Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Reverend Luis Francisco Del Pilar Piñeiro
Reverend Luis Francisco Del Pilar Piñeiro
April 6, 1931-April 11, 2021
The Reverend Luis Francisco Del Pilar Piñeiro was born in Manatí, Puerto Rico on April 6, 1931. His parents were Francisco Del Pilar and Juanita Piñeiro. Later on in his childhood, his family moved to Quebradillas, Puerto Rico. There, he began assisting the Presbyterian Church of Quebradillas and became a member. Then, his family moved again to Cataño, where he started attending a church of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico. Through the pastorates of the Reverend Vicente Ortiz and Augusto Cotto Reyes, he embraced the call to ministry to become a pastor. In addition, in those years, he married Genoveva Córdova Rodríguez and started a family of five children (Reynaldo, Raquel, Abimahel, Rubén and Alba).
Del Pilar received a Bachelor´s Degree in Arts and a Master’s Degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Puerto Rico. He also held a diploma in Theology and a Master of Divinity degree from the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico. He pastored more than ten local churches in Puerto Rico. He also served as the third General Pastor in the history of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico from 1993 until 1996. Del Pilar was also a prolific writer, painter, musician, and artisan.
In 1973, Luis Francisco and his wife Genoveva were appointed as mission co-workers by the United Christian Missionary Society, a predecessor mission body to Global Ministries, to serve in Paraguay with the International College in Asuncion. This was a time of significant changes in the relations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Paraguay and the United Christian Missionary Society. One significant change was the creation of the Division of Overseas Ministries (DOM), which exists today as one of the two financial entities to make up Global Ministries. Luis Francisco helped to promote, organize, and consolidate a new breed of church leaders in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Paraguay. In 1975, those leaders coordinated what eventually became the Church’s Administrative Board, and in 1980, this entity redesigned into the current structure of the National Church and approved its statutes.
He served in many capacities as a mission co-worker, including Director of the International School (1974-1979), as well as pastor of the Villa Aurelia Christian Church. In Paraguay, this was a time of abuse, persecution, and murders by the then dictatorial government against people and institutions that defended human rights. As a response to those challenges, Del Pilar was part of the ecumenical team that founded the Committee of Churches for Emergency Aid (CIPAE). In working with CIPAE, he confronted the dictator in his own office, demanding that political prisoners and relatives receive humanitarian aid and legal advice. Del Pilar promoted inter-church visits, training exchanges, and scholarships to help increase the understanding of theology during this time.
Del Pilar passed away on April 11, 2021. He was proceeded in death by his wife, Genoveva Córdova, who passed away on January 26, 2016. He is survived by his sons, daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a community of local churches in Puerto Rico. Condolences to the family can be sent to Rubén Del Pilar-Córdova: email@example.com, Raquel Del Pilar-Córdova: firstname.lastname@example.org, Alba Del Pilar-Córdova: email@example.com, and Abimahel Del Pilar-Córdova: firstname.lastname@example.org.