El Pastor, Rev. Modesto D. Lopez
1928 - 2020
A celebration of his life, ministry, and ordination
El Pastor, Rev. Modesto D. Lopez (DeLeon Lopez) married his devoted wife and beloved mother of their four children; three daughters; Celeste (nee Gregorie), Jeanne (nee Fagan), Generosa (nee Molina), and one son; Modesto. He will be profoundly missed by his grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren. He was the son of Generosa DeLeon and Ignacio Lopez. In addition to his sisters, Carmen Martinez, Francisca Lopez, Maria Luisa Orozco, Elsie Lopez, Sonia Ramos, Norma Perez, and two brothers, Ignacio Lopez, and Pablo Lopez; and he was an icon of strength and fortitude to his countless nieces, nephews, cousins as well as hundreds of extended family member
Following extensive seminary preparation and mentoring, Rev. Lopez answered his call to preach the Gospel, and was ordained in 1951 in Chicago, Illinois at Central Baptist Church. His first assignment was to provide leadership to the missions’ development for the American Baptist Church, U.S.A. This included church planting and youth ministry targeting Chicago street gangs, some of which are now ordained pastors.
In the early 1960s Rev. Lopez’s ministry took him to migrant camps throughout northern Illinois and southeast and south central Wisconsin. He worked alongside leaders of the farm workers movements to establish cultural and linguistically relevant programs in the local schools for their children. These efforts were the precursor to today’s bilingual education programs, school nutritional programs, and the hiring of Latino staff and teachers.
Over the years, Rev. Lopez founded several Baptist churches to serve the spiritual needs of the growing Latino population, and created collaborations with many established churches to hold Sunday services in Spanish. He also served as pastor in numerous churches, including but not limited to; North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago, First Baptist Church, Elgin, Illinois, First Baptist Church, Racine, Wisconsin, and, First Baptist Church and Central Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida; along a host of other American Baptist churches. The fruits of his labor on behalf of the Lord, are still significant more than half a century later, as there remains a loyal and faithful cadre of members of the American Baptist Churches in the regions to this day.
He undertook leadership roles which supported and informed his ministry including; President, National Baptist Church, USA and Puerto Rico; Vice-President, American Baptist Church, USA, General Board; Board of International Ministries, and the American Baptist Convention, Division of World Mission Support on Church Stewardship. Rev. Lopez also served in the Puerto Rico National Guard, and was a veteran of the Korean War era. These combined life experiences led to the next natural stage of his service. Although he retired twenty-eight years ago from the American Baptist Church, USA, he served as the Chaplin for Military Veterans, and founded, and served as Senior Pastor for La Fraternidad Cristiana, at a senior mobile home community in Orlando, Florida.
Marking his 75th year in the ministry, Rev. Lopez was recognized in a special service on the anniversary of his ordination on January 22nd, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. On January 15, 2018 for this 90th birthday celebration, he received a special recognition from the American Baptist Home Missions Societies. Rev. Lopez celebrated his 92nd birthday on January 15, 2020.
He touched thousands of lives as God’s warrior for three quarters of a century.
DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESTRICTIONS
A private family service will be held for Rev. Modesto D. Lopez. The public is invited to join the family on Tuesday, September 15 at 2:30 p.m. at the gravesite for interment adjacent to the Highland Memory Gardens, 3329 E. Semoran Blvd., Apopka, Florida 32703. Live streaming and FM broadcasting of the service will be available beginning at 11:30 a.m. EST.
To follow the Livestream, Please click on the following link (https://iframe.dacast.com/b/156512/c/532595). Please note that the services will also be recorded and put on the website for viewing later in the afternoon, or you can click on the following link (https://www.geminigraphicsstreaming.com/Highland/MLopez.MOV)
To listen to the services in your vehicle please tune in to Station 87.9FM to hear a broadcast of the funeral services.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Modesto DeLeon Lopez, please visit our floral store.