Romero “Stoked” to Collaborate in Convention Worship Leadership
By Carl Stagner
Mariachi, Tejano, and Norteño. These are the traditional Mexican sounds that provided the foundation for Michael Romero’s musical artistry. The son of a fifth-generation New Mexican father and a Mexican immigrant mother, Michael grew up in the South Valley of Albuquerque, a densely populated area of Hispanics and Mexican Americans. Such a rich and diverse musical heritage manifests in subtle ways, even when he leads worship for New Beginnings Church of God, the congregation he serves alongside Pastor Richard Mansfield. In 2021, Michael’s leadership was especially appreciated by the broader Church of God movement as he co-produced and co-led the Denver Convention’s congregational worship sessions. This year, he’s “stoked” to collaborate with a larger, even more diverse cross-section of gifted individuals to inspire Church of God people gathered in Tampa from around the world to lift hearts, hands, and voices to the Lord in praise.
Michael reflects, “I absolutely still love the music and my heritage that it represents. I’m a very proud Mexican/American. From time to time, I’ll still take a gig with some buddies to keep up my chops and really to just hang with my friends that I don’t get to see as much. Being that Mariachi music doesn’t have any drums, I learned that we make our own drums. So, when I play acoustic guitar (even if I have a drummer) I play rhythmically, as if I am playing drums on the AG, as opposed to the standard strumming pattern. The other thing is that singing in a Mariachi group, you don’t use microphones. So, I project really loudly and can hold notes for a long time!”
Michael Romero came to the Movement through the ministry of Southside Church of God in Albuquerque before it became the New Beginnings Church of God known today for its extensive impact on the community and move to an empty storefront a couple years ago to accommodate growth. To see such growth and life-change firsthand has been “one of the greatest joys” of his life.
The Church of God Convention in Tampa this year is going to be uniquely special in several ways, but one of the obvious ways is the way the worship services are being planned and led—in cooperation with several other talented musicians, working together—instead of just one or two individuals leading. Among these leaders are Sarah Scharbrough McLaughlin (and select family), Allen Swoope, Leslie Barnes, Leo and Meagan Flores, and Aaron Woolsey. Why is Michael personally excited about this opportunity to work with such a group to create the Convention worship services?
“It’s going to be a taste of heaven!” he exclaims. “The unique styles that each of us bring to the table will be incredible, but all with one heart for the Father. That, combined with the entire congregation singing and worshiping together with us? Wow. In short, I’m excited because I can’t wait to hear the roar of the worship that will take place. We need this. The Church of God needs this.”
“He’s got the whole world in his hands.” What an encouraging reality! Be inspired by it, be challenged by it, and experience it firsthand at Convention 2023 and General Assembly, June 22–25 in Tampa, Florida. Learn more and register at www.chogconvention.org.
Feature (top) photo: Michael Romero leading worship at Church of God Convention 2021 in Denver, Colorado.