August 8, 1929 ~ June 2, 2013
Dr. Rev. Pablo Eleazar Perez was born on August 8, 1929 in Mexico City, Mexico. He was the youngest of four children of Dr. Eleazar Z. Perez and Luz Morales Perez. When his mother was expecting him, she sat down his three oldest sisters Maria Elena, Sylvia, and Graciela to tell them God was blessing them with a new addition. From that moment on, his sister Sylvia once wrote, "dad bought each of us special chairs, where every afternoon we would sit on and make your clothes." At the moment of birth, both is parents knew he was born for a special purpose and dedicated his life to the Lord. Even though he was born in Mexico in the early 20th century, Pablo was not born into a catholic home, but rather to a Presbyterian home since his grandfather Arcadio Morales had been one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church in Mexico Pablo's childhood was special but by far not spoiled. Being very young his sisters Sylvia and then Maria Elena married, so at the age of 10 Pablo became an uncle. In second grade he was kicked out of school because in his principal's words "it was better to be a communist than a protestant." This was because Protestants were not only a rarity but also persecuted during that time. Still, this did not deter this small boy from his faith, but rather made it grow. His home was always open to missionaries, pastors, and those who loved the Lord. As a pastor's son, he rarely saw his father who was always busy in the Lord's work but who always made it a point to take his birthday off in order to spend it with him. His mother would call them for breakfast with a hymn, something which was a very fond memory all of his life. In 1948, Pablo was able to get, through a missionary friend of his mother's, a scholarship for both Wheaton Academy and then Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Since money was scarce in his home, his parents bought him a one way bus ticket to Chicago and gave him $20.00. Pablo would later say that this was the last time he ever got any money from his parents. Whatever day he arrived in Chicago, his first Sunday there he went to Moody Bible Church where while walking in, he heard the hymn "Safe in the Arms of Jesus." For Pablo this hymn told hymn that even though he was thousands of miles away from his loved ones and in a strange new place, he was "Safe in the Arms of Jesus." Pablo quickly adapted to his new life as a Senior in Wheaton Academy. There he became part of the choir and of the soccer team since both were his passions. Upon graduating from the Academy, he quickly found work in anything he could do in order to survive the summer and then the coming years. During college Pablo had the difficult choice of choosing between choir and soccer, soccer being his bigger passion one. He was part of the team all during college and in his senior year was made team captain along with making All American. Yet, school was not just study and play. During these years he also worked in the school's kitchen and quickly learned to ride a bike in the snow in order to be there at 5 AM in order to cook breakfast. Also, he loved Sunday nights at College Church where the whole church would have a hymn sing-along and where all members sang in parts. Upon graduation in 1953, Pablo then moved from Wheaton to Philadelphia in order to attend Faith Seminary. For him, these years were the hardest yet held the sweetest memories. Still needing to work in order to survive Pablo learned to lay bricks, lay down water pipes, pick up trash, and work as an orderly at Germantown Hospital. It was in this hospital where he met two families that would become life-long friends. One was the Dietrichs, Wally and Lorraine and the other was Roberta Bertha Crawford and her children. Both families soon adopted him as their own and Pablo, along with his friend Renee quickly learned what that meant. One Christmas they traveled from Philadelphia to Pittsburg where the Dietrichs now lived in order to be there for the holiday. It was during this trip that both Pablo and Renee started a tradition – they would take their Handel's Messiah music score and sing all of it. This is where his true love for that piece of music was born. While the Dietrichs moved, Roberta stayed in Philadelphia. Bertha quickly became the "mother hen" and would make sure that Pablo would have Sunday dinner at her house in order to have at least one good meal during the weekend since the Seminary did not offer their students any meals during the weekend. Still, Pablo's love for the Lord and His word allowed him during this time; he would go down to skid row and preach to the drunks and homeless. Upon becoming aware of a Puerto Rican Community in Allentown and Bethlehem, Pablo began to work on creating two missions. When sharing about this time, Pablo would say, many Sundays I would not be able to make it to Bertha's house and I would have to decide whether I should spend my money on gas or food. Gas usually won, which meant he would be going to the missions. This is also where he ate many a bologna sandwich, which afterwards he hated with a passion. Yet, his priority on his work with those two missions paid off and upon graduating from Faith Seminary in 1956, those missions were now congregations. From Philadelphia, he traveled with his parents back to Mexico where he quickly became the assistant pastor of "El Divino Salvador" Presbyterian Church, where his father was the Senior Pastor. Here he remained until 1971. This church was located two blocks from downtown Mexico City and had formally been a 15th Century Catholic Convent. As young pastor, he dove into the work of the church. One of the many things he quickly became in charge of were the may missions this church had all over the surrounding states of Mexico. Going to these missions was not easy work. At times it meant first traveling by bus, followed by either walking for 5 to 6 hours or riding a mule on high narrow cliff roads. Upon arriving to