Central Veracruz Mission is one of 11 fields of Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union Conference. Its territory covers the Nautla, Capital, Mountain, Sotavento, and Paploapan regions of the state of Veracruz and their respective counties. It also includes the county of Tuxtepec in the state of Oaxaca.1 Its administrative offices and a branch of GEMA Editors are located in Costa Verde, Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico.
The mission has a membership of 11,466, or 5 percent of the membership of Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union Conference; 106 organized churches; and 110 groups, which lie in 18 pastoral districts served by 14 ordained ministers and seven licensed ministers.
Institutions of Central Veracruz Mission
Colegio “Valentín Gómez Farías School” (Secundaria-Bachillerato) is located on Díaz Aragón 445, Ricardo Flores Magón, 91900 Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico. It offers preschool, elementary, secondary, and preparatory education. The mission has a property of eight hectares in the La Vibora, Tlalixcoyan, Veracruz, community, where it plans to build a campsite.
Origins of Seventh-day Adventist Work in the Territory of Central Veracruz Mission
Adventist work in this part of the state of Veracruz started in 1924.2 Colporteur Victoriano Calvo from Mexico City made contact at a Veracruz market with Sabina Aguilar, a woman who had been mistreated by life but desirous to understand the Bible that someone had given her. Later, Pastor Ismael Sánchez and three colporteurs baptized Sabina in the ocean at Veracruz. Shortly after, a woman who was only known by the name of Doña Conchita was baptized through the witness of her friend, Sabina. Sabina’s son, who was a captain in the army in Mexico City, left the army, was baptized, and became a good colporteur supervisor in the army of God.3
Formative Events Which Led to the Organization of Central Veracruz Mission
Between 1949 and 1977, an Inter-Oceanic Mission existed.4 From February 27 to March 2, 1977, an administrative session for the mission was held in the city of Puebla, Puebla. Delegates from the states of Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, and Hidalgo and from northern Veracruz represented 10,435 members of 88 organized churches and 169 Sabbath schools. The delegates decided to accept the challenges and responsibilities of a change of status. They also accepted, with the same attitude, all the administrative and missionary plans. This is how the Inter-Oceanic Conference came into existence. By the time this conference was organized, the city of Puebla had been headquarters to a local field for 46 years. The conference’s headquarters were still in the city of Puebla, Puebla. Agustín Galicia was elected as president, Efraín Piedra as secretary, and Samuel Meza as treasurer. The territory of this conference covered the states of Guerrero, Hidalgo, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, and northern Veracruz.5
By 1988, this conference had 114 organized churches and a membership of 33,290, which led to the decision for the restructuring of the conference. This created two conferences in 1989. The first was South Pacific Conference with headquarters in Puebla, Puebla. This conference covered the states of Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala. It had 69 organized churches and a membership of 15,198. Its president was Fermín Olguín V., its secretary was Javier Sol M., and its treasurer was José González R. The second was Hidalgo Veracruz Conference with headquarters in Veracruz, Veracruz. Its territory covered the state of Hidalgo and northern Veracruz. It was established with 69 organized churches and a membership of 20,345. Daniel Loredo was its president, Samuel Amaro C. was its secretary, and Pedro León A. was its treasurer.6
These two conferences operated from 1989 until 2013, when the mid-year session of the Inter-American Division held in Miami, Florida, took a vote to restructure both conferences. South Pacific Conference would have headquarters in Jiutepec, Morelos, and Alpine Mission was created with headquarters in Puebla, Puebla. Hidalgo Veracruz Conference was reorganized into North Veracruz Conference and Central Veracruz Mission.
North Veracruz Conference had headquarters in Poza Rica, Veracruz. Its territory covered the High Huasteca, Low Huasteca, and Totonaca regions of the state of Veracruz and their respective counties. It also included the counties of Francisco Z. Mena, Venustiano Carranza, Jicotepec de Juárez, Huahuchinango, Jalpa, Pantepec, Naupan, Honey, Pahuatlán, Tlacuilotepec, Juan Galindo Zihuahteutla, Tlaola, and Tlaxco of the state of Puebla and the counties of Huejutla, San Felipe Orizatlán, Huautla, Zacoaltipan, and Tlanchinol of the state of Hidalgo.
