Antonio and Wilma DeLaZerda

Missionary Profile

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

Current Projects

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Learn more about where this ministry happens

In colorful communities and along scenic highways, diverse people and landscapes span coast to coast

Iconic American traditions include Thanksgiving dinner, jazz music and the Super Bowl. They meld with eclectic examples of multicultural heritage: numerous local Chinatowns, family-owned taquerias and even cowboy boots, which originated among the nomadic Huns of eastern Europe.

The nation's landscape shows just as many contrasts — sandy beaches and rocky coastlines, open plains and vast deserts, rugged mountains and winding canyons, and abundant rivers and lakes.

The ideals of life and liberty that founded the United States have made the country one of the world's most prosperous, though not without dark chapters and present troubles. Crime, discrimination and ethics violations make regular headlines, and many people live below the national poverty level.

Families view education as essential to the pursuit of happiness, if not also a path to wealth and power for the most ambitious. Yet Americans also demonstrate a charitable spirit of generosity toward neighbors and nations in need.

Freedom of religion grants opportunity for all faiths, but Christianity holds particular influence in country's history and daily life.

Your participation with Missions Door supports ministry in the United States among college students, including many international students, in collaboration local churches. It also enables social outreach, church planting and leadership development in a wide variety of communities — among Native Americans and other cultural groups, and in urban and suburban settings where growing and changing demographics create new opportunities for the Gospel.

Cultural Snapshot

Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans and their ancestors immigrated to the United States.

Faith Fact

In a 2013 survey, 56% of Americans said that religion played a "very important role in their lives” — a larger number than any other wealthy nation.

Country Profile

Population: 320 million

Major Religions: 47% Protestant, 23% unaffiliated, 21% Catholic, 6% other

Languages: 82% English, 11% Spanish, various others

Literacy: 99%

Poverty: 16%

 

 

Ministry service area:
City

Ministry location:
New York, United States