Leonel Estrada was appointed with Missions Door on October 17, 2022 as a church planter in Mexico. He currently serves as the pastor at Iglesia Bíblica Bautista in Cananea, Sonora and is also a professor at Nogales Baptist Seminary.
Leonel’s goals as a missionary are to help build strong leadership in the local church in Cananea and to assign missionaries in the surrounding mountain areas of Sonora so that the Word of God is faithfully preached throughout the region.
Since his salvation in 1997, he has been serving with the local church. In the summers of 2009 and 2010, Leonel and Julieta began serving at the church where Leonel was born. By 2011, the church invited him to lead as their pastor and he served as pastor for almost five years. In 2015, he was asked to be part of the faculty of teachers at Nogales Baptist Seminary. Since then, he has planted Bible Baptist Church in the city of Cananea, Sonora, and currently serves as their pastor.
Born in Sonora, Leonel was raised by his Christian parents. Leonel remembers when his father had a pastor visiting from Tijuana come to their house for lunch. The pastor preached to Leonel and his brothers, and in that moment, God worked in Leonel’s heart through conviction of his sin.
After Julieta finished college, she was invited to work in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo. When she settled in that city, a neighbor shared the gospel with her in 2001. God used His Word to speak to her heart showing her she needed to get right with God.
The Lord has placed the desire in Leonel’s heart to see other regions of Sonora come to know truth through the faithful preaching God’s Word. In the last two years, this has been growing in the city of Cananea. Leonel’s prayer is that he can extend what is happening in Cananea to other towns and cities and spread the gospel.
Leonel and Julieta met at Nogales Baptist Seminary in 2007 and were married on December 20, 2008. By God’s grace, they have two daughters, Ana and Saraí.
Leonel holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering from the University of Sonora, a bachelor’s degree in Theology from the Baptist Seminary of Nogales and a master's degree in Biblical Ministry from The Master's Seminary in Sun Valley, California.
He is currently a candidate for the Master of Divinity program at The Master's Seminary located in Sun Valley, California.
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