Juan Sarmiento has been named evangelism catalyst for Presbyterian World Mission. He will begin his duties in October at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) headquarters here.

The church identified three critical global initiatives to focus its efforts at home and around the world, including evangelism, poverty alleviation and reconciliation. Sarmiento will support the church’s international evangelism efforts with our global partners and help lead the campaign to work with our global partners in “Training Leaders for Community Transformation.”

The goal of the campaign is connect U.S. Presbyterians with global church partners in their efforts to train local leaders to share the good news of the gospel as they address the specific challenges they face in their own community, whether hunger, natural disaster, injustice or the persecution of Christians. The church’s vision is to equip their leaders to become agents of transformation — not with imported, “cookie cutter” solutions, but with training that enables them to reflect theologically and to lead their community toward local solutions.

Greg Allen-Pickett, general manager for Presbyterian World Mission, believes that Sarmiento is the right person to lead this effort.

“Juan brings with him a pastor’s heart, a keen sense of how to network with U.S. Presbyterians and connect them with our global partners and the energy and excitement to inspire local congregations and global partners in the work of international evangelism,” Allen-Pickett said. “His background, education and experience uniquely equip him to equip others to engage in this vital work.”

For the past six years, Sarmiento worked as director and chairman of the board for PM International (U.S.A.), a Latino-based mission society that works with groups in 11 North African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries.

An ordained minister, Sarmiento has been active in many roles in the PC(USA). In the Presbytery of San Fernando, he served as a member of the Evangelism and Church Growth committee and moderator of the presbytery. He also co-chaired a committee of the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii, was a commissioner to the 216th General Assembly, a member of the Reforming Ministry initiative (Office of Theology and Worship) and assessor with the New Beginnings program with the Office of Evangelism and Church Growth.

Sarmiento helped launch the first evangelical organization to serve the needs of the HIV-positive community in Brazil, was an organizer for the Hollywood-Wilshire cluster of Presbyterian churches in Los Angeles, assisted new immigrants through founding a non-profit organization in the San Fernando Valley, served the homeless as part of the ministry team of the Los Angeles Mission and facilitated the formation of a health/faith partnership in South Los Angeles.

Born in Venezuela, Sarmiento is a graduate of San Francisco Theological Seminary and has done doctoral studies at Columbia Theological Seminary as well as advanced studies in linguistics at California State University-Los Angeles and Islamic studies at the Fuller School of Intercultural Studies. He has served as a leader for English-, Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking congregations.