The Rev. Dr. Giovanni Arroyo to lead a learning session at AC2023
May 22, 2023 / By UNY Communications
We are pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Giovanni Arroyo, the General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion & Race, will lead a learning session at the Upper New York 2023 Annual Conference being held on June 1-3 at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena in Syracuse.
Rev. Dr. Arroyo’s session will take place at 9 a.m. on June 3. He will lead us in a conversation about the importance of integrating cultural competence into our ethos of discipleship as United Methodists.
Rev. Dr. Arroyo’s current position
As General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race, Rev. Dr. Arroyo is the lead official of the denominational agency that cultivates racial inclusion and the full participation of all people into the work, witness, and life of the UMC. Rev. Dr. Arroyo is responsible for modeling behavior both corporate and personal that follows the scriptural mandate for unity among many: “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, though they are many members yet one body, we are all members of the one body, the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12).
Rev. Dr. Arroyo’s background
Rev. Dr. Arroyo, a native of Puerto Rico, migrated to New York City as a young boy. As he learned English in his new elementary school, his family nurtured him in the faith at Knickerbocker United Methodist Church in Brooklyn, NY It was there that Giovanni recognized and answered his call into ministry.
At the age of 10, in his family's home-based children's worship group, which served approximately 15 children four times weekly, Giovanni began his discernment process. Giovanni took on various roles in his local church and roles in both District and Conferences.
Professionally, Rev. Dr. Arroyo has worked in the research field with The City College of New York in language inquisition and experimental psychology, the New York State Psychiatric Institute in exposure to violence and child abuse studies, the National Development and Research Institute with young adult inject drug users, and as a grant evaluator for the Long Island Children’s Museum. He has also served as adjunct faculty in English as a Second Language and World Religions.
Rev. Dr. Arroyo began his ministry in 2001 as pastor in a shared facility ministry setting in Norwalk, Connecticut, in the New York Annual Conference. Upon his appointment, he says that his call was affirmed by baptism by fire experience. He served as one of the three chaplains at Bellevue Hospital in New York City during the 9/11 attack where 278 survivors were receiving medical care and the morgue of all those who lost their lives in the Twin Towers. If that was not enough, on Nov. 12, 2001, there was another tragic accident in New York City where an American Airlines flight going towards the Dominican Republic exploded 30 seconds from lifting off. New channels summoned him to assist as a chaplain during this tragedy because they felt they needed a person who understood how to care for the Latino community.
In 2004, the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church began to recruit him to go on loan from New York Conference for six years to help in a Latino new church start. For eight years, Rev. Dr. Arroyo served Salem/Baltimore Hispanic Ministry in the Baltimore-Washington Conference as the pastor of two congregations housed in the same facility but offered in two different languages. He moved this congregation from a two-day a week church to seven-days a week church programs. Rev. Dr. Arroyo has served as interim pastor while serving at the General Church level within his Conference's bounds. He has also served in the Baltimore-Washington Conference in various leadership positions, including chair of Commission on Religion and Race, executive member of Hispanic/Latino Ministries, Annual Conference worship team, clergy recruitment, immigration ministry, Justice for Our Neighbor, and others. Currently, he chairs the Conference Hispanic/Latino ministries and is an advisor to the Racial Advocacy team, Call to Action Team, and Intercultural Competency team. He is an Elder of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference.
Rev. Dr. Arroyo in 2010 was invited to join the General Commission on Religion & Race where he is the Team Leader for Program Ministries who is responsible for overseeing all the programmatic initiatives and resources of the agency worldwide. He works in providing training, consultations, leading initiatives for The United Methodist Church in this portfolio. He has developed training and curriculum around intercultural competence, conversations on race, and institutional equity. He facilitates groups using different methodologies across the globe, such as Appreciate Inquiry, Open Space Technology, and Human-Centered Design. Through his portfolio, he relates to the ongoing development of GCORR work in the Central Conferences. He is also the agency grant administrator for the CORR Action Fund, where he has to administer approximately 80 projects in the last eight years. He serves in the United Methodist Immigration Task Force and Researchers group.
He holds a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from City College of New York; Master's of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary; Master's of Science in Management from the University of Maryland; Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health From The University of the Cumberlands; Doctor of Ministry on Transformational Leadership in the Wesleyan Perspective from Wesley Theological Seminary in partnership with Cambridge University: Methodist House of Studies in Cambridge, United Kingdom; and a Pastoral Care Skills certificate from Blanton-Peale Graduate Institute of Mental Health and Religion.