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Jesse is a living testimony for God. Like many Latin Americans, Jesse was born and raised in a Catholic home while growing up in his native Michoacán, Mexico. In many aspects, Jesse was growing up like other boys and girls from his city. Religion was a part of his culture, so he participated in his first communion ceremony.
When Jesse was about nine or ten years old, his family moved to the United States and settled in the City of Fresno, California. While in Fresno, at the age of 18, Jesse experienced a transforming event that would radically changed his life forever…Jesus came into his heart.
“From the moment I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior, I experienced a burning passion for the things of God,” Jesse said. “All I wanted to do is to win souls for Jesus.”
A family led Jesse to Jesus. Jesse’s salvation took place during a decade of transforming events in the world and in America. It was the mid-eighties, 1986 to be exact.
Two months after being saved, Jesse was baptized by the Holy Spirit and God called him to ministry. In the span of only a year after receiving Jesus into his heart, Jesse was preaching to people although he had no formal training yet.
Jesse says “I remember clearly how God spoke to me and called me to full-time ministry. It was not an audible voice but the clear voice of the Spirit into my heart.” God talked to me with 4 clear points:
• “I will call to you to do my ministry.”
• “You will not work a secular job anymore.”
• “I will send you to a place where you will receive your ministerial training.”
• “You will preach to multitudes.”
Jesse mentions that although he grew up Catholic, he didn’t attend church often, so his biblical formation was lacking. All this changed when in 1987 he was led to Berean School of the Bible. At Berean he received the practical Bible training he needed. He completed his certified minister program and was involved first in part-time and then full-time ministry at Cornerstone Church. At the time the church had 200-300 people. Jesse was hired as Evangelism Director. With God’s blessing and under Jesse’s collaborative leadership, the church grew to 1,200 people. By now, Jesse was well into full-time ministry, another promised fulfilled by God.
Jesse continued working in ministry and growing spiritually while being in ministry. Five years into his ministry, Cornerstone Church sent Jesse as an Evangelistic Missionary to his native Mexico. Jesse traveled the country preaching to many and winning souls for Jesus. God was keeping another promise.
Upon his return from Mexico, Jesse began his ministry as a pastor in Fresno, California. Jesse served pastoral roles in Fresno from the early nineties until 2002 when ministry took him to Oklahoma City. Jesse served as Hispanic pastor of an Anglo church, Faith Tabernacle Assembly of God. There, he pioneered a Hispanic ministry that remains to this day.
Jesse was ordained as an Assembly of God minister during the Southern California District Council in April 2012 in Anaheim, California. Today, Jesse is the Lead Pastor of Centro Evangelístico in Oxnard California. Jesse leads a bilingual and bicultural church of 500 people.
Jesse provides the following advice to younger generations: “God is still calling men and women to full-time ministry. Get prepared for ministry; find a good mentor and seek the support from a pastor.”
Pastor Jesse, we at Global University, are proud of you!
By Roberto Ponce, University Communications