Bolivian Methodists say goodbye to Bishop Javier Rojas Terán

The Rev. Javier Rojas Terán, emeritus bishop of the Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia, died tragically March 12, said Bishop Modesto Mamati Achata in an official press release from the church. "During this time of pain, the Methodist community can feel the loss of our brother," Achata said.

Rojas Terán, 53, died in a car accident while traveling from La Paz, Bolivia’s capital, to Cochabamba, located about 236 miles southeast.

Rojas Terán left an important legacy in developing and strengthening the Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia during his 2009 to 2014 tenure. The Rev. Edgar Avitia, regional executive of Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, described him as "a great man, with excellent administrative qualities, who loved God and his Bolivian people."

Be sure to add the alt. text

Bishop Javier Rojas Terán, bishop of the Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia. Photo courtesy of Bishop Hee-Soo Jung.

In his ministerial work, Rojas Terán forged a close missional relationship and partnership with the Northern Illinois Conference, a relationship that was formalized in June 2008. The partnership agreement included leadership training, infrastructure development, medical support for health-related ministries, support for social justice initiatives in favor of indigenous peoples, and promotion of knowledge about Bolivia in the areas of ​​influence in the annual conference.

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, former episcopal leader of Northern Illinois and currently bishop of Wisconsin Conference, expressed regret over the sudden death of Rojas Terán. "He was a visionary leader who led Bolivian Methodism to new days of deep commitment in social justice and the gospel," said Jung. He stressed that the leadership of Rojas Terán was a positive influence for the Bolivian Methodist communities and all of Latin America.

A life-long Methodist and the child of Methodists, he has served in various functions at the local, district, and national levels, including National Secretary of the Laity Directive.

He has also been the administrator of the American Institute in Cochabamba. In 2007-2008, he served as the National Secretary of Stewardship and Finance, and in 2009-2010, he began to serve as bishop of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Bolivia. He was re-elected as bishop in December of 2010 for the 2011-2014 term.

In 2013, Chicago Area Bishop Sally Dyck renewed the partnership agreement between the church in Bolivia and the Northern Illinois Conference.

At the coliseum of the American Institute in La Paz, authorities, leaders and the Methodist community paid respects to Rojas Terán, visiting with his widow Maria Luisa Rojas, children, family and friends. Later, the bishop was laid to rest in the city of Quillacollo in Cochabamba.

Vasquez is director of the Hispanic/Latino Communications, United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tennessee. Michelle Maldonado, associate director of Hispanic/Latino Communications translated and adapted this story.

News media contact: The Rev. Gustavo Vasquez, United Methodist Communications, [email protected], 615-742-5400.


Like what you're reading?  United Methodist Communications is celebrating 80 years of ministry! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community.  Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
Mission and Ministry
Vinicius Guimarães dos Santos, an educator with Shade and Fresh Water, an after-school ministry of the Methodist Church of Brazil, plays a game with some of the students at the Liberdade site in Brazil. The ministry is among many over the years receiving small grants through the Encounter with Christ in Latin America and the Caribbean Fund. Photo by Mark Greathouse, courtesy of Global Ministries.

Sustaining faith partnerships with Latin America

Through small grants, the Encounter with Christ fund has nurtured Methodist mission and relationships in 26 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Human Rights
El Obispo Antonio Huanca, líder episcopal de la Iglesia Evangélica Metodista en Bolivia, ha publicado un mensaje abierto al pueblo boliviano en medio de crecientes tensiones sociales, después de las últimas elecciones presidenciales del 20 de octubre de 2019. Foto cortesía de la Vicepresidencia de Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia.

Mensaje del obispo metodista de Bolivia an crecientes tensiones sociales

Frente al creciente ambiente conflictivo la Iglesia Evangélica en Bolivia, en voz e su obispo el Rev. Carlos Huanca, han hecho público un mensaje al pueblo boliviano.
Social Concerns
United Methodist deaconess Cindy Johnson (right) walks to buy medicine with Isabél who traveled with her daughter from Nicaragua to Matamoros, Mexico, hoping to request asylum in the U.S. Kassandra, 16 months, was suffering from fever and weight loss while she and her mother waited for their turn to approach the bridge leading to Brownsville, Texas. Johnson, who makes regular visits to the makeshift camp, brought members of the United Methodist Immigration Task Force for a firsthand look at the immigration situation. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

United Methodists respond to migrants at the border

The United Methodist Immigration Task Force saw United Methodists in action caring for migrants from around the world seeking asylum at border towns in Texas.