Peverini, Héctor Juan (1906–1983)

By Tulio N. Peverini

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Tulio N. Peverini

First Published: July 12, 2021

Héctor Juan Peverini was a descendant of pioneers, pastor, writer, administrator of the church in the Austral Union Conference, president of River Plate Academy (Entre Ríos, Argentina), and a departmental director in the South American Division.1

Early Years and Ministerial Studies

Héctor was born on June 24, 1906. He was the grandson of Pedro Juan (Pietro Giovanni) Peverini (1849–1941) and Cecilia Tourn (1851–1931), who accepted the Adventist message in 1885 after reading the European review Les Signes des Temps. Without contact with other Adventists, they began to keep the Sabbath and accepted the other doctrines. In 1896 Jean Vuilleumier baptized Pedro and Cecilia, and three of their children (the older, Daniel, was Héctor Juan’s father).2 Daniel Peverini (1876–1967) married Amalia Mazza (1877–1973) in 1899 and formed a solid Christian home with eight children.

Three powerful realities exerted an undeniable influence on the life of Héctor J. Peverini: the countryside, Christian education, and faith. Héctor, like his brothers, lived his first years in Rincón de Amores, near the city of Villa Ocampo, province of Santa Fe, Argentina, which at the beginning of the twentieth century had more than 3,000 people (today there are almost 20,000).3 All children were born there, except for the firstborn, Roberto, who was born in Las Garzas, Santa Fe. His parents, Daniel Peverini (1876–1967) and Amalia Mazza (1878–1973), were dedicated to the education of their children and the hard and demanding work of the countryside.4 This promoted in the eight children habits of diligence and a brave spirit against the dangers that surrounded them. They also enjoyed a climate of freedom that promoted the development of talent and the ability to take initiative. This prepared them to face with completeness the struggles that the future would hold for them.

Daniel and Amalia decided to educate their children, despite not having a school nearby. When the children reached school age, Daniel enabled a part of the house for a classroom and for a teacher’s room and established a private school. Thus, they attended primary school.5 But this did not satisfy the mother’s aspirations. She wanted her three sons, five daughters, and two orphans to have the opportunity to acquire higher education. Thus one after another, all the children went to study at River Plate Academy, in Entre Ríos province. Héctor Peverini graduated from the ministerial course in 1927,6 and almost all other children acquired higher education professions: Esther was a literature teacher and married Samuel Alberro. Celia was a head nurse in Chulumani Sanitarium and Hospital, Bolivia, and later in River Plate Sanitarium, Entre Ríos, Argentina. She married Manuel Ampuero Matta. Angelica was an obstetrician and married Daniel Hämmerly Dupuy. Otilia was a nurse and a teacher at River Plate Sanitarium. She married Víctor E. Ampuero Matta. Elvira was a teacher and married José Ramos. Abel married Emma Videla, and was a farmer and rancher.7

Héctor Peverini always estimated the value of Christian education throughout his service to the church. During his 16 years of administrative duties in the Buenos Aires Conference and the Austral Union Conference he worked, together with his collaborators, to create or consolidate educational institutions of primary or secondary level.8 When he was president of River Plate Academy, significant building progress was made, a pavilion for music teaching began, and new courses of study were approved.9 In 1954 he graduated the first class of students with the title of National Normal Teacher.10 Peverini encouraged many young people to follow university courses to meet the needs of the church and to access unreached circles.

The most powerful influence that shaped Héctor Peverini's character was faith in God, which he received as a legacy from his parents and grandparents. He was baptized at age 14 in 1920.

Ministry

Héctor graduated from the missionary course in River Plate Academy in 1927.11 Then, when he was 21 years old, he began his ministry. His active service extended for 46 uninterrupted years, until January 1974. Soon after graduation he worked in evangelism at Central Argentine Conference (1927–1930). Before completing this period of service, he got engaged on September 2, 1929, to Sotera A. García. The wedding was held in Parchment, Buenos Aires province, and it was officiated by Luis A. Rojas.

