North Chiapas Conference

By Francisco Ramón Concepción

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Francisco Ramón Concepción, B.A. (Universidad Linda Vista, Chiapas, Mexico) is currently pursuing a Master’s degree from Universidad de Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Ramón has served the Church as pastor, department director, and administrator in Upper Chiapas Conference and in North Chiapas Conference. He is married to Herandy Zúñiga Pérez and has two children.

North Chiapas Conference forms part of the Chiapas Mexican Union Conference, which is part of the Inter-American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Territory and Statistics

North Chiapas Conference is located within the territorial limits of the states of Chiapas and Tabasco. It includes the municipalities of the northern part of the state of Chiapas. Part of its territory covers the coastal plains of the Gulf of Mexico, also called the Northern Alluvial Plains, which are located in the extreme north of Chiapas and extend from the municipalities of Reforma to Ostuacán and from Catazajá to the archaeological zone of Palenque. It is a flat, marshy area that lies at low altitude. This region is where the great oil deposits of the state are located.1 The main language spoken here, other than the official language Spanish, is Zoque, which is spoken in the municipalities of Tapalapa, Amatán, Francisco León, Ixhuatán, Ixtamocitán, Ocotepec, Ostuacán, Pantepec, Rayón, Tailula, and others.2 The headquarters of the North Chiapas Conference is located at 12 Andrés Serra Rojas Street, Las Ranas Colony, Pichucalco, Chiapas, Mexico.

Statistics (June 30, 2019): Churches, 284; membership, 48,876; population, 310,805.3

Educational Institutions

Colegio Niños Héroes. It is located on Pípila Street, no number, in Pichucalco, Chiapas. It was established in 1981. It currently offers all six grades of elementary school and the full secondary and preparatory levels. There are 14 teachers, four administrators, four support personnel, and an enrollment of 288 students.

Vicente Guerrero. It is located at 14 Frambovanes Street, Juárez, Chiapas. It was established in 1966. It currently offers the full levels of elementary, secondary, and preparatory. It has 15 teachers, five administrators, one support person, and an enrollment of 222.

Lázaro Cárdenas del Río Adventist School. It is located at 23 Vicente Guerrero Street, Centro Colony, in Reforma, Chiapas. It began in 1979. It offers the full elementary, secondary, and preparatory levels. It has 25 teachers, five administrators, seven support personnel, and an enrollment of 452 students.

Venustiano Carranza. It is located at the farm community of San Lorenzo, municipality of Amatán, Chiapas. It was established in 1981. It offers the elementary and secondary levels. It has eight teachers and three administrators. It has an enrollment of 50 students.

Niños Héroes Adventist School. It is located at the corner of North 2nd Street and West 3rd Avenue, Barrio Guadalupe, Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán, Chiapas. It was founded in 1977. It offers pre-school, elementary, secondary, and preparatory levels. It has 18 teachers, four administrators, one support person, and has an enrollment of 260.

Gustavo Díaz Ordaz. It is located on federal highway 195 Pichucalco to Tuxtla-Gutiérrez, in Solosuchiapa, Chiapas. It offers all elementary, secondary, and preparatory levels. It has 12 teachers, four administrators, and its current enrollment is 158 students.

Vicente Guerrero. It is located on Progreso Street, no number, Barrio San Sebastián, Ixtacomitán, Chiapas. It was established in 1974. It offers the full elementary, secondary, and preparatory levels. It has 14 teachers, three administrators, two support staff, and it has an enrollment of 131.

Símbolos Patrios. It is located on Main Street, no number, Colony Plan de Ayala, Ostuacán, Chiapas. It offers complete elementary and secondary levels. It has nine teachers, three administrators, one support person, and currently has an enrollment of 118 students.

Origins

The Adventist message came to the state of Chiapas, to the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, from Oaxaca in 1913. According to Antonio Díaz, longstanding church elder, the first missionaries came to the territory of the North Chiapas Conference in 1938.

The Adventist message came to Tapilula, another city in the north of Chiapas, through Saturnino Silván, who came to Tapilula in 1943. He settled in the community as a practicing doctor and teacher. He was established in a house that served as both his medical office and a school. He taught the children to read by using the Bible. By the 1950’s, he had a group of 60 persons who soon purchased the property where the current central church is located in the center of the city of Tapilula. In the 1960’s there was a growth of membership, and by 1972 there were 130 believers.4 Since then the church has grown greatly, and the message has gone out to almost every corner of our territory.

Formative Events

At the administrative board meeting of the South Mexican Union, presided over by Pastor Agustín Galicia, president of the union, in Mexico City on September 2 of 1987, by vote number 1075, a request was sent to the Inter-American Division to consider dividing the South Mexican Conference into two fields.5

In 1988 the South Mexican Union Conference, with vote number 1638, decided to advance the South Mexican Conference $50,000,000.00 pesos (MXN) to build offices for the North Chiapas Mission, which was in the process of organizing.6

In this way, in 1989, the South Mexican Conference divided into two fields, the Central Chiapas Conference, which would care for the territory in the center of the state and have its headquarters in Tuxtla Gutierrez with 55 churches and 29,352 members, and the North Chiapas Conference, headquartered in Pichucalco, with 66 churches and 39,729 members.7

The North Chiapas Conference located its offices at 12 Andrés Serra Rojas Street, Las Ranas colony, Pichucalco, Chiapas, 29520, and was officially formed in 1989.8

