Roberto Miranda, pastor of the Lion of Judah, a major church in Boston, has died

(RNS) – A prominent Hispanic Boston Pentecostal pastor known for his church’s social programs and conservative teaching has died, according to his church.

The death of Pastor Robert Miranda was announced on Sunday May 22 during services in Lion of Judah Congregation in Boston, which was streamed in line.

“Many of you who join us to watch this and hear this for the very first time, we are just letting you know that our senior pastor, beloved to all of us, Roberto Miranda, has graduated,” said Brandt said. Gillespie, who led the service at the Lion of Judah.

“He has gone. He is in the presence of the Lord.

The announcement came after the congregation of Lion of Judah, a bilingual church also known as Congregación Leon de Judá, sang “It Is Well With My Soul”, a popular hymn with lyrics written by Horatio Spafford in the 1870s, after his children died in a shipwreck. The story of the songwriting had been told in a church sermon the previous week.

Gillespie led the congregation in singing a chorus of the hymn and told them it was good to mourn their beloved pastor.

“It’s going to take a long journey to get through this,” Gillespie said.

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Miranda, born in 1955, became pastor of a modest Hispanic congregation of about 60 after earning a doctorate from Harvard. He had hoped to become a Romance language teacher but gave up on his dreams of teaching for the pastorate.

Under his leadership, Lion of Judah has grown into a congregation of approximately 1,000 people, attracting people from 30 countries. The congregation runs social programs to care for immigrants, serve the poor and help people overcome “everything that prevents people from becoming what God intended them to be,” Miranda told Religion News Service in 2019.

He also hasn’t been shy about addressing burning issues from the pulpit, including his support for pro-immigration policies and his opposition to same-sex marriage.

“People thought I had some kind of suicide complex,” he told RNS in 2019. “Undertaking these issues from the pulpit was a bit dangerous, incendiary and defiant… But I felt in my heart that I needed people to know how I thought and how I felt about certain issues.

Miranda was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the United States as a child to join her father. Academically gifted, he graduated from Phillips Academy, a top prep school whose alumni include Presidents George HW Bush and George W. Bush and later attended Princeton and Harvard.

“He’s part of the demographic of most Pentecostal pastors,” Arlene Sanchez-Walsh, an expert on Latino Pentecostalism at Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles, told RNS in 2019. Bible colleges and evangelical seminaries.

Miranda was also known to believe that much of his work involved spiritual warfare.

“I’ve delivered people from demonic powers where you’re sitting,” he told an RNS reporter who sat on a couch in his office in 2019. “I’ve performed exorcisms over the years many, many times.”

Even after three decades of ministry, Miranda still looked forward to the future.

“I see myself as a soldier, placed in a lonely outpost, carrying out an order and waiting for the next move,” Miranda said in 2019. “I don’t know what it is. the low.

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Barry F. Howard