When asked to encapsulate his life in a few words, Domingo Romero always pointed to God’s faithfulness. Throughout his life in both Cuba and the United States, in times of danger, fear, hunger, and uncertainty, he fully trusted in God. Romero, 88, died on January 5.
Born and raised in a Christian home in Cuba, Romero enrolled at Los Pinos Nuevos Evangelical Seminary of Cuba at age 18. He developed musical skills that he would later use in ministry. After graduation, when he began pastoring two small churches, there was still freedom to congregate and worship. However, as he served congregations in Calimete and then Alacranes, relations between the churches and the Cuban government worsened. Ministry became increasingly difficult and dangerous. When the government decided to take adolescents, including Romero’s son, out of school to work for the “motherland,” the Romeros decided it was time to leave Cuba. No longer considered a member of the communist state, Romero had to leave home and ministry and work in agriculture for the state for the next three years. With only the clothes on their backs, the family finally left in 1971. They had to stay in Spain for 13 months before entering the U.S..
A year later, Romero accepted a call from Emanuel Hispanic Christian Reformed Church in Wyoming, Mich., where he served for 22 years until his retirement in 1995. While there, he did not escape persecution, occasionally receiving anonymous letters condemning him for helping to find work for Hispanic people immigrating into the area.
Even near the end of his life, Romero never missed an opportunity to share the gospel. He will be greatly missed by his sons, Ariel and Omar, and their spouses; and by eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by Mercedes, his partner in ministry and wife of 59 years.