel “called to care” about Disciples health and social service ministry?
To me, faith without actions is incomplete, barren, and illusory. In the midst of all human brokenness, vulnerability, and needs, words are never enough, and the Gospel, the Good News, has to be enacted. I believe that as followers of Christ the Liberator, we are called to become, to live, and to embody God’s Creative Hope, as co-creators of the Realm of God, that begins here and know. NBA’s mission is centered on these principles and values, and that is why I love being part of this ministry. NBA engages, collaborates, and creates ways in which our denomination as a whole, can be inspired and moved into salvific actions, into new opportunities for creation. NBA also connects the different expressions of our church with ministry partners who are providing direct care to those in need every single day.
Who is a hero of yours, and why?
I have many, but if I have to choose one, I have to say it is Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero. He was Archbishop of San Salvador who was assassinated while celebrating mass. Why was he assassinated, you ask? Because while others were quiet, and others chose to be blind to the horrors committed against the poor and the vulnerable masses, as a Priest, on the pulpit, and on the streets, he demanded justice and condemned the powerful and the oppressors. I first heard of him when I was about eleven years old, and his message, homilies, and theological reflections have become part of my own theology and ministries.
If I tried to find you in a supermarket, what aisle would you be in?
That’s simple, you will be able to find me in the coffee aisle. I will be there tasting different coffees! Wait, no… or maybe? I mean, it depends, do you know if I can taste different coffees in that supermarket? If there are no coffee samples in that aisle, then, go straight to the bakery section. I will be there trying to decide which and how many pastries I will be taking home. Although…what about the pizza aisle?