Because of its growth, the North Chiapas Conference has been divided several times in order to form new missions. At the administrative board meeting in Pichucalco, Chiapas, on February 17, 2005, presided over by Pastor Ignacio Navarro Pérez, the conference, by vote number 3258, ceded the districts of Huitiupán, Sabanilla, Simojovel, and Yajalón to the new Upper Chiapas Mission, which would have its headquarters in San Cristóbal de las Casa; it had a total of four districts, 19 churches, 113 congregations, and 9,889 members.9

In 2007 the administrative board of the North Chiapas Conference met in Pichucalco on June 19. The meetings were presided over by Pastor Dimas López, and with vote number 3746, the conference ceded the districts of Agua Blanca, CNC, Xochitlán, Raudales 1, Raudales 2, and Santos Degollados to the new West Chiapas Mission, with headquarters in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.10

The third and most recent division of territory for the North Chiapas Conference took place with the creation of the Palenque Mission A. The criteria for its organization was voted in plenary session of the Chiapas Mexican Union on November 14-16 of 2016.11 At the constituency meeting of the North Chiapas Conference, which met in Pichucalco, Chiapas, on March 20, 2016 with 149 regular member and 92 ex oficio members, by vote number 419, it was decided to cede the districts of Nuevo Chihuahua, Benemérito, Palestina, Chancala, La Siria, Palenque 1, Palenque 2, Palenque 3, Playas de Catzajá, El Limar, and Nuevo Limar to the new Palenque Mission A.12

Fulfilling the Mission

The North Chiapas Conference seeks to fulfill its mission by:

  • Seeing that all its members experience a personal relationship with Christ and be saved living under His control. The conference is trying to make sure all its departments permeate their activities with the program “Lord, Transform me,” through the systematic reading of the Bible and through the reading of the Spirit of Prophecy with the program “Believe in His Prophets.”

  • Committing the church to adopt a lifestyle that will glorify God by implementing the program: “I Want to Live Healthy,” and +Health, so that the members of the church and of the community can live with healthy habits.

  • Making the presence of the church known throughout the community at all social levels through community services, such as the medical brigades, which involve health professionals and the youth clubs of the church in carrying out this work.

  • Implementation of an integral evangelistic program, which involves all the church members in the personal and corporate evangelistic projects according to each member’s gifts and talents. All 41 districts of the conference will participate in this.

  • Strengthening the faith of the children of the church members through the Adventist educational system, which can also evangelize its non-Adventist students and families.

  • Through the plan Sueña Grande, which seeks to involve a larger number of members as colporteurs who can carry out evangelistic work in the territory of the conference through the selling of Adventist literature.

List of Presidents

Rubén Rodriguez (1989-1991); Erwin A. González (1991-1997); Araín Juárez (1997, 1998); Jairo Tenorio Carvallo (1998-2001); Villaney Vázquez Alegría (2001-2003); Ignacio Navarro Pérez (2003-2006); Dimas López López (2006-2012); Salomón García (2012, 2013); Eloy Pérez García (2013-2016); Uriel Castellanos Maza (2016-2019); Adriel Clemente Martínez (2019-Present).

Sources

“Anexo: regions fisiograficas de Chiapas.” Wikipedia. Accessed November 4, 2020. https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anexo:Regiones_fisiogr%C3%A1ficas_de_Chiapas.

Administrative Board Meeting of the South Mexican Union, September 2, 1987.

Chiapas Mexican Union Minutes, 2016.

Cortés A., Félix and Salazar E., Velino. Esforzados y Valientes. Monetemorelos, N. L.: Editorial Perspectiva y Análisis, 2015.

Lopez Mendez, Evangelina. “Los 13 Grupos Etnicos de Chiapas Principales.” Lifeder. Accessed November 4, 2020, https://www.lifeder.com/grupos-etnicos-chiapas/.

North Chiapas Conference Minutes, 2005 and 2007.

Salazar, Velino E. Cien Años de Adventismos en México. Montemorelos, N. L.: Centro de Producción Unión Mexicana del Norte, 1997.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1989, 1990, 2020. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

South Mexican Union Minutes, 1986-1988.

Notes

  1. “Anexo: regions fisiograficas de Chiapas,” Wikipedia, accessed November 4, 2020, https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anexo:Regiones_fisiogr%C3%A1ficas_de_Chiapas.

  2. Evangelina Lopez Mendez, “Los 13 Grupos Etnicos de Chiapas Principales,” Lifeder, accessed November 4, 2020, https://www.lifeder.com/grupos-etnicos-chiapas/.

  3. “North Chiapas Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (2020), accessed November 4, 2020, https://www.adventistyearbook.org/entity?EntityID=14116.

  4. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1989), 170.

  5. Administrative Board Meeting of the South Mexican Union, September 2, 1987.

  6. South Mexican Union Minutes, 1988.

  7. Velino Salazar E., Cien Años de Adventismo en México (Montemorelos, N. L., Mexico: Centro de Producción Unión Mexicana del Norte, 1997), 230, 231.

  8. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1990), 170.

  9. North Chiapas Conference Minutes, 2005.

  10. North Chiapas Conference Minutes, 2007.

  11. Chiapas Mexican Union Minutes, 2016.

  12. North Chiapas Conference Minutes, 2016.

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Concepción, Francisco Ramón. "North Chiapas Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 16, 2021. Accessed April 19, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9G0U.

Concepción, Francisco Ramón. "North Chiapas Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 16, 2021. Date of access April 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9G0U.

Concepción, Francisco Ramón (2021, April 16). North Chiapas Conference. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9G0U.