the missions who were usually located in villages, Pablo would at times have to hold session meetings, group weddings, baptisms, and even services at 2 or three in the morning. It also meant helping the village people by simply walking with them to the nearest town on market day in order for their goods to not be stolen. Still, this did not mean that he was not responsible for preaching on Sundays or Wednesday Night Bible Study. During one Sunday morning message, a young lady walked into the church, which having been a former catholic church was very long. As this young lady walked down the aisle to take her seat, Pablo could not take his eyes off her. When the service was over, he quickly ran to the door in order to be able to greet, and maybe get her name. He did greet her, but she did not give her name, this did not matter. That night he ripped the page of his calendar and wrote: "Today I met the woman I am to marry." Sometime later, during a special dinner at the Presbyterian Seminary, his mother not aware of Pablo's note, but with a plan of her own made him save a place next to her. Unknown to Pablo, his mother had met this young lady when she was 12 and from that moment on began praying that Lulu would become Pablo's life. During that dinner, not only did he learn her name, but a friendship began. Weeks later, during a church picnic Pablo asked Lulu if she wanted to be his girlfriend. Lulu made Pablo wait two weeks before saying yes. Eight months later on May 17, 1958 they were married and Lulu joined Pablo not only in marriage but ministry. As a young couple, in the late 60's Pablo was suffering from burn-out and decided to take a year-long sabbatical when he, along with his wife and 7 year old daughter Lore moved to Dallas, Texas where Pablo attended Dallas Theological Seminary for his Masters in Theology. Upon their return to Mexico both Pablo and Lulu felt a burden for the young people of the church. It was then that they began to counsel these couples, lead Bible Studies, and shockingly! against the Sessions consent went on a coed camp, where they taught about sex, dating, and marriage based on the Bible. This work paid off and many marriages came out of these times. Many of whom are still together and some even went into the Lord's work because of this. During this time period, Pablo was also invited to go to the Dominican Republic to preached in a large unreached area known as San Juan the la Maguana. Because of this he was later invited to attend a Congress on Evangelism in Berlin, Germany. From this congress the Latin American Theological Fraternity was formed, Pablo being one of the founding members. This Fraternity became the place where Pablo, the theologian, was born since the sole purpose was for all members to write, argue, critique, and talk about theology and their love for the Lord. Some of these members are already with the Lord, but this fraternity has withstood the test of time, differences, and love. Sensing that his work in Mexico was over, Pablo once again uprooted his family but this time to Pasadena, California in order to work on his doctorate. In 1973 he graduated from Fulller Theological Seminary with a doctorate in Missions. From there he went back to his Alma Mater – Dallas Theological Seminary where he taught missions for a year and a half. Once again he sensed the leading of the Lord and in January of 1975 he took the position of the President of the Instituto Evangelistico de Mexico Evangelistic Institute of Mexico where he worked until 1982. Here he formed many generations of future preachers, teachers, and leaders from all denominations. For many he became that father they never had. He also became their mentor and showed them how to love God, His Word, and theology. From 1982 until now, Pablo kept busy in the Lord's work. He first went to Dallas, Texas to what had been his home church there to start a Spanish ministry. Afterwards he became the secretary general of the Commission on Church Renewal for World Evangelical Fellowship. It was during this time that the Lord allowed Pablo to travel all over the world except Australia preaching His Word. In the Late 80's he also became part of SOLA FIDE Ministry where he would still travel all over the world but instead of preaching, teaching church leaders how to aide in the spiritual growth of new converts. In 1993, Pablo moved his wife and daughter one last time to Atlanta, Georgia. For some time he continued to work with SOLAFIDE but in 1994 began working for InTouch Ministries. It was here where Pablo worked the longest 19 years. His work consisted of translating Dr. Charles Stanley's sermons from English to Spanish. He started doing the radio translations, was then moved to the TV translations where he learned the difficult task of perfect lip synchronization. His last task was to translate and cut Dr. Stanley's sermons from approximately 30, 000 words to 1, 000 words for what was called "Sermon Notes." This is what he was working on until the day he went to the hospital. Yet, this was not his only ministry in his later years of life. Pablo was a quiet man who never wanted the spotlight on himself. Yet, at the same time he was always a preacher at heart. Many at InTouch know that he would stop and ask them how they were doing and if Pablo told you he was praying for you, you could count on it. In his beloved church of Fairview Presbyterian Church he was a Sunday School teacher until his very last. He also loved to sing or "cackle" as he would say and was part of the choir until the 2012 cantata. He would also pray for many, minister to many, and was always willing be a listening ear to many. Pablo was truly a man of God. He loved life to the fullest, loved his wife and daughter like no husband or father could. Was a loyal friend, a man of integrity and prayer. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him, but now he is with the One he loved most in this world. His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.