Many people within the boundaries of the synods served by the Reverend Ernesto Badillo Jr., Regional Representative for the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), are mourning his loss.

Rev. Badillo, who represented the Synods of the Trinity, the Covenant, and Boriquen (Puerto Rico), passed away Sunday, April 26. He was 53.

"It is with the greatest sense of sadness that I learned that Ernesto Badillo has gone to join the celestial choir,” said the Reverend Ruth Faith Santana-Grace, Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Philadelphia. “His witness to the Gospel has impacted so many of our lives.”

Rev. Badillo was a valuable member of the Board of Pensions for more than two decades. As a Regional Representative, he served presbyteries in Puerto Rico, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. He also supported the Board’s Spanish-speaking membership and the pensioners, dependents, and survivors residing in Cuba.

Before becoming a Regional Representative, Rev. Badillo served the Board of Pensions as Account Executive for the Affiliated Benefits Program, Manager of the Regional Service team, and Regional Administrator for Member Services.

“From the start of his service with the Board of Pensions — when he was recruited from his representation of the Presbyterian Church in Puerto Rico regarding their benefits, needs, and concerns — through one of his final efforts, seeking out the Cuban recipients of pensions that had been frozen after the revolution, Ernesto was devoted to serving his region with knowledge and sensitivity,” said the Reverend John G. McFayden, Vice President of Church Relations for the Board of Pensions.

Before joining the Board of Pensions in 1992, Rev. Badillo served as pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. He also was a veteran of various presbytery positions, and served as chairman of the Personnel Committee of the Synod of Boriquen and on a General Assembly Stated Clerk Nomination