Antonio and Wilma DeLaZerda

United States

Service Area: City

Ministry Focus

Antonio was privileged as a youth to work alongside missionaries who awakened in him a love for evangelism and missions during the first days of his newfound faith in Christ. This was in Bolivia.

When he went to Brazil to continue his theological studies, his goal hadn’t changed. Antonio participated in beginning some churches which were part of the project of 100 new church plants, commemorating the centennial of the Baptist’s work in Brazil.

Arriving in the United States, Antonio was challenged to plant churches among the Brazilian and Hispanic communities. This new country had even greater challenges, and the question he asked himself was: “How do you reach Hispanics scattered in different communities, giving them the opportunity to hear the good news of Jesus?”

This led him to create a training center, and now there are six centers in three States, for training pastors and church planters, enabling them to plant a church in every city. Today there are churches in New York, Massachusetts, and soon a church in Connecticut.

Faith Story

Antonio was privileged to hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus at age 19. He was baptized in December of 1979.

This experience changed his life and drove him to seek to know the Lord more. Some months later he began studying at the Baptist Theological Seminary of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where he decided to give his life to preaching the Gospel.

Wilma was 11 years old when she heard the Gospel and accepted the Lord. She was baptized in 1981.

Family

In 1986 the Lord gave Antonio a very special wife, Wilma, who helps him in the ministry. They have three children: Daniel, who plays drums, Mariana, who leads the music ministry of the church and plays the electronic organ, and Guilherme, who plays bass. They all serve the Lord in the Abundant Life Baptist Church.

Education

B.A. in Theology, Baptist Theological Seminary of Santa Cruz, Bolivia
B.A. in Theology, Baptist Theological College of Sao Paulo, Brazil
B.A in Theology/Philosophy, Methodist University of Piracicba
M.Div. Gordon Conwell Seminary, Boston, MA