By Daniel Eduardo Álvarez
Daniel Eduardo Álvarez Domínguez, M.A. (Inter-American Adventist Theological Seminary, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico), is executive secretary, Stewardship, and Youth Ministries director for Regiomontana Mission. He has also served the church as pastor, department director, and administrator in the Northwest, Gulf, and Northeast conferences. He is married to Yadira Salazar Montes and has two children.
First Published: September 11, 2021
Regiomontana Mission is part of the North Mexican Union, one of 24 unions that comprise the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.
Territory and Statistics
Regiomontana Mission’s territory is comprised of two states of the Mexican Republic: Coahuila and Nuevo León.1 Coahuila has 32 municipalities and Nuevo León, 29, for a total of 61 municipalities. Regiomontana Mission has 51 churches, 13,972 members and a population of 6,255,591.2 Its offices are on 2008 Calle Río Lerma Colonia Mitras Centro, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México.
Institutions of Regiomontana Mission
Regiomontana Mission sponsors three educational institutions: Colegio Juan Escutia, Instituto Vicente Suárez Cumbres and Instituto Vicente Suárez Apodaca. The Colegio Juan Escutia is located on 4380 Calle Delgado, Colonia Periodistas, Saltillo Coahuila, México. It began its operations in September 1991 on Calle Armiguita and Corona in the Colonia Centro of Saltillo City, capital of Coahuila state. It began offering two levels: Pre-Primary with First, Second, and Third grades, and Primary beginning with Third grade. During the 2000-2001 school year, a plot of land was acquired, and the secondary level was incorporated. A building was constructed on the land where Colegio Juan Escutia now stands. It presently has three pre-primary grades, six primary grades, and three secondary grades. Its personnel comprises of 14 teachers, two administrators, and two-service staff.3
The Instituto Vicente Suárez Cumbres is located on Avenida Paseo de Los Leones 1001 Colonia Cumbres, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México. It began offering pre-primary grades. It actually offers three pre-primary grades, six primary grades, and three secondary grades. Its personnel comprise of 13 teachers, four administrative staff and one service staff.4 On May 10, 1994, the school was incorporated to the Secretary of Public Education department.
The Instituto Vicente Suárez Apodaca is located on Calle Hacienda Santa Mónica No. 449, Colonia Los Pinos, Sector five, Apodaca, Nuevo León, México. It began operations on August 2010. It offers three grades of pre-elementary and six primary grades. Its personnel comprises of nine teachers and three administrative and service staff.5
Beginnings of the Adventist Church in the Territory of Regiomontana Mission
The Advent message came to Mexican soil in the last decade of the 19th century. In the fall of 1891, Pastor Chadwick began his journey through-out Mexico, beginning in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, where he took the train to Monterrey. From Monterrey, he headed to San Luis Potosí, and from there, to México City.6 Pastor Chadwick was one of the first Adventists who arrived in the Mexican territory.
By summer of 1904, three places in the Mexican territory had an Adventist church firmly established: Guadalajara, México, Distrito Federal (D.F.), and San Luis Potosí.7 With the passing of time, the church kept on growing and between the years 1904-1907, there were other groups in Gómez Palacio, San Pedro, Tampico, and Monterrey, increasing the total membership to 121 Adventists.8 It was during those years that Adventism came to the area where Regiomontana Mission is now located.
Some accounts indicate that, “by the year 1904, a colporteur, whose name has been forgotten, arrived in Monterrey from the United States selling Adventist religious books. Many pages with seeds of truth were planted.”9
In 1907, an important decision was made to divide the Mexican territory into six districts, under the direction of Arthur G. Daniels and Willie C. White, son of Ellen G. White. The districts were South District, Central District, West District, Northwest District, and North District, that comprised the Durango, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, and Coahuila states.10 These last two, Nuevo León and Coahuila are part of the actual territory of the Regiomontana Mission. The church was taking shape in such a way that it started organizing local missions. According to the 1938 Yearbook, the Mexican Union Mission was organized in 1923.11 It also states that the Gulf Mission covered the Coahuila and Nuevo León states, and it had its offices in the city of Saltillo Coahuila.12 It was clear from that date onward, that the church had the potential to establish administrative offices in that zone.
