Santiago Garcia Jr., retired pastor/evangelist, died April 3. He was 89. Garcia was born April 27, 1930, in San Antonio to Sotera and Santiago Garcia. After answering the call to the gospel ministry at age 18, he studied theology at Mexican Baptist Bible Institute, now Baptist University of the Américas, where he was one of three in the school’s first graduating class. As a student, he was pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Pleasanton, a mission of First Baptist Church in Pleasanton, which licensed him to preach. He established ministry points in Christine, Charlotte, Poteet and Jourdanton. In 1950, he started a mission of South San Antonio Baptist Church, which ordained him. The mission constituted as Iglesia Bautista Sur San Antonio in 1952. The congregation was self-supporting from its inception, a feat highly uncommon at the time among Texas Baptist Spanish-speaking congregations. He joined the Houston-based Gene Williams Evangelism Association as an associate evangelist and led revivals in Texas, Mexico, Central America and Puerto Rico. During five decades in ministry, he was pastor of Iglesia Bautista Buen Pastor in Del Rio, Westlawn Baptist Church in San Antonio, Bonita Gardens Baptist Church in Houston, Seacroft Baptist Church in San Antonio, Northeast Hispanic Baptist Church in Converse and Iglesia Bautista in Somerset. In retirement, he continued to serve part-time as pastor of churches in Sutherland Springs, Elgin and Waelder. He served Texas Baptists on several denominational boards, including Baptist Memorial Hospital System in San Antonio. He was a member of the Convención Bautista Mexicana de Texas Committee of Seven, which recommended the convention’s historic unification agreement. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Delia Pachecano Garcia; seven children; 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Obituary: Santiago Garcia Jr.
April 6, 2020