In Mexico, Adventist Church Mourns the Loss of 275 Members Struck by COVID-19


s coronavirus numbers spike throughout Mexico, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the State of Chiapas is feeling the pain of losing hundreds of church members in recent weeks. Church leaders have accounted for 275 deaths among its membership believed to have died due to the coronavirus pandemic. Among the deceased were two church employees and a retired pastor.

Joel Alvarez, 52, a school accountant for the Adventist school system in the Central Chiapas Conference in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, died yesterday from complications of Covid-19. He spent the last 10 days on a ventilator, church leaders reported. He is survived by his wife Mayra, a son and a daughter.

Humberto Pérez Aguilar, 59, who was a district pastor in Tecpatán in the northeastern part of the state, died on June 28. He had just completed 30 years of active church service this year and leaves his wife Lea and three daughters.

Miguel Ramos Contreras, 65, who retired from church service three years ago, died on July 3. He worked as a school chaplain for numerous years and is remembered among the first experienced chaplain in the region. He is survived by his wife Susana and two children.

“We are going through a difficult time right now,” said Pastor Ignacio Navarro, president of the church in the Chiapas Mexican Union. “The past three weeks have been the most complicated.” 

Pastor Navarro, together with leaders at the union office, has led online memorial services for those three employees, honoring them for their dedicated work in the mission of the church.

Less than twenty-four hours after his death, the church leadership in Tuxtla Gutierrez spoke of the work of Joel Alvarez during a two-hour online memorial service earlier today. They sent condolences to the family and offered messages of hope to the Alvarez family who was gathered at home to watch.


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