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Revilla assumes pastorate - Odessa American: Religion

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Revilla assumes pastorate

Midland native says sharing Jesus with strangers often gets good results

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Posted: Saturday, October 5, 2019 5:00 am

MIDLAND Approaching a stranger to ask him or her about Jesus takes resolve and the willingness to accept rejection, but taking that initiative often brings success, says the Rev. Raymond Revilla, who leads community outreach efforts at Bellview Baptist Church at 1710 N. Big Spring St.

“I have a heart for outreach, getting the Gospel of Christ out to the community,” he said. “I’m sometimes surprised by how many respond to the salvation Jesus offers. So many people are out there waiting to be invited and you never know who they are till you try, even though you do get some who aren’t interested.”

Revilla is a 43-year-old Midland native who graduated from Midland Lee in 1995 and drove a gravel truck in San Antonio and was a cable TV installer here till taking a degree in advanced Bible studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., 10 years ago and working as Bellview Baptist’s youth minister. He and his wife Sonya have three children.

“For years, I had felt God calling me to do something else,” Revilla said. “It just took a while to surrender to that.”

Averaging 160 people at its 10:50 a.m. Sunday services, Bellview asked Revilla to become its senior pastor May 5 after he had served as interim pastor for a year.

He is an expository, or verse by verse, preacher who’d been drawing from the Old Testament Book of Joshua when he was interviewed in mid-August. “I preach about Jesus all through the Bible, Old Testament and New,” he said.

“It’s exciting to see the work God does through his people when they’re faithful to his word.”

Noting that Bellview Baptist in the early and mid-2000s played host to a series of well-reviewed Gospel music groups like the Booth Brothers quartet, the pastor said he would like to revive the shows. “We’ve talked about bringing that music back,” he said.

“It would be great to get that going again.”

Church member Doralyn Garcia said Revilla “is one of the most genuine persons I’ve ever met.

“He loves people and has a heart for his community,” said Garcia, who was one of those whom Revilla mentored as youth minister. “Raymond constantly pays attention to everything that’s going on whether it’s family, friends, prayer requests or visitations. No matter what the circumstances, he’s there.”

Garcia said the church voted unanimously in favor of his confirmation, 149-0. “When he was interim pastor, he was always coming up with ideas that were exactly where we wanted to go and what our church needed,” she said.

“He shares God’s love and has a great future.”

Odessa, TX

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