Born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico November 1, 1935 José became involved with the Mennonite church as a young boy. His interest with the church continued and he felt the call to go into the ministry. José studied at the Mennonite Bible Institute in Aibonito, Puerto Rico from 1955 – 1959. During his ministry in Puerto Rico José pastored three different congregations- Pulguilla, Palo Hincado and Honduras. His desire to take a larger role in helping to shape and influence the Spanish churches in the United States led him to move to Lancaster, PA in 1969. Here he helped the Spanish Mennonite churches in Lancaster, New Holland and Reading. From 1970-1977 José became pastor of the Good Shepherd Mennonite Church and overseer of the 10 churches in the Spanish District of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference, where he founded the Concilio de Iglesias Menonitas Hispanas (Council of Hispanic Mennonite Churches). His enthusiasm and dedication helped the churches grow and prosper to this day. Feeling a call for missions, José and his wife Agdelia were pioneers in the mission work in Venezuela, S.A. (1978-1982). During his ministry there he established four churches.
Back in the United States, José once again became pastor of the Good Shepherd Mennonite Church and was also ordained as bishop of the Spanish District of Lancaster Mennonite Conference in 1984, a position he held until 1988.
Still feeling the need to do more, José continued his education and earned a Masters of Arts Degree in Church Ministries Leadership in 1991. He was named director of personnel in the Oversees Department for Latin America at Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) and retired in 2002. When José completed a decade of work as representative to Latin America, he said it was not to retire, but to keep moving. In his last years he continued to stay involved in many of the Spanish Mennonite churches, pastoring and helping out where need; his last project being the Spanish Reading Mennonite Church “La Luz del Mundo”, where the work still continues.
I love and miss you abuelo.
Jose, I know you are in a better place. You taught us so much, mostly by example. If only we could live up to the excellent standard you set as an example for us. Your reward must be great for all the good work you did. There is no way to measure the number of selfless, kind and compassionate things you did to help others over 60 years of ministry. I have been blessed to have been close to you and share in your reflections of life, love, family and God. Even though you are no longer here in body, our minds will never forget you and our hearts will always be full of your spirit.
Rest in peace my father in law, pastor, mentor, friend.
Abuelo I love you and will always miss you! You have been a great father figure in my life and one of the best role models anyone could ever have. You have taught me patience, professionalism, kindness, respect and so much more. I will take all your teachings with me and continue to grow with you in mind. I hope one day I can be as great of a man as you have been in the eyes of the lord.
Isaac A. Santiago
Jose you were an example to other pastors, your children, your church and world. Thank you for your fervent work. May God give all those who feel your loss strength and peace. Y ou will be missed. Till we meet again.
Jose, You were the image of what Our Master wants All of Us to be. There is no greater value a father can give than EXAMPLE! You didn’t just give it to Your children. You gave it to All that came in touch with You! For this and so many other wonderful things You have done I and everyone that knows You rest assured that We will meet You in Glory some day. God give strength and assurance to find solace and peace within ourselves as we mourn your departure from our lives into the kingdom of heaven.
Because of the life you lived and the example you gave, I can proudly say you were my greatest mentor, friend, and father like figure in school. I know you’re in a better place now and I will work hard to make sure we will meet again.
It has been an honor and a blessing be your daughter in law. I will miss you terribly. Your living lesson in love, humbleness, faith, loyalty and stewardship is to be copied. You have been a father at times of need, you have been the best grandfather to my children. You made it possible for me to be the nurse that I am today. I can only imagine how much you are enjoying welcoming party.
RIP José A Santiago
I just want to give my condolences to the Gonsales family .we just lost another General but I know his rewards are great !! I thanks God for the help he gave as to come as a family to the USA and testimony as a disciple of Jesus Christ .
Thanks what you Jose studded for.
con profundo pesar en mi corazon siento la partida inesperada de mi amigo y hermano Jose. Mis condolencia para la familia. Descanza en paz, varon de Dios.
José, te has ido. Muchos hemos llorado tu partida. Pero sabemos que esa separación solo será por un tiempo. Doy gracias a Dios que en su gran amor me ha consolado. Como esposo, padre y abuelo fuiste maravilloso, Gracias. Por 56 años caminamos juntos, pero el día de mi partida tendré que viajar sola. Pero no importa porque volveremos a reunirnos. Te extraño mucho. Nos vemos allá en Gloria.
You were instrumental in bringing Miguel Espindola and Family to train for the ministry. You cared deeply for this family and you stood with them in many moments of sadness and need. You were the presence of Christ for my friends. Blessings to you and your family. You are alive…
In Christ for ever!
I still miss you abuelo, I know all is well where you are!
Abuelo, se que lo estas pasando maravilloso en donde estas pero me haces una falta terrible! Pero se que tengo que seguir como tu siempre decías “en pie de lucha” hasta volver a verte! I love you!
I miss you.
Still missing my father-in-law, my friend.
Love you. Always in my heart.
Thinking of you today. Missing you. Happy birthday Jose.
Wish I could give you a hug. : (
Merry Christmas Jose.
We remember and cherish your memory at every family gathering.
Wish you were here.
Feliz cumpleaño en el cielo, Jose.
