January 16, 1932 – June 26, 2010
Rev. Jose Sanchez, 78, one-time Cuban journalist and radio official, tireless pastor to Latin American immigrants, and a man acquainted with sorrow and grief, died from complications of prostate cancer.
Sanchez was born in Los Palcios in the province of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, and as a child came to a saving knowledge of his Lord. All through his youth he felt drawn to ministerial service, but he initially entered the journalism field, for which he was trained at the University of Havana, graduating in l952.
In the course of his career he sought a theological education, graduating from Matanzas Seminary in l962. He served as a preacher and teacher with the Cuban Interior Mission, in which the Christian Reformed Church played a prominent role.
He was ordained to the Cuban CRC ministry in l972, the year that he was installed as the pastor of the Emanuel congregation in Havana, in the neighborhood of Santo Suarez.
In l959 he married Mercedes Raquel Villalonga. She passed away in l978. He married Josefina Fernandez in l979.
The Sanchez family emigrated to the U.S. in l981, settling in Hialeah, Fla., where Sanchez became the pastor of El Redentor CRC. From l985-1994 he served Comunidad de Cristo CRC, also in Hialeah. Retirement followed in 1995.
Rev. Sanchez was widely loved for his empathetic service to Latin American communities in Florida. He truly embodied Paul’s injunction to Timothy: “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season . . . with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Tim. 4:2).
He was as adept at preaching and teaching as he was at counseling and writing. His many thankful parishioners remember him also for his steadfast loyalty.
Sanchez is survived by his wife, Josefina; his children Mercedes and Luis Hernandez, and Raquel and Angel Hernandez; and five grandchildren.