Seventh-day Adventist leaders in Honduras recently ordained 18 ministers during a special ceremony on Utila — the smallest of Honduras’ major Bay Islands — where the Adventist movement entered the Central American region 128 years ago. The ceremony, held on July 9, 2022, represented the largest ordination service ever held in the Adventist Church’s Honduras Union Mission.
“Today is a day to celebrate and cordially welcome 18 dedicated ministers who will experience a great joy to see so many of the sheep they have shepherded in the kingdom of heaven,” union president Adan Ramos said. It was the first time the church in Honduras held an ordination service at a national level and the seventh ever held across the region, Ramos said. The last ordination service had been held before the pandemic hit in 2019.
“When I see the newly ordained pastors to the ministry, I realize how quickly time has passed. Some of them worked with me when they first graduated from university, and now to see them growing in this ministry fills my heart with so much satisfaction,” Ramos said.
The wife of each newly ordained minister and their families were welcomed during the ceremony and encouraged to continue the important work of supporting the ministry in assisting the needs of the congregations.
The service was organized specifically on Utila to highlight the place where the work of the church in Honduras had its beginning, he said.
“We wanted to choose a church that had been organized for more than 100 years, and the Utila Seventh-day Adventist Church was founded in 1894, so it has 128 years of rich history,” Ramos said.
The Seventh-day Adventist message was heard for the first time on the island when Elizabeth Gauterau traveled to visit her sister Mary Ann, he said. “When [Saturday] came, Elizabeth told her sister that she rested on the Sabbath day of the Lord and that she should work the least possible on that day,” Ramos said. “Elizabeth fell ill during her time there and was not able to share about the Bible as she had planned, but soon after, Pastor Francisco Hutchins arrived and established the work there.”
This was a special ordination because it meant more reflection of the Adventist heritage in Honduras and an opportunity to celebrate the growth of the church on the island and across the mainland, Ramos said. The ceremony was transmitted live on the union mission’s Facebook and YouTube channels for dozens of churches and congregations to view.
After the ordination service, newly ordained pastors and church leaders visited the four Adventist churches on the island to help launch evangelism impact efforts. The plan is to continue efforts with Bible studies and evangelistic meetings throughout the islands and the union territory, Ramos explained.
“For some reason, God chose this country to light up the flame of the gospel throughout the Central American region and the island of San Andres in Colómbia,” Ramos said. “The legacy that we received from the pioneers drives us to not let our guard down and continue sharing the good news of the soon return of Jesus on earth.”
More than 77,800 Seventh-day Adventists in Honduras are worshiping in 712 churches and congregations. The church operates a hospital, two centers of influence, and dozens of primary and secondary schools.