Story by Jose Esposito
After 49 years of uninterrupted service in ministry, Raúl Rodríguez (pictured) has announced his retirement. Rodríguez began his pastoral work in 1969 and became an integral part of Potomac Conference’s pastoral team in 1997.
Within his time at Potomac, Rodríguez founded several Spanish churches in Virginia and Maryland; established a social assistance program for people in the Maryland communities of Takoma Park, Hyattsville and Wheaton—later extending this program model to Latin American countries to offer support in evangelism, education, philanthropy and health; helped develop the Adventist Center for Evangelism and Discipleship in Temple Hills, Md., a program designed to train laity in evangelism, which to date has reached nearly 350 students; and passionately served as a district pastor, resulting in many baptisms and positive financial commitments and growth.
Before coming to Potomac, Rodríguez served for 11 years in his home country of El Salvador as a district and departmental pastor in the areas of youth, stewardship and lay-people. He later worked as field president, helping to establish schools that prepared about 350 volunteers to preach throughout the El Salvador Union Mission. This resulted in 1,325 baptisms in a single day and 2,000 during the culmination of an evangelistic campaign led by evangelist Carlos Aeschlimann.
Additionally, Rodríguez served in Venezuela as a pastor; in Colombia as president of the Alto Magdalena Association; an evangelist; and a pastor in the New York Conference, where he founded a church in Syracuse.
“There are few who demonstrate the same passion of bringing people into a saving relationship with Jesus as Raúl Rodríguez,” says Bill Miller, president. “He has been instrumental in church planting and has been tireless in the mission set out in Ephesians 4:12 of ‘equipping the saints for the work of ministry.’”