The group meeting in Monterrey experienced an extraordinary growth at the end of 1912 and beginning of 1913. The group originally began when a layperson from San Luis Potosí moved to Monterrey. From Monterrey, he constantly wrote to the offices in Mexico asking for help. Finally, Pastor Juan Robles, who was already in charge of an extensive territory, was sent to help. At the end of 1912, the group was already formed and had 40 members.13
Some say that Adventism started in the city of Monterrey going back to the beginning of the
1920’s. Among its founders we find the names of Mrs. Cruz Reyes, who initiated the group, a man with a family name of González, and two laypersons whose names are unknown. These brethren formed part of the group of believers that later became the first organized church of Monterrey.14
Around 1932, the group of believers would congregate in the house of María de la Luz Cantú González, between Doblado and Tapia streets in the city of Monterrey.15
In 1936, the union offices had transferred from México City to Monterrey, N. L. For two years, they rented a house on Pino Suarez Nte. No. 413, but in 1939, the union offices transferred to Vallarta Sur No. 644, occupying the first floor of the first church built by the Adventist Church in Sultana del Norte, Monterrey, N. L.16 Presently, the Vallarta church is one of the most prominent churches in the Regiomontana Mission.
Factors Leading to the Organization of the Regiomontana Mission
The territory of the present Northeast Conference belonged to the former North Mission that became the North Conference which comprised the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, and Tamaulipas, practically the entire north of Mexico. The Northeast Conference gave birth to several fields including the Gulf Conference, Chihuahua Conference, Northwest Mission, and most recently, the Regiomontana Mission. These fields have continued to grow and several have already given birth to new fields.
North Mexican Union, seeing the need to better serve the church, in its administrative board of July 1, 2016, took a vote to restructure the Northeast Conference.17 Four months later, the North Mexican Union’s committee at its yearend meeting on November 9-10, 2016, registered the vote of the Inter-American Division to create the new Regiomontana Mission.18 At the same meeting, the administration of the Regiomontana Mission was voted with César Noé Turrubiates Gutiérrez as president, Daniel Eduardo Álvarez Domínguez as secretary, and César Valenzuela Tinoco as treasurer.19
Regiomontana Mission’s administration began work in January 2017 in the offices of the Northeast Conference. One of first tasks of the administration was to find a place for its new offices. After searching for a few months, by the grace of God, a building was found with the desired office characteristics. The date for the 5th Quadrennial Session of the Northeast Conference was approaching where the restructuring of its territory would become official.
On July 17, 2017, in Montemorelos, N. L., the Northeast Conference territory was officially restructured under the administration of Filiberto Grajeda Ordoñez, president, Agustín E. Sánchez Martínez, secretary, and Edmundo Gómez Márquez, treasurer.20 The Northeast Conference transferred to the new Regiomontana Mission: 13,200 members, 51 churches, 20 pastors, 20 districts, 33 organized groups, and 10 affiliated entities. The new mission began with 20 districts: Ciudad Acuña, Apodaca, Escobedo, Huinalá, Manantiales, Monclova, Piedras Negras, Saltillo, San Nicolás, Vallarta, Anáhuac, Cumbres, Fundadores, Madero, Mitras, Nogales, Provivienda, San Bernabé, Santa Catarina, and Valle.
Regiomontana Mission’s offices were inaugurated on May 8, 2018, with the presence of the treasurer of the Inter-American Division, Filiberto Verduzco and the administrators of the North Mexican Union, Luis Arturo King, president; Osvaldo Arrieta, secretary; and Carlos Flores, treasurer. Administrators of other North Mexican Union local fields were also present as well as representatives from different churches and congregations of the new Mission.
