CLAYTON (BNM) - Hilario Perez was recently called to pastor First Baptist Church, Clayton.
Raised in Immokalee, Florida, Perez’s first two ministry positions were as a youth minister in Florida, before moving to Alabama where he served as a part-time youth minister. Returning to his hometown, Perez pastored Friendship Baptist Church for seven years. After moving to Idaho where he pastored First Baptist Church, Glenns Ferry, Idaho, Perez and his family moved back to Florida where he pastored First Baptist Church, Immokalee, Florida – again in his hometown.
Perez was licensed to the Gospel ministry by Newton Baptist Church, Newton, Alabama, in 2001 and was ordained to the Gospel ministry by Friendship Baptist Church, Immokalee, Florida in 2004.
Perez earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from The Baptist College of Florida, Graceville, Florida; earned a Transitional Pastor Certification from the Florida Baptist Convention; and earned a Master of Christian Leadership from Liberty Theological Seminary, Lynchburg, Virginia.
According to Perez’s résumé, he was saved at the age of seven after attending church with the family’s landlady. Because he was living in an abusive home, Perez became very angry at God in his teenage years and rebelled, feeling as though Satan was more powerful than God in his life. Perez said in his testimony, “However, as only God can, He got my attention once again and He changed my life in a dramatic fashion.” At that point, he helped form a street ministry that reached out to other teens who were struggling. Just before he started his senior year of high school, Perez felt God call him into full-time ministry while at summer camp. “I guess largely because of my background, I have always had a burden for those who are hurting and hopeless and feel like the whole ‘church thing’ isn’t for them,” he said. He concluded that the Word is alive, relevant and life-changing if we take the time to study it and discover the truths it holds.
Perez and his wife, Rebecca, have three daughters: Christiana, Evangelina and Abigail.