Representing the Lord
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“It is a great honor and responsibility to represent so many churches,” says the 38-year-old Gonzalez — who also is a medical doctor. “I appreciate the leadership and sound doctrine that AG stands upon, and it is comforting to know that every leader is held accountable within our governing structure. Most important is our belief that the Holy Spirit is alive and active in the Church today.”
His faith started in his youth and guided him to the values he holds today. His mother, Dora S. Gonzalez, founded Templo Ebenezer in San Benito, Texas, in 1985. Gonzalez began serving as the church pianist at the age of 10 and can still remember one particular sermon that led him to follow Christ on a daily basis.
“I still share her words today every time I get a chance to speak before young people,” says Gonzalez. “She said, ‘For those of you who walk, talk, and look like a Christian, but have never asked the Lord to be your Savior, don’t you realize that you are as lost as the worst sinner? So just one question: What are you waiting for?’ I have walked with the Lord ever since.”
Gonzalez has taught Sunday School at Templo Ebenezer since graduating from Baylor University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Using his mother’s message as motivation, Gonzalez teaches youth that their identities should first be founded upon a knowledge that they are children of the living God.
“It is a true blessing to witness the change that happens when teens come to truly know who they are in Christ,” Gonzalez says.
At 22, he earned his private pilot’s license and joined the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, recently earning a promotion to major. After graduating from Ross University School of Medicine in 2008, Gonzalez turned to his faith after failing to gain acceptance into any residency training program.
“I asked God why he would take me through medical school and I prayed for direction,” Gonzalez remembers. “He then led me to study law.”
Though he graduated from the University of Dayton School of Law in 2010 with his Juris Doctor degree, Gonzalez still has a deep passion for medicine. He worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas from 2002-16 and has participated in various medical mission trips, including one to Jordan to provide medical care to Syrian refugees. He also uses his background in medicine to help him better represent clients as an attorney.
Ezequiel Pecina, superintendent of the West Texas and Plains District, values the work Gonzalez does as district general counsel.
“Rey helps all the churches — and all the people that he can — to represent that which they believe in,” Pecina says.
Gonzalez met Noela Garcia at a district council meeting where she received her credentials as a minister. Noela worked last fall on his 34th Congressional District campaign team, comprised almost entirely of other AG credentialed ministers and adherents. The couple wed in December.
Emphasizing conservative family values, Gonzalez as a Republican candidate lost to Democrat incumbent Filemon Vela Jr.
Tags: West Texas and Plains District South Central Hispanic District Texas Louisiana Hispanic District Texas Gulf Hispanic District United Pentecostal Local Churches International Templo Ebenezer San Benito Baylor University Ross University University of Dayton Law School Ezequiel Pecina Filemon Vela Jr.