The Heart of a PastorWritten by Bailey Pylant
- Published: August 09, 2018
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Over the years, DBU has had the privilege of honoring various individuals with an honorary doctorate. Some are internationally known figures. Others have made incredible contributions to the field of missions, education, or denominational life. Still others have been integral in the life of the University. It is a special privilege when each attribute can be contributed to a single honoree.
This is precisely what makes Dr. Jorge Juan Pastor so dear to DBU and what made commencement on August 4, 2018 such a memorable occasion.
Educational pioneer, denominational leader, and international representative, Jorge Pastor’s influence has been felt around the world in his tireless pursuit to see Christ glorified and for all to know Him as Lord and Savior.
“Rev. Pastor currently serves as the Director of the Protestant Pioneer Center of Camps in Spain, International Representative of the Baptist Union of Spain, and Director of Ministry of Churches in Development. As Founder of Alfa y Omega, a Christian private school in Denia, and the Center for Theological Studies, an extension of the Baptist Seminary of Spain, Pastor is also readily involved in the outworking of both institutions.
He has also previously served as the President of the Baptist Union, Director of the Ministry of Theological Education, missionary to Equatorial Guinea, Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance representing Europe, and representative of the Baptist Union of Spain in the European Baptist Federation.
While his resume is certainly impressive, and worthy of an honorary doctorate, our personal affection for Jorge Pastor is a greater reflection on the man behind the honor.
DBU first connected with Jorge Pastor several years ago through interactions with DBU staff involved with the Baptist World Alliance. Among these were Dr. Gary Cook, who was serving as President of DBU at the time. As the two got to know each other, the University began an arrangement with Jorge to help his Alfa y Omega school by sending students to serve in their camps. What began as a means of blessing for the school turned into a blessing for DBU.
The only private Protestant educational institution in Spain, Alfa y Omega is one of the few places where believers are actively ministering in the lives of the Spanish people. Although a private institution, school staff are not legally allowed to speak of their faith. However, external groups teaching English classes and leading recreational camps can speak openly.
Determined to bring the truth of the Gospel to the ears of the students, Pastor built platforms for groups such as DBU to interact with the kids. Over the course of two years, four teams have endeavored to Denia to work alongside the Alfa y Omega staff and Pastor.
The great irony of these trips to Denia is that our teams leave with the intention of being a blessing to them and return feeling blessed by them.
“Pastor Jorge Pastor is perhaps the most influential man I know,” remarked Jacob Stevens, DBU graduate student, DBU staff member, and veteran of several trips. “His faith in the Lord is genuine, unwavering, and fierce. Anyone who has the privilege of getting to spend a few moments with Pastor Jorge will find themselves more encouraged, more joyful, and more in love with the Lord.”
Every person who steps foot in Alfa y Omega is witness to Pastor’s heart and vision to pursue every opportunity for the sake of the Gospel. It is evident in his reliance on prayer, attention to detail, gentleness of nature, intentionality of speech, and the way scripture stays on the tip of his tongue.
DBU students walk away from their time with Pastor with a greater understanding that the Lord can use faithful followers to do more than they could ever ask or imagine. They walk away with a greater urgency to let the Gospel filter into their daily interactions. They walk away understanding how a genuine love for Christ should overflow into all that we do or say.
“For me, Pastor Jorge has been a picture of the Lord’s faithfulness and our role as obedient servants,” explained Sarai Najera, alumnus and trip veteran. “He is a wonderful example of how to be an intentional leader and has shown all who have visited Alfa y Omega how an organization can be led by the Spirit.”
The DBU community is better for knowing Pastor, and for that we are grateful.