From President Felix Theonugraha:

Dear WTS community,

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that one of our Doctor of Ministry students, Bishop H. Javier Patón, has passed away due to COVID-19.

Bishop H. Javier Patón Osco was born in La Paz, Bolivia in 1969.  Though his parents and grandparents were devoted Christians, Javier experienced his conversion as a young man in 1985.

Bishop Patón was called to ministry shortly thereafter when, in 1986, he became a youth leader for the region, and eventually a national leader of the youth movement of the Church of God of Prophecy. He was a church planter and pastor of six churches in his native Bolivia.  As a denominational leader, Javier devoted much time and energy to preparing and mentoring younger women and men for service in the Church. For the last 10 years, Bishop Patón has led the Bolivian COGOP church through unprecedented growth well into 350 local congregations.

After earning his Master’s degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Bishop Patón enrolled in Western Theological Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry Program.  His thesis project, under the direction of Professors Eldin Villafañe and Alvin Padilla, focused on the factors leading to the unprecedented growth of the Bolivian Church in such turbulent times in the history of his homeland.  Dr. Padilla served as Javier’s mentor in theological education and remembers him as a quiet and insightful student who exhibited an irenic pastoral presence that inspired others to do great things for the Lord, while underplaying his own accomplishments in advancing the cause of Christ.  In their last mentoring session, Bishop Patón and Dr. Padilla outline the scope of his thesis project and were thrilled at what laid ahead for him and the church in Bolivia.  We trust that the LORD will continue the legacy of Bishop Patón.

Bishop Patón leaves behind his wife of 23 years, Ms Elisabeth Susy y Siles Ballivian, and two children Bryan Javier (18) and Laura Andrea (11).

Please join me in remembering Bishop Patón and in praying for his family.