“Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his saints (Psalm 116:15).”
Esteemed Bishops, Pastors and Members of the Apostolic Assembly,
¡Paz de Cristo!
On behalf of the General Board of Directors, I inform you all that the Lord has called Bishop Baldemar Rodríguez to his presence this Thursday July 30th, 2015 at the age of seventy-four.
Bishop Baldemar Rodríguez was the seventh Bishop President of the Apostolic Assembly (1978 – 1986, 1994 – 2002), serving for sixteen years in this capacity. He also served as Bishop Vice President for eight years (1986-1994).
He was born in Santa Rosa, Texas, on February 4, 1941 to Luis and Soila Rodríguez. Raised in a family of musicians, he came to the Lord at the age of twenty when his father died of cancer in 1961. A charismatic preacher, the leadership soon saw great potential in him: He was quickly ordained, served as Sector Elder and later as Bishop Supervisor in the South Texas District (1971 – 1975) and Southeast Texas District (1975 – 1979). He was also the Bishop Supervisor for the Interior District of California and Nevada for seven years (1987 – 1994). In 1965 he married our sister Homa Lee Candelaria.
Bishop Rodríguez was a talented musician and hymn writer, composing many hymns like “Cuando Cristo me hallo” and “Quiero orar al Padre” in his Tejano style. His election in 1978 was a welcomed surprise by the pastors and people of the Apostolic Assembly. His first (1978) and last sermon (2002) at a General Convention was: “Run Church, Run!” Bishop Rodríguez’s leadership saw many districts established, the first General Conventions in Texas and New Mexico, and he expanded the Apostolic Assembly in numeric growth here in the United States and abroad. He graduated with a Master of Divinity (M. Div.) degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Earlier this year the Lord placed on Bishop President John Fortino the need to create bridges of restoring communion with Bishop Baldemar Rodríguez. This past April 17 President Fortino invited Bishop Baldemar Rodríguez to a meeting at our Headquarters where we prayed, and dialogued together in an excellent and very fraternal spirit. We commend the President for his reconciling leadership and this opportunity with Bishop Rodríguez. After this initial gathering, President Fortino remained in constant contact with Bishop Rodriguez and was preparing a follow-up meeting.
Bishop Rodríguez is survived by two brothers Ramiro and José Angel, his wife, our distinguished sister Homa, his daughter, Judy Elizabeth, and seven grandchildren. We will inform you about his funeral arrangements in the coming days. We ask for your prayers that the Holy Spirit would console them at this moment.
Fraternally in Christ Jesus,
Bishop Ismael Martín del Campo,