Happy birthday abuelo, love you see you soon
Happy birthday abuelo, love you
It’s been three years since you left us. But it seems like only yesterday.
We remember you at every family gathering and wish you were here. Always in my heart, Jose.
I still miss you abuelo, I know all is well where you are. I’d love for us to share another good laugh. I wish I could have introduced you to my loved ones these past holidays. I did take the time to tell them all about you. I love you
Miss you abuelo
I though of you today. I love you and miss you.
Sidney got married yesterday, his bride Wendy is lovely. It was great for the family to come together. Tony danced a bunch with my girls Leilah and Emilia. I wore your tie, double windsor like always wore.
I am missing you very much today, Jose. Your gentleness. Your kind words. I miss seeing you at our family events and hearing you laugh.
Our family remains together, strong and surrounding Agdelia with love. Agdelia is the only mother I have left since my mom went to heaven. I am missing you both today.
Always in my heart, Jose.
I love you.
Lo extraño. Otra Navidad sin su sonrisa. Los buenos recuerdos me llevan pensando en usted.
Today as I was in the garage working on a dining room table and I heard a song by Ripley Green called “I wish grandpas never died” and I had to stop and take a minute to think. I went back to all of the times we shared projects together, worked on something in the basement or garage. You were quite the carpenter yourself. Thanks for sharing all of those moments with me. I miss you abuelo
I just watched a video Tio David recorded of all of us when Nelinda and I were babies. It was great to hear your voice again. Miss you
First of all, I would like to give the entire Family of Jose Antonio Santiago Rivera’s, my sincere condolences for the loss of your great patriarch. Losing a beloved and cherished family member is definitely not easy, especially when that person has been the “glue” and “voice of reason” for the family. Sometimes, you hear people say, “It gets easier as time goes by”, but that’s not always true. It does not matter how long ago they have left us, sometimes you’ll find yourself still shedding a tear or reminiscing a memory. After reading the messages, it seems as though everyone is missing this great man and rightfully so, but it looks like everyone continues to be supportive and loving,in his absence, to each other, to do the best they can, especially for his loving widow, Agdelia.
May Rev. Jose Antonio rest in eternal peace.
Also, I am writing to you in this forum because I wanted to let you know that children of Jose Antonio and Agdelia and I, share the same great-grandparents, Marcos Santiago Gonzalez and Catalina Santiago Santiago, from Barranquitas and Aibonito in Puerto Rico. I have been researching my family tree on Ancestry.com and have come to researching Basilio Santiago Santiago, (my paternal grandfather’s brother) and his children (with Francisca Rivera Rivera), who were my mother’s (Juana Santiago Collazo) 1st cousins. If any one of you, would like to contact me, you can do so through my cell phone # 973-903-1022.
You can call or text me. If you decide to call, then please text me first to let me know, because I usually don’t answer calls that are not on my contact list. Thank you! May God bless you all. Stay safe and healthy!
What a wonderful video of Jose’s celebration. My maternal great grandparents Marcos Y Catalina, Jose’s paternal grandparents (so my mom and Jose would be 1st cousins). Jose’s dad (Basiliso aka Tio Sile) and my grandfather Liborio Santiago Santiago were brothers. It was tio Sile and his wife Panchita who drove my grandmother and aunts/uncle to the airport in Puerto Rico bound for NY. I have an old photo of that day. It is through Ancestry that I have connected with the Santiago ancestors and I have been in touch with Edna Alvarado Santiago (our grandfathers were brothers and Basiliso/tio Sile). May God keep you all safe and healthy!
Missing you, still.
Agdelia is now with us as we share in taking care of the family matriarch. We spend lots of time together and she seems happy here. We share good memories of you over coffee. If you were here I would give you a big hug and thank you once more for the example you set for us and the sage advice given at ceoss-roads in life.
You would be very proud of your grandchildren and great grandchildren. As long as I have breath each generation will learn from us what a great and caring man you were, all the way until the end.
I love you always.
Abuelo, hace tiempo que no pasó por aquí para hablarte… hace dos años me gradué del instituto bíblico se que ese día tú te ibas a sentir orgulloso de mi! Son momentos así cuando mas me haces falta… en estos días perdí una querida amiga y el dolor que siento me acuerda tanto a como me sentía cuando te fuiste a morar con el Señor. Se que está en mejor lugar pero la falta que hace es increíble! Me haces tanta falta abuelo, tus oraciones por tu familia, tus consejos… todo. I miss you! See you soon, love you!
Happy Birthday Abuelo, you’re getting old and so am I. I live you and miss you.
I am sure you were with us on the day Linney and Daniel married. It was a wonderful family moment, with hugs, kind words and love for all. You always said nice things about Dan and he has remained loving and caring for Linney, for which we all are grateful. I miss your gentle manner, wisdom, advice and kindness. Sending you a warm embrace with love.
I miss you abuelo. I know your well and you are home. I just bought a beautiful home that I wish I could show you. I’m putting a full bathroom in the basement like you and I did at Oak Grove Drive. You would really like it. Abuela is already looking forward to visiting. Love you
Hi abuelo, I just got married. She is my world, her name is Brittney. I wish you could have performed the ceremony. I love you and miss you