ALBUQUERQUE (BNM) - Andrew Viera, the pastor of First Bilingual Baptist Church, died Feb. 20 at the age of 70. He was born and raised in Roswell. He graduated from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, in 1971 with a Bachelor's degree in secondary education. His emphasis was on teaching Spanish and French. He attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree.
Viera surrendered to the Gospel ministry in 1970. He began his ministry as pastor of Hispanic Baptist Mission, Granbury, Texas. In 1974, He received an appointment as a home missionary by the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board).
Viera accepted the position of director of missions for the Santa Fe Baptist Association in 2000. Before 2000, he served as the director of missions for San Fernando Valley Southern Baptist Association in California. Also in California, he served as associate evangelism director, Hispanic catalytic missionary and church planter for the California Southern Baptist Convention.
Viera also served in Washington state as a church planter and strategist in Puget Sound Baptist Association for the Northwest Baptist Convention. He also served as the pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista, Seattle, Washington. He pastored First Bilingual Baptist Church (formerly Fruit Avenue Baptist Church), Albuquerque, for 14 years. His obituary reports his passions as people, preaching the Gospel and serving God through the ministry.
Viera is survived by his wife, Ernestine (Tina) Viera; daughter, Audrey Teresa Viera; and son, Christopher John Viera. He is also survived by five siblings: Paul A. Viera (Eloise), Portland, Tennessee; Rodolfo E. Viera, Aurora, Colorado; George H. Viera (Robyn) Cedar Grove; Alice Montoya (Eliseo), Albuquerque; and Ruben A. Viera, Albuquerque. He was preceded in death by his mother, Raquel A. Viera; his father, Andres B. Viera; and his wife's parents, Priscilla and Juan Jaques.