Faith best cure for addictionThe Rev. Aguilar leads Jesus Connection Church, cites his own experience with alcohol

The best way to stop drinking and get control of your life is not through a program or medication, says the Rev. Hector Aguilar. It’s through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to his teachings.

Aguilar, a 51-year-old Pecos native, was out of control and on the verge of going to prison for his third DWI when he got on the right path by starting to attend Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.

He later joined the First Baptist Church and got licensed as a minister before becoming pastor of Jesus Connection Church at 4410 Andrews Highway, a First Baptist mission, 4 1/2 years ago.

It had been a bumpy road for Aguilar, who worked for two oilfield seismographic firms and was a grocery stocker until his appointment as executive director of the Permian Basin Mission Center about the time he became a pastor.

Growing up as an only child without a father, Aguilar depended greatly on his late mother Adela Rivera, whose fervent prayers he credits for his turnaround. “My mom prayed for me all through those 19 years that one day I would stop drinking and give my life to the Lord,” he said.

“She never gave up on me.”

Aguilar most enjoys preaching about accepting God’s salvation and building a relationship with Jesus. “We need to have a strong relationship with God’s son and believe that Jesus died for us and was buried and in three days came back to life,” he said.

“We need to ask Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and invite him into our lives. We can build a relationship with him through prayer, reading his word and attending church.”

Aguilar graduated from Pecos High School in 1988. He and his wife Sheila have two children and seven grandchildren. His church averages 20 to 25 people at its 10:30 a.m. Sunday services.

The Rev. James McCrary, pastor of connections at the First Baptist Church, said Jesus Connection was down to a handful of members and was little more than a ministry site when Aguilar took over. “Almost nobody was there and Hector has done a real good job of turning it into a church,” McCrary said.

“He has a heart for the ministry. He feels that it is a God-ordained calling and he is obedient to what God has called him to do. Hector is a hard worker. When a man is passionate about something, it’s easy to get after it and go to work.”