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Igniting Arizona

Southwest District connects with youth in a new way.
The Ignite School of Ministry in Phoenix is a newly established branch that enables the Assemblies of God Southwest District to connect with youth in a new way. Led by pastor Azael Núñez, 28, and his wife, Yaneidy Sepulveda, 31, Ignite has become a destination for those in search of education — and the Lord. Ignite is in partnership with the SAGU American Indian College.

In June 2017, Azael and Yaneidy started a pilot summer internship program in the Arizona capital. Within two weeks, they signed up 15 students between the ages of 13-18 for a month of discipleship. By the end of the summer internship, Azael and Yaneidy became directors of the new branch of Ignite School of Ministry.

Mark and Lisa Vega founded Ignite in 2006 in Gainesville, Florida, with the intent of giving young people an opportunity to encounter God. Ignite now offers multiple ministerial bachelor and associate degrees, with 1,300 students already graduating.

Azael, a native of the Dominican Republic, moved to New Jersey with his family at the age of 10. Though raised in a Christian family, his faith didn’t solidify until 2010, after he flipped his car while driving under the influence of alcohol. He avoided major harm and enrolled in Master’s Commission in North Carolina. Azael married Yaneidy in 2015, a year after becoming a credentialed Assemblies of God minister. Yaneidy also teaches math to seventh graders.

Ignite holds classes at SAGU American Indian College, which has over 100 students. In March, 30 students attended a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, visiting five cities and ministering to 2,000 children at school assemblies. In the fall, Núñez plans to open the Ignite Ministerial Institute, the first Bible school for the Southwest District.

Ignite also works with various local ministries. For instance, through a partnership with Phoenix Rescue Mission, Ignite assists the homeless by offering shelter, training, and job opportunities.

Southwest District Superintendent Emilio De La Cruz is impressed with what Núñez has accomplished in such a short amount of time.

“Before his arrival, we simply were not connecting with the younger generation in our district,” says De La Cruz, 62. “He is filling the gap and we will soon be able to graduate credentialed ministers.”

While growing Ignite, Núñez also is leading Azael Núñez Evangelistic Ministries . He recently published his first book, Civil War Generation: A Battle Plan to Defeat the Forces That Are Coming Against This Generation’s Purpose. The book is based on Judges 2:10 and geared to teaching young people about the Lord.

William Rincón

Will Rincón is a master's candidate for fiction at the University of Central Florida who enjoys reading and spending time with his family.