Regiomontana Mission’s Plans to Fulfill its Mission
The restructuring of the field proved to be a good decision because the fiscal and membership growth from 2017 to 2019 were constant. The challenges and projections in the furtherance of the mission are:
To achieve holistic development in the pastors’ personal and professional lives. Given the dynamics of family life intertwined with pastoral ministry, pastors are required to work facing different demands, thus making it necessary for pastors to develop aptitudes allowing for efficient performance in both spheres.
To minister to church members with an evangelistic focus. Church members must visualize their own spiritual growth apart from the fulfillment of the mission; a vision with this emphasis is necessary, as a method of personal and spiritual growth and for the fulfillment of the mission.
To ensure that the Regiomontana Mission and its churches implement a quadrennial and annual operational plan promoting consolidation and expansion of the church. Due to the need for each church to best utilize its strength, it is necessary that an operational plan in collaboration with the higher organization be developed. Such plan should give direction and promote efficiency in activities geared toward fulfilling the mission of preaching the gospel.
List of Presidents
César Noé Turrubiates Gutiérrez (2017- )
“Estado de Nuevo León.” Para todo México, May 1, 2019. Accessed July 18, 2019. https://www.paratodomexico.com/estados-de-mexico/estado-nuevo-leon/index.html.
Northeast Conference Fifth Quadrennial Cuadrienal Session Agenda, July 17, 2017.
North Mexican Union Administrative Committee Minutes of the Administrative Board, UMN July 1, 2016.
North Mexican Union Year-end Committee Minutes of the Year-end Directors Board UMN, November 9-10, 2016.
Quintero Valles, Neftalí. “80 Aniversario.” Iasdvallarta. Accessed July 22, 2019. http://iasdvallarta.org/wp/80-aniversario/
Salazar Escarpulli, Velino. Cien años de adventismo en México. Montemorelos, N. L. México: Centro de Producciones Unión Mexicana del Norte, 1997.
Sepúlveda, Ciro. Los Orígenes de la Iglesia Adventista en México 1891-1914. Mexico, Publicaciones Interamericanas Pacific Press de México, 1983.
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2018.
“Estado de Nuevo Leon,” Para Todo Mexico, March 15, 2019, accessed July 27, 2019, https://www.paratodomexico.com/estados-de-mexico/estado-nuevo-leon/index.html.↩
“Regiomontana Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2018), 18.↩
Catalina Oyervides, interview by Gilmar Escalante Mejía Saltillo, Saltillo Coahuila, México, July 17, 2019.↩
Aracely G. Martín Benita, interview by Daniel E. Álvarez Domínguez, Monterrey, N. L. México, July 18, 2019.↩
Brenda C. Alvir Abraham, interviewed by Daniel E. Álvarez Domínguez, Monterrey, N. L. México, July 18, 2019.↩
Ciro Sepúlveda, Los Orígenes de la Iglesia Adventista en México 1891-1914 (México: Publicaciones Interamericanas Pacific Press de México, S. A. 1983), 40.↩
Ciro Sepúlveda, Los Orígenes de la Iglesia Adventista en México 1891-1914 (México: Publicaciones Interamericanas Pacific Press de México, S. A. 1983), 124-125.↩
Neftalí Quintero Valles, “80 Aniversario,” Iasdvallarta, accessed July 22, 2019. http://iasdvallarta.org/wp/80-aniversario/.↩
Velino Salazar Escarpulli, “Cien años de adventismo en México” (Montemorelos, N. L. México: Centro de Producciones Unión Mexicana del Norte. 1997), 98.↩
Zyntia Acosta, interview by Abraham Nolasco, Cd. Acuña, Coah. México, July 11, 2019.↩
North Mexican Union Administrative Committee Minutes, July 1, 2016, page 1063.↩
North Mexican Union Yearend Committee Minutes, November 9-10, 2016, page 78.↩
North Mexican Union Yearend Committee Minutes, November, 9 y 10, 2016, page 79.↩
Northeast Conference Fifth Quadrennial Session Agenda, July 17, 2017, page 4.↩