Central Veracruz Mission had headquarters in Puerto Veracruz, Veracruz. Its territory covered the Nautla, Capital, Mountain, Sotavento, and Papaloapan regions of the state of Veracruz and their respective counties as well as Tuxtepec County of the state of Oaxaca.7
At the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union Conference Plenary Session in the city of Puebla from June 11-13, 2013, a vote was taken to approve the report of the nominating committee, appointing Pastor Filiberto Cruz González as president and Accountant Antonio Rosas Manrriquez as secretary/treasurer.8
At Central Veracruz Mission’s first meeting held in Oaxtepec, Morelos, on August 25, 2013, the following officers were voted on for the 2013-2017 quadrennium: Filiberto Cruz González as president and overseeing evangelism, stewardship, and spirit of prophecy; Antonio Rosas Manrriquez as secretary-treasurer and department head of education; Jesús Tiburcio Pérez as department head of communication, health, Sabbath school, personal ministries, and public affairs and religious liberty; Pedro Torres de la Cruz for public affairs and religious liberty, planned giving and trust services, and legal services; Eulalio Marín Vicencio as department head of youth, publications, ministerial association, and chaplaincy as well as ADRA; and Patricia Rodríguez Terrón as department head of women’s ministries, children’s ministries, and SIEMA.9
Central Veracruz Mission started with 14 districts and has seen the birth of four more districts: Xalapa II and Tres Valles in 2014, El Tejar in 2015, and Fortín in 2019. The mission started with 73 organized churches and as of 2019 has 106. Central Veracruz Mission was created in 2013 out of Hidalgo Veracruz Conference’s need to provide better care to churches and more easily develop and fulfill its mission. In that year, the new mission covered Veracruz, Boca del Río, El Perú, La Laguna, Tierra Blanca, Cuitláhuac, Córdoba, Orizaba, Cosamaloapan, Martínez de la Torre, Xalapa, and Ruiz Cortines – 12 pastoral districts in the state of Veracruz – and the Tuxtepec and El Castillo districts in the state of Oaxaca.
It is thought that the church in Central Veracruz Mission is making organized efforts to fulfill the mission it has been entrusted. This can be seen in its soul-winning efforts. Before restructuring took place, this part of the territory gained an average of 400 members each year. Since the new mission was formed, it has baptized an average of 700 members each year. New branches have been established in unentered areas, and these branches have turned into organized Sabbath schools that became 33 new organized churches. This led to the formation of the four new districts. Taking advantage of the facilities that authorities of different counties have offered, this church developed activities that impacted communities such as health races and medical brigades providing free medical services. The church also presented the program, “I Want to Live Healthy.”
Because of its geographical location, this territory is constantly vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. In areas that have been affected by these natural disasters, the church has given aid through ADRA, hot meals, clothing, mattresses, home appliances, and food pantries.
All of this has helped the church gain acceptance from the community and makes it easier to carry out evangelistic activities. However, the challenges are still great. There are still many counties and rural communities with no Adventist presence, and the state capital of Veracruz only has two pastoral districts, which are challenged with evangelizing a population of approximately 460,000 inhabitants.
Central Veracruz Mission recognizes that its successes have so far been fulfilled by the grace of God. In the same way, it trusts that He will guide its members as they advance in fulfilling the tasks ahead.
Breyther de Fuss, Dora. Desde el Rhin hasta el Grijalva: Fieles al llamado! Mexico City, Mexico: DESPA, 1980.
Inter-American Division. Secretariat archives. 2013. Accessed March 29, 2019.
Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union Conference. Secretariat archives. 2013. Accessed March 29, 2019.
Salazar Escarpulli, Velino. Cien Años de Adventismo en México. Montemorelos, Nuevo León: Centro de Producción Unión Mexicana del Norte, 1997.
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1989. Accessed March 29, 2019. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1989.pdf.
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2015. Accessed March 29, 2019. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB2015.pdf.
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2017. Accessed March 29, 2019. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB2017.pdf.
Central Veracruz Mission. Secretariat archives. 2013. Accessed March 29, 2019.
“Central Veracruz Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2017), 140.↩
Hortencia Camacho Franco, interview by author, 2018.↩
Dora Breyther de Fuss, Desde el Rhin hasta el Grijalva: fieles al llamado! (Mexico City, Mexico: DEPSA, 1980), 18, 19.↩
Velino Salazar Escarpulli, Cien Años de Adventismo en México (Montemorelos, Nuevo León, México: Centro de Producción Unión Mexicana del Norte, 1997), 202.↩
“Inter-Oceanic Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1989), 169, accessed March 29, 2019, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1989.pdf.↩
Salazar Escarpulli, 230.↩
Inter-American Division minutes, 171, secretariat archives, 2013, accessed March 29, 2019.↩
Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union Conference minutes, 5078, secretariat archives, 2013, accessed March 29, 2019.↩
“Central Veracruz Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2015), 128, accessed March 29, 2019, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB2015.pdf.↩