This Month's Issue

Pastor Marco Estrada, a former casino cook, now enjoys cooking for his congregation.

Story by Edwin Manuel Garcia

Marco Estrada had no idea he would end up being a pastor. “As a matter of fact,” he said, “my dream was to be a soldier.” But God had other plans. Estrada, who was raised Catholic, immigrated to Atlantic City, N.J., from Mexico at the age of 15, and worked as a cook at a casino for 14 years. After enlisting in the Lord’s Army, he decided to return to Mexico to attain his bachelor’s degree in Theology from Montemorelos University.

Story by Edwin Manual Garcia

Second-career pastors are becoming more common across the North American Division and the Columbia Union Conference. In fact, about one-third of students enrolled at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Mich., are studying to be pastors after leaving another career, says Ivan L. Williams, Sr., director of the division’s Ministerial Association.

The number of these non-traditionally trained pastors is increasing as fewer undergraduate students study theology and newer converts abandon their careers to enter the ministry.

When you live in a cluttered space, it can increase your anxiety, decrease your productivity, lower the quality of your sleep and make you more likely to overeat, said Heather Quintana, editor of Vibrant Life. This month get some tips on health, cleaning and why you need to clear the clutter.

Story by Edwin Manuel Garcia

Unbeknown to him, Fred Shoemaker’s first inclination toward Adventism included a conversation he initiated with his mother at the age of 6 or 7 when they attended the Church of Christ in Linden, Ohio, on Sundays. “You know, Mom,” he said, “this isn’t the seventh day; it’s the first day.” She didn’t disagree.

Years later when Shoemaker was studying for a doctorate in history, a fellow history graduate student, Jim Rohrer, challenged him to broaden his reading list beyond political history to also include religious history. That’s how he came across footnotes that mentioned the Millerites and the Advent movement.