Sotera was born on April 22, 1909, in Talayuela, Cáceres province, Spain; her parents were Sotero García Gómez (1876–1952) and María Esteban González (1881–1973). A sister of Sotera, only one year older, was Felisa, who married Braulio Pérez Marcio. In 1919, at age 11, Sotera accompanied her mother and many brothers on a trip to Argentina, where they encountered her father, Sotero, who had emigrated to this country eight years before. The family settled in Pehuajó, Buenos Aires province. Sometime later Sotero had contact with an Adventist canvasser, Sabino Gregorio, who told him about the Sabbath truth and later he found Magdalena Gambetta in Miguel Cané, La Pampa, who strongly urged him to keep the Sabbath and to join the Adventist Church.12

The García family moved to Florida, Buenos Aires, where Luis A. Rojas Ayala prepared Sotero and the other members of the family for baptism, including Sotera, who was 16, and Felisa, who was 17. The baptism was held in the Florida church in July 1925. Rojas encouraged Sotero to send his daughters to River Plate Academy in Entre Ríos in order to receive a Christian education. As they did not have money, Felisa and Sotera went canvassing together for a whole year in Buenos Aires province, and so they earned the scholarship to study.13 Sotera arrived at River Plate Academy in 1926, at the age of 17. She had a precious voice and strong missionary ideals. In this institution she met Héctor J. Peverini.

From January 1931 to April 1932 Peverini was the Spanish teacher at River Plate Academy. There his son Carlos Alberto was born, on August 18, 1931, in River Plate Sanitarium. In May 1932 they arrived to Paysandú, Uruguay, where Peverini was called to serve as a pastor and evangelist. A few months later, on November 13, 1932, Sotera gave birth to twins, Milton and Tulio.14 In May 1933, six months after the birth of their sons, Sotera became seriously ill from postpartum depression. Despite all the efforts of science, not very advanced in those days, she did not recover her health. Instead, her condition was aggravated in a chronic way, which forced her hospitalization for five long decades. She was ill for 57 years and died on June 30, 1990.

In all those years Peverini was faithful to his wife and to their marriage vows. Although several friends and even administrators advised him to divorce her, he remained loyal to his partner. After all, he had promised to always love her, “for better or for worse, in sickness or in health.” How could he leave her when she needed him most?15 As his son Milton said: “Nothing and no one could bring down his decision to ensure the welfare of that young woman who had given him her heart and three children. Our father denied himself so the vows of loyalty to his wife could triumph.”16 He always sustained a deep love and trust in God and the absorbing desire to share the gospel of salvation with others despite adverse circumstances. In 1943 the church of Florida, Buenos Aires, set a day of fasting and prayer, to intercede on behalf of Sotera after ten years of her illness. Peverini told his 11-year-old sons: “She will be healed, but in God’s time.” God’s mercy and promises never fail.”

For 11 years (1934–1945) Peverini worked as a writer at Buenos Aires Publishing House, during which he wrote two books of solid biblical and evangelizing content: Esta hora tremenda [This Tremendous Hour] and Los caminos de la paz [The Paths of Peace].17 He was a secretary, a writer, and a director of Juventud [Youth]. Later he was president of Buenos Aires Conference from 1945 to 1951. Between 1952 and 1955 he was president and teacher at River Plate Academy. After that he was the president of Austral Union Conference for ten years (1956–1966). Pastor Peverini was called in 1966 to serve as field missionary secretary and director of religious liberty of the South American Division. He also directed South America Today from 1968, and was director of public relations and radio.

Retirement and Legacy

In 1974 he retired, but kept working as a pastor of the church in Florida, Buenos Aires, and as a chaplain of River Plate Sanitarium in Entre Ríos. He acted as an itinerant preacher, elder of the church, and translator for Pacific Press. He also wrote articles and the book En las huellas de la Providencia [In the Footsteps to Providence], about the story of the church in South America. Héctor J. Peverini died on August 18, 1983, at age 77, in Libertador San Martín, Entre Ríos.18 On his grave it is written: “Se sostuvo como viendo al Invisible” (He endured, as seeing Him who is invisible) (Hebrew 11:27).

Notes

  1. Daniel Oscar Plenc, “Era un caballero” [He Was a Gentleman], La Agenda, Weekly Edition, publication of River Plate Adventist University, March 30-April 6, 2017, separate 1, 2; Daniel Oscar Plenc, Tributo a la esperanza: la Iglesia de Colonia Pintos Viana [Tribute to Hope: the Church of Colonia Pintos Viana] (Rosario, Santa Fe: by the author, 2014), 145, 146.

