VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 3/31/11)—Rev. Sylvester T. Acevedo, a former commissioned missionary for American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), died Sunday, March 27, 2011. He was 92.
Acevedo was appointed executive director of Baptist Social Service Center, Los Angeles, in 1987. The center helped churches initiate social services ministries and provided such resources as emergency food and clothing, emergency lodging, a food co-op, immigration assistance, counseling, legal aid, job training, and classes in English and citizenship.
“The missionary is privileged to be among God’s children, demonstrating God’s love,” Acevedo had said of his time as an ABHMS commissioned missionary. “It is an awe-inspiring task, sublime as it is challenging.”
Ordained in 1957, Acevedo had more than 30 years of ministerial experience in both urban and rural churches.
Acevedo served on a variety of committees and boards at the regional, state and national levels, including American Baptist Churches USA. During his pastorate in Brawley, Calif., he served on the board of directors for Casa de Amistad Community Center, a Presbyterian center, where he was interim director for 2½ years.
He was known for always helping, even in his golden years. He remained active with fellowship meetings of the Spanish-American Baptist Seminary Alumni & Friends, which honored him in 2009.
“I am saddened to learn of the death of Rev. Acevedo,” says ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III. “He is a longtime friend and colleague, with whom I served in ministry in Los Angeles and with American Baptist Home Mission Societies. He and his wife, Cassie, performed stellar service at the Baptist Social Service Center, constantly pressing back against the odds and the powers and principalities in that community. He truly sought to transform Los Angeles into the City of the Angels.”
Acevedo retired in the early 1990s and lived at Atherton Baptist Homes, Alhambra, Calif. He was a member of El Salvador Baptist Church, Alhambra.
He was born on Dec. 31, 1918, in Bowie, Ariz. He earned both a Master of Divinity and Master of Religious Education at Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, Calif.; a Bachelor of Theology at Spanish-American Baptist Seminary, Los Angeles; and a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Southern California.
He is predeceased by his wife but survived by three adult children—Sylvia, Rosalie and Ray—and several grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, in Sky Rose Chapel at Rose Hills Memorial Park, 3888 Workman Mill Road, Whittier, Calif. A reception will follow at 5 p.m. in Merriam Chapel at Atherton Baptist Homes, 214 S. Atlantic Blvd., Alhambra.
Condolences can be sent to Sylvia Acevedo, 1403 S. Galemont Ave., Hacienda Heights, CA 91745.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.