PP astor Ervin González, publishing ministries director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America, died on Dec. 31, 2020, after complications due to the novel coronavirus. González passed away after being admitted to a hospital in Monterrey, Mexico, earlier in December. He was 59.
“This is most devastating news for us,” said Pastor Elie Henry, president of the church in Inter-America. “Last time I spoke to him was just before he went into the hospital on Dec. 18.
We prayed together and I could hear that he was so strong in his connection with God.”
His passion for the publishing work and spreading the good news of the gospel in the printed word was the driving force that led González’s to push for more books and resources readily available to literature evangelists all across the territory, added Pastor Henry.
“I met Ervin more than 18 years ago while he was president of Linda Vista Adventist University in Mexico, and since then he has always remained a man of conviction and passion for young people to grow, especially for students to learn early on how to support themselves as student literature evangelists,” he said. “He was instrumental in ensuring that each local church has an active publishing ministries department in order to involve every member in sharing Adventist literature and resources on topics of heath, marriage, the family, spiritual growth and more in their place of work and in their communities.”
His passion for the well-being of literature evangelists, whether they were full-time, part-time or students paying for their schooling, as well as the important role publishing houses play in advancing the gospel, was at the heart of his mission, explained Pastor Henry. “His influence in our church territory was invaluable.”
“We lost a wonderful educator, a promoter of the truth, a committed and dedicated colleague and a great leader,” added Pastor Henry. “Our church in Inter-America will continue to pray for his wife Lilia, who is battling the coronavirus, and the family he leaves behind.”
Dedicated church service
González was born in Mexico and began his service as a church pastor in South Mexico. In his more than 34 years of church service, he led as conference publishing ministries director, conference president, university president and publishing house president of GEMA Editors in Mexico before becoming publishing ministries director for Inter-America in 2012.
He completed his bachelor’s degree in theology at Montemorelos University, obtained a master’s degree in theology through Andrews University in 1996 and a doctorate degree in pastoral ministry from the same institution in 2002.
For Pastor Tomas Tórres, vice president for the church in Inter-America, the death of González comes as a shock. They both met as college students at Montemorelos University through undergraduate and graduate studies. “He’s been a friend for so many years, full of wonderful moments shared as students and workers in the church,” said Torres. “I know this loss is only temporal because it’s now an opportunity to renew our supreme hope to see each other again in heaven.”
Leadership in Chiapas
The passing of González is a devastating blow to Pastor Ignacio Navarro, president of the church in Chiapas Mexican Union. “My heart is too sad for such a great loss,” said Navarro. Their friendship went beyond 30 years. “When I started my ministry, he was president of the North Chiapas Conference during a time when the field was going through financial crisis. His leadership was so important for the growth of the church.” In a short time, the conference became one of the strongest fields in the union. “He was able to motivate, inspire and mobilize pastors and church leaders in a very impressive way.”
Navarro recalls a long conversation via Zoom several months ago where he reminded González how his own ministry had been greatly touched by his leadership.
“I know God always decides what is best for his children and we will soon be able to hug my great friend,” said Navarro. “Chiapas owes a lot to the leadership of this great servant of God.”
Dedicated leader and friend
The eight years that Belkis Archbold, health ministries director for the church in Inter-America, got to work close to Pastor González, translated into a relationship of respect and collaboration in countless initiatives and events as departmental colleagues. “He was always willing to go the extra mile in any project,” said Archbold. “I am forever grateful for his assistance and support during the division’s territory-wide health summit of 2013, and more recently Inter-America’s health summit held in Jan. 2020.”
There was no one more passionate about publishing ministries as González, commented Pastor Melchor Ferreyra, personal ministries director for the church in Inter-America. “He was a great friend, brother and a person with such an extraordinary compassion for humanity. He always helped those in need,” said Ferreyra. Ferreyra added that it was very evident to see that González was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. “I am sure that I will see him in the morning of the resurrection at the sound of the trumpet when Christ will come for the second time.”
Ervin González is survived by his wife Lilia, their sons Erwin and Jenner, daughter Lilia and four grandchildren.