Meet Rev. Rocio Ávila-Ramírez
Meet Rev. Rocio Ávila-Ramírez
This month at Weddington United Methodist Church, we are thrilled to welcome our new Missions Pastor, Reverend Rocio Ávila-Ramírez. Rev. Ávila-Ramírez will begin her new role in July and will have her first Sunday at the Weddington campus on July 10.
Rev. Rocio was born in Durango, Mexico but grew up in Chicago, Illinois along with her two older brothers. She is fluent in both Spanish and English. Rocio received her call to ministry at the age of 17 when she felt a need to serve in missions.
After graduating from high school, Rocio began her work in ministry as the Youth Director for Centro La Paz United Methodist Church in Chicago. She then became a commissioned Mission Intern by the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) in 2000. During this time, she was also a missionary at the Iglesia Metodista Unda (United Methodist Church) in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and as the Director of UNIDOS of the UMC, a partnership between 5 Methodist churches in Chicago that focused on community service. In 2004, Rocio then attended Pfeiffer University where she studied Youth Ministry. During this time, she also served in Monroe, North Carolina for four years as the Youth Director of Centro Cristiano Hosanna UMC.
After graduating from college in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry, Rocio became the Christian Education Director at Mt. Olivet UMC in Concord, North Carolina. After marrying her husband, Salvador, the two moved to Charlotte in 2012, where Rocio became the Family Ministry Director at Mouzon UMC. In 2015, she became a Certified Deacon Candidate and in 2016, a Licensed Local Pastor.
Rocio is currently working on her Master’s degree in Practical Theology with a concentration in Pastoral Psychotherapy from Pfeiffer. She is also working toward her certifications in Youth Ministry and Christian Education, which she will complete in 2017.
Rev. Rocio has a deep passion for missions in the church. “I am in love with God and in awe about God’s unconditional and complete love for all of us. Ministry is living that love out. Throughout the journey, I have discovered how broad God’s arms of love extend. Missions and evangelism are manifestations of that love. In this particular phase of my life and ministry, I have the privilege of offering myself in love as an American, as a Latina, and as a Minister to serve the Weddington/Monroe community. Together, I hope we envision us serving in holistic ministry attending to the spiritual, social, physical, and psychological needs of all the people surrounding us. That makes my spirit, heart, and mind praise God in excitement!”
Weddington United Methodist Church looks forward to welcoming Rev. Rocio, her husband Salvador, and her two young boys, Emmanuel and Moises, into our community of faith as we seek to Worship God with Passion. Her official start date is July 1, 2016.