The Legacy of a Gentle Giant – Pastor Pedro Alicea Figueroa

08 Jul 2019 | Royston Philbert


The Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in the North Caribbean Conference (NCC) is mourning the loss of Pastor Pedro Alicea Figueroa. News of his death on Friday morning, June 28, 2019 at his residence in La Grande Princesse, St. Croix, VI, stunned the SDA communities in Puerto Rico and around the NCC. The legacy of his 47 years will be honored by his wife, Sarai, daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth, relatives and friends. A memorial service will take place at the Sunny Acres Church on Sunday, July 7, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. 

As the SDA constituency on St. Croix sought to deal with the reality of the loss, his colleagues reflected on their last encounters with him when he visited the NCC Office for routine business, one to two days prior to his death. They shared that he was very enthusiastic about plans for the congregations in the district such as painting the Sunny Acres Church, fencing the Campo Rico property and the 2020 evangelistic campaign. 

Pastor Desmond James, President of the Conference and pastoral supervisor since 2017, expressed, “We are deeply saddened and shocked by the death of Pastor Alicea. A genuine, kind-hearted and always-smiling servant of the Church. His pastoral and administrative leadership enhanced the steady growth and expansion of the Church during the years he served. He was a mentor, a good teacher and an exceptional leader. This is a big loss for the Church in the Conference and we are praying for his wife Sarai and his family during this sad time. Let us cling to God’s faithful promise that we will see him again when the Lord returns.” 

“Even in the midst of so many challenges facing the church territory, such as losing so many leaders and members, I did not hear Pastor Alicea utter a negative comment or complaint about the challenges facing his ministry,” said Pastor Wilmoth James, Secretary of the Conference. 

Pastor Royston Philbert, Ministerial Secretary of the Conference, who has known Pastor Alicea since 2014, reflected: “He was a visionary who sought opportunities in the midst of challenges - looking ahead and driving the Church forward. His legacy will surely carry through for a long time. We have lived through many challenges. He was such a good listener, a great friend and he cared for leaders and members. He was one of the persons most aware of the task to be accomplished by the Church, very faithful to God, very human – he valued each person and was an excellent father and husband.”

In preparation for ministry Pastor Alicea completed a Bachelor’s degree in Religion at Antillean Adventist University (AAU) in Puerto Rico and a Master’s degree in Education at Andrews University in Michigan. Pastor Alicea and his wife, Sarai, spent one year in South Korea teaching English before returning to pastoral ministry in Puerto Rico. He served as a church pastor with the East Puerto Rico Conference before accepting a call to the North Caribbean Conference, in 2014, as pastor of SDA District #4 (Sunny Acres and Campo Rico congregations). 

Relatives, colleagues, friends and the wider community rallied to support the Alicea family. The NCC Administration visited the home to offer prayers and guidance. Officers from the Puerto Rican Union and the East Puerto Rico Conference travelled to St. Croix to sympathize with the grieving family and offer support for the burial in Puerto Rico. Leaders from the North Caribbean Conference and the Caribbean Union Conference are scheduled to attend the interment. 

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