SONNY ARGUINZONI – OVER 50 YEARS OF REACHING THE LOST
Sonny Arguinzoni (born November 12, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York) is an evangelical Christian minister and author. He is the founder and Senior Pastor of Victory Outreach International, a fellowship of over 700 churches and ministries in 33 countries. Founded in 1967, Victory Outreach is a recognized leader in the field of sustainable transformational ministry.
Sonny Arguinzoni is also the author of four books, “Sonny”, “Treasures out of Darkness”, “Internalizing the Vision”, and “Vision for the Outcast”. He is also sought after for speaking engagements at conferences and crusades across the globe.
Born of inter-racial parents (Italian and Puerto Rican) Sonny Arguinzoni was raised in a traditional Christian family setting. The younger of two children, he succumbed to the toxic environment of inner-city Brooklyn in his adolescent years. He began associating with the Viceroy gang which controlled his local neighborhood, though never fully joining. His teen years were marked by petty crime and substance abuse.
By the time Sonny Arguinzoni was 21-years-old his drug use had spiraled out of control. He was desperate for answers, and after an unsuccessful treatment attempt at the Federal Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, an old acquaintance recruited him to the Teen Challenge center in Brooklyn. There he befriended Nicky Cruz, made famous by the book and subsequent movie, “The Cross and the Switch Blade”. Cruz was instrumental in Aguinzoni’s conversion to Christianity.
Sonny Arguinzoni attended the Latin American Bible Institute (L.A.B.I.) and then directed the Teen Challenge center in Los Angeles, California. He met Julie Rivera at L.A.B.I., they married and started a family. While at Teen Challenge he indentified the need for local churches that would readily accept converted drug addicts, so he started Victory Outreach as an experimental house church.
Read Julie Arguinzoni’s bio here.
EAST LOS ANGELES
Victory Outreach was founded in 1967 by Sonny and Julie Arguinzoni when they invited people from the Aliso Village housing projects into their own home. They shared the basic tenants of the Gospel: God loves them and has the power to change their lives. Victory Outreach was born and began to flourish.
In the early 1970’s, Sonny Arguinzoni felt an overwhelming sense of destiny. He challenged his congregation to step out in faith by starting affiliate churches in inner-city areas across California. Victory Outreach grew to a fellowship of dozens of churches.
In the 1980’s, Victory Outreach emerged to the forefront of mission-focused ministries. Churches were planted across America. Some of the churches began to grow to over 1,000 members. This success spurred the next daring move: A cross-cultural church plant in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Churches were also planted in England, Spain and Mexico.
The 1990’s was a time of growth for Victory Outreach, both domestically and internationally. The number of churches in Mexico doubled. The tri-annually world conference had to be moved to ever larger sports arenas.
The World – Unprecedented Growth…
Victory Outreach has experienced unprecedented growth in both quality and quantity. Currently, there are over 700 churches and ministries, 40 percent are overseas which has added a strong international flair to the ministry. Victory Outreach held major evangelistic crusades in the South Pacific, West Africa, South Africa, Europe, United Kingdom, South America, and Central America.
World Conferences – International Call to Arms…
The Victory Outreach World Conference is held tri-annually at the Los Angeles Convention Center and International Conferences are held in Africa, Netherlands, England, Spain, Mexico, and South America.
Urban Training Centers/Missionary Training Centers – Bold New Approach…
Sonny has also started Urban/Missionary Training Centers in Bridgeport, Connecticut; Los Angeles, California; Tijuana, Mexico; Cape Town, South Africa and Panama
Sonny has instituted evangelism and ministry programs that reach out to gang members, prostitutes, prisoners and hard-core drug users. He says with conviction,“I will be dedicated to Victory Outreach for the rest of my life. That’s why God changed my life; so I could help others. I am driven by that purpose.”