  2. Héctor J. Peverini, En las huellas de la Providencia [In the Footsteps to Providence] (Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1988), 36. After his baptism Daniel dedicated a year for canvassing in Uruguay.

  3. Amaro N. Peverini, Pietro Giovanni, el hombre del destino [The Man of Destiny] (Libertador San Martín, Entre Ríos: by the author, 2012), 73.

  4. Juan Daniel Antonio Peverini was born in Esquina, Corrientes, Argentina, on June 4, 1876, and died in Libertador San Martín, Entre Ríos, Argentina, on September 25, 1967. He married in Las Garzas, Santa Fe (1889), to Amalia Mazza (1878–1973).

  5. See the story of one of the daughters, in Esther Peverini de Alberro, Hacia el ideal y otros relatos [Toward the Ideal and Other Stories] (Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1956), 242.

  6. Ricardo J. D’Argenio, “Necrología” [Obituary], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], December 1983, 19.

  7. Amaro N. Peverini, 74.

  8. Humberto J. Cairus, obituary of Héctor J. Peverini, in the Auditorium Hall of River Plate Academy, Libertador San Martín, Entre Ríos, August 19, 1983.

  9. Héctor J. Peverini, “Las actividades misioneras” [Missionary Activities], La voz del colégio [Voice of the Academy] November 1924, 21, 22; Egil H. Wensell, El poder de una esperanza, que educa y sana [The Power of a Hope That Educates and Heals] (Libertador San Martín, Entre Ríos: River Plate Adventist University Editorial, 1993), 114; La voz del colégio [Voice of the Academy], November 1968.

  10. Wensell, 98–100, 127.

  11. Milton Peverini, “Carta a mis hijos” [Letter to My Children], September 3, 1983, in Eunice Meier Peverini, “History of the Peverini Family.”

  12. Eunice Meier Peverini.

  13. Lilia Peverini Moncrieff, “Recuerdos de tía Felisa” [Memories of Aunt Felisa] (Berrien Springs, Michigan: November 27, 2004); biography of Felisa García de Pérez Marcio, 12, delivered by her daughter, Eunice Dupertuis, to the author of this biography.

  14. Tulio N. Peverini graduated with a Bachelor of Theology at River Plate Academy (1952); he devoted eight years to teaching and 34 years to editorial work. He was a teacher at Buenos Aires Academy, writer at Buenos Aires Publishing House, Argentina (1954–1961); teacher (1962–1967) and vice director (1966–1967) at North Argentine Academy, Misiones, Argentina; professor and academic dean at River Plate Academy (1968–1969); director of El Centinela [The Sentinel]; and editor at Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, United States (1970–1997). Milton Peverini graduated with a Bachelor of Theology at River Plate Academy (1952); he graduated as a lawyer at River Plate University (1966). He was a pastor in the Uruguay republic (1955–1958), teacher at Buenos Aires Academy, and director of youth and education departments of Buenos Aires Conference (1970–1973), pastor in South California, United States (1967–1969), associate speaker (1970–1973) and speaker and director (1974–1998) of radio La Voz de la Esperanza [Voice of Hope], international speaker, evangelist and author of articles and books. Since 1998 he continued as emeritus speaker. See: “Clase del CAP 1952-2002: Recuerdos y bendiciones” [CAP Class 1952-2002: Memories and Blessings] (96-page material prepared for the meeting of the graduates of River Plate Academy of 1952), 55–58.

  15. See J. Robert Spangler, “Fiel a toda prueba” [True to All Proof], August 22, 1991.

  16. Milton Peverini.

  17. Héctor J. Peverini, Esta hora tremenda [This Tremendous Hour] (Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1943); Los caminos de la paz [The Paths of Peace] (Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1943).

  18. See D’Argenio.

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Peverini, Tulio N. "Peverini, Héctor Juan (1906–1983)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. July 12, 2021. Accessed February 29, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6GMT.

Peverini, Tulio N. "Peverini, Héctor Juan (1906–1983)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. July 12, 2021. Date of access February 29, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6GMT.

Peverini, Tulio N. (2021, July 12). Peverini, Héctor Juan (1906–1983). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved February 29, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6GMT.