I was born in Autlan de Navarro in Jalisco, Mexico, but have lived most of life in San Diego, California. I am 24 years old, and I am currently serving the Church of Christ in L street, San Diego.
I have always found myself fascinated by God’s Word and His Church ever since I had the opportunity, as a little boy, to first be acquainted with them. Eventually, as I entered into the initial stages of my adolescence, the Lord granted me the opportunity to obey the Gospel in a National Youth Rally in the summer of 2010 at age 13. After my baptism, I had the privilege to be personally taught Homiletics by the current preacher of the Church I congregated with at the time, Moises Garcia. After about a year of careful instruction, I preached my first sermon at age 14 about the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31). However, I did not continue to preach in my high school years, until I entered college.
Originally majoring in nutrition and personal training, I came to the realization that if I were to put the same mental effort into studying the Word of God as I did when studying numerous (and quite frankly, pointless) college courses, then I could become a more fruitful servant of the Lord. And thus, I decided to both finish the college curriculum I had committed myself to, and to study the Scriptures at my leisure. At the time, I had been congregating at the Linda Vista Church of Christ (San Diego) in which the minister, Joel Villa, noticed the hunger I had to learn more about the Word. After several months of inviting me to preach, I had finally accepted the invitation, and little did I know that that would be a major stepping stone to my current status.
After that first sermon at the LVCoC I was extremely content with what the Lord had allowed me to do that day, and so after a couple months of preaching only once or twice at the congregation, it rapidly became a weekly routine of preaching to both the youth and to the adults. As brother Villa rejoiced with me in preaching the Gospel, he continually provided me with books and sound advice so that both the quantity and quality of my biblical knowledge could manifest itself in the pulpit; and therefore be enjoyed by the rest of the congregation.
In addition, I had, at the time, the desire to attend a certain seminary on weekends so that I could continue to work with in my dad’s landscaping business throughout the week, hit the books at Mesa College, and preach on Sundays; but brother Villa recommended me to enroll in World Video Bible School (online biblical school) so that I can study the Scriptures at my own pace and on my own time. A special challenge that presented itself at this Church was the fact that it was necessary to preach in both English and Spanish, which thankfully the Lord allowed me to learn in good time.
After some time had passed between my more frequent preaching in the Church, and my college years, Oscar Velazquez, a full time minister of the Church of Christ in el Cajon (San Diego) took special interest in me and offered me the opportunity to personally learn more from him about homiletics and oratory. What made this offer so valuable to me was the fact that I have known this man and his family ever since I was a child. In fact, the Lord utilized them to bring my family and me to the Church of Christ. Moreover, after about a year of continuous tutoring, in what took place every Sunday afternoon, he taught me the importance of being prepared and thoroughly equipped when preaching the Word. In seeing the quality of his work in the ministry, I only hope to one day live up to the knowledge the Lord has granted him throughout the years.
And so, as more time passed, more and more opportunities presented themselves to me to preach in different congregations. I’ve even had the opportunity to preach in a handful of special events such as one youth rally, and 2 gospel meetings. In simple terms, I continued on a very busy schedule of working in my dad’s business, completing college courses, completing biblical courses, and preaching on a weekly routine. Eventually, I graduated from San Diego Mesa College, World Video Bible School, completed numerous other (biblical) correspondence courses, and had at least 3-4 years of solid preaching experience (in both San Diego and evangelization to family and friends from Mexico).
Behind the scenes of the previous information I have shared with you all lies the fact that God has blessed me with an extremely supportive family. Ever since I was a child my parents (Jose and Gregoria) had always taught my sister (Azucena) and I the importance of knowing, fearing, and loving God with all our heart, mind and soul. After all, they themselves are God-fearing christians. What was significant in their parenthood was that they never put pressure on me so that I should become a preacher. They just wanted me to make sure that I had become, and remain a God-fearing christian. That was, however, all it took to awaken in me the desire to preach. That type of advice and support that my parents provided me was much more valuable, and efficient, than any other book would have taught me.
In regards to my sister, she always supported me to continue to preach, and study the Bible. If I was sad, or disappointed, she was always there to cheer me up and encourage me. Even her husband, Juan Lopez, has passed on to me the same words of encouragement. They have so much as even provided me with numerous books so that I can continue increasing my knowledge on the Word. In summary, I like to consider my life and ministry as a product of God’s Providence, Christ’s atoning sacrifice, the continual guidance of the Holy Spirit though His Word, the constant support of my family, and the kind encouragement of many brethren.
In regards to the present, I am currently enrolled in the Doctorate program of Theology at the Theological University of America, and am extremely excited to learn more about this field, and to share what I’ve learned with my brethren. As of right now, I am not a full time minister, but I am perfectly content with collaborating with the Church of Christ in south San Diego (L street) in preaching alongside brother Alfonso Pimentel (minister of Iglesia de Cristo “L”).
As to the philosophy of my preaching, I strive to be doctrinally sound, apologetic, and clear. I always strive to improve because there will always be room for improvement. There is still so much I want, and need to learn, but I trust in God that with time I will learn what He needs me to learn so that I can be a more efficient servant of His. My life goal is to one day hear these beautiful words: - “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:23)
Until that day comes, I will continue to study and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.