Data from the Pew Research Center lists the Hmong population in the United States at 327,000 people, with a majority of those residing in Minnesota. The Minnesota Compass project from Wilder Research estimates the Hmong population in our state alone to be just over 81,000 people. Over ninety-percent of those live within the Twin Cities. While it’s unknown how many of those are Christ followers, Pastor Teng Vu believes less than ten percent are part of a Bible-believing church. He, along with other pastors from the Hmong AG Fellowship (HAGF), recognize the tremendous need to reach the Hmong community in Minnesota and the U.S.
Pastor Teng pastors Life in Christ Church in Maplewood, MN, and he has also served as the President of the HAGF since 2020. The fellowship is one of 24 different ethnic fellowships within the Assemblies of God. (Visit ethnicrelations.ag.org and you’ll find a full list of each group represented in the AG.) Each fellowship president is a valuable voice on our AG General Presbytery.
The fellowships also provide a strong network with events, resources, and leadership training tailored to each group. They serve as a bridge between ethnic groups and districts by filling in language and cultural gaps. Within the HAGF, Pastor Teng helps Hmong pastors who aren’t fluent in English stay in the loop with district communications and initiatives. Coupled with a strong Hmong section in the Minnesota District (Pastor Hang Lee currently serves as Presbyter), the HAGF is poised for growth.
Currently there are 18 HAGF churches: 9 in Minnesota, 6 in Wisconsin, 2 in Michigan, and 1 in Tennessee. Pastor Teng hopes the fellowship will plant many churches in the coming years. A large part of that dream hinges on identifying and raising up young pastors. Within the Minnesota Hmong population, 75% are under the age of 35, and for most of those, English is their primary language. For many Hmong churches, that means conducting bilingual services to reach multiple generations and prioritizing kids and youth ministries.
The HAGF is beginning to see the fruit of their efforts toward reaching the next generation. There are currently 27 AG credentialed Hmong ministers with another 11 in various stages of training. Pastor Teng has also identified another 40 emergent leaders he wants to develop down the road. This is all in line with General Superintendent Doug Clay’s stated goal of having “15,000 U.S. AG churches, 40,000 ministers, and 50% ethnic minority in adherents in the next five years.” (Currently 44% of Assemblies of God adherents are ethnic minorities.)
Pastor Teng is excited not only about what God is doing in our Hmong churches, but also in the many communities of color all over Minnesota. We’re looking forward to celebrating the diversity of our District as Pastor Darrell Geddes (MN Church Health Team member and Executive Secretary of the National Black Fellowship AG) leads a special session at the Connect Conference January 17-19, 2022. We hope to see you there!