Justo Morales, a Lake Region Conference (LRC) pastor in the Lake Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, lost his life on June 7, 2021, in a car crash near Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States. He was with his wife, Rosa, who is in stable condition at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana.
Leaders said that Morales lived a life in service to God and his family. At the time of his death, he was pastor of the Chicago Shalom II Hispanic Church and the Rockford Salem Hispanic Company in Illinois. He was also working as a children’s ministries presenter for the North American Division.
Previously, he worked as the Hispanic Ministries director for the Illinois Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Before that, he spent many years as a pastor and administrator for the Adventist Church in Peru. Morales’ passion was children’s and family ministries, where he and Rosa devoted much of their time to training leaders, teaching parents, and telling kids about Jesus’ love.
Eddie Allen, Lake Region vice president and Hispanic Ministries coordinator, remembers Morales as “an amazing man and an excellent worker who, with his wife, Rosa, passionately helped with family life and children’s ministries in the Lake Region Conference.”
Morales had served in Illinois for 17 years, four years as the pastor of the Fox Valley District and 13 years as the Hispanic Ministries director.
Ron Aguilera, Illinois Conference president, said that he deeply appreciated Morales’ friendship and support. “Justo served with gusto,” he said. “My fondest memories with Justo are the evangelism crusades we held together in Bogota, Columbia, and Panama City, Panama. His smile and enthusiasm communicated his love for God and people.”
Carmelo Mercado, Lake Union vice president and Multicultural Ministries director, said that Morales was a friend who always saw strong possibility in doing God's work in unique ways and did not think in negative terms. “One of the things I will always appreciate about Pastor Morales is how he helped lead the Illinois Hispanic pastors to join hands with Lake Region Hispanic pastors and the Lake Union and the North American Division in a joint evangelistic effort with Elder Alejandro Bullon in 2008. This joint event was a first of its kind in our union. He was instrumental in leading his pastors to support this initiative. I will deeply miss our conversations about life and mission. I long to speak with him again when Jesus comes again.”
Survivors include daughters Ana Le-Floch (son-in-law Ghislain) and Mirtha; son Enrique (daughter-in-law Marcella); and grandchildren Gabriel, Alysa, Angelique, and Elias.