On the first Sabbath of the new school year, Pastor Ever Perez was ordained to the gospel ministry at Gem State Adventist Academy in Idaho. He serves as pastor of the Gem State Academy Church, a Bible teacher and academy chaplain.
Perez came to the United States from Cuba as part of the Cuban boat lift. His parents wanted to come to the U.S. so their children would not suffer religious persecution and could pursue a good education.
Perez said that he first heard a call to ministry when he was 15, but ignored it. As an introvert, he didn’t believe he would qualify or be any good at being a pastor.
Perez began college but he did not finish a degree. A few years later, he met his wife, Dixie, who eventually became his partner in ministry.
A time came when he could no longer ignore God’s calling. Perez returned to college and received his degree from Southern Adventist University. He began his pastoral ministry in the Pennsylvania Conference and also served as a chaplain and teacher at Blue Mountain Academy.
Perez, Dixie and their children, Kailey and Kristian, moved to GSAA in 2018.
After Kailey’s recent graduation from Union College, she is serving as a part-time assistant at the academy as well as a part-time young adult coordinator at the Caldwell Church. Kristian is pursuing an alternate education.
Family, friends and colleagues came to celebrate Perez’s ordination. John Soulé, GSAA principal, welcomed the audience to the special service. Chris Evenson, Nampa Church pastor, opened the meeting with prayer. Providing music for the service was praise group 3:6Teen, who Perez had worked with the previous school year. Introducing Ever and Dixie was mentor and friend, Pastor Lou Fitting with his wife Kara.
John Freedman, North Pacific Union president, presented the homily, many times speaking directly to the Perez family. David Prest Jr, Idaho Conference president, gave the prayer of ordination while Don Klinger, conference assistant to the president, gave the charge to the newly ordained pastor.
Jim Bollin, conference ministerial director and Kuna Church pastor, welcomed the Perez family. John Rogers, conference vice president, gave the benediction and invited everyone to a reception in the lobby. Ben Purvis, GSAA music director, provided a piano prelude.
Many students and other conference pastors witnessed the public commitment to ministry. The service was also live-streamed and can be viewed on the Gem State Academy Church YouTube channel.