While a soldier in Benito Juarez' army of resistance against the French invasion of Mexico, Hernandez read a book which awakened a desire for the Bible. He went to Brownsville, Texas in search of this holy book, where he had the experience described below. He became the first Mexican ordained to the Methodist ministry, and served four years in Mexico and Texas before his untimely death. His description of his conversion was printed with his obituary in the 1875 West Texas Conference journal.
"I was seated where I could see the congregation but few could see me. I felt that God's spirit was there, although I could not understand a word that was being said. I felt my heart strangely warmed...Never did I hear an organ play so sweetly, never did human voices sound so lovely to me, never did people look so beautiful as on that occasion. I went away weeping for holy joy."