River Ministry Director Daniel Rangel dies

Daniel Rangel, River Ministry missionaries and members of the Missions Team participate in the River Ministry fall retreat in September 2019. Rangel died Nov. 10.

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Daniel Rangel, director of Texas Baptists’ River Ministry and Mexico Missions for 11 years, died on Nov.10. He was 57.

Rangel oversaw a team of 17 River Ministry missionaries who serve along the Texas/Mexico border and in Mexico. As a strong advocate for mission work and evangelism, Rangel mobilized countless volunteers to serve in areas of great need.

“We are sad and deeply grateful for the life and ministry of Daniel Rangel,” said David Hardage, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. “No one knew more about what was happening along the border through our River Ministry. He will be missed. He was a dear part of our Texas Baptists’ family.”

During a Nov. 11 chapel service at the BGCT offices in Dallas, Rangel’s friends shared stories of his kindness, humor, commitment to ministry and deep love for his family and the Lord.

Rangel was born Sept. 29, 1962. He attended the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg—now The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley—and graduated in 1985 with a degree in Physical Education and English.

As a college student, he was active in both Baptist Student Union and community missions. He served as a summer missionary for three summers through River Ministry, Union Baptist Association in Houston and working with student ministry in Monterrey, Mexico.

Rangel earned a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1996.

He served as a minister of education in a church in North Texas and was pastor of three churches in South Texas.

Daniel Ranel and other members of the Missions Team walk across the bridge connecting Mexico and the United States.

Rangel was director of the Center for Theological and University Studies in Harlingen, representing Howard Payne University and Hardin-Simmons University, and he was director of missions for Rio Grande Baptist Association.

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During his time overseeing River Ministry, he provided training to many churches and mobilized thousands of volunteers to serve along the border. From January through June this year, River Ministry served more than 40,000 people, and 2,446 individuals made professions of faith in Christ.

For the last two years, he also served as interim pastor at First Baptist Church of Forest Hill, near Fort Worth.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Elizabeth (Liz) Molina Garcia; a daughter, Elisa; and a son, Esteban.

A memorial service will be held Nov. 13 at First Baptist Church of Forest Hill, 3430 Horton Rd, in Forest Hill. Visitation is scheduled at 6:30 p.m., followed by the service at 7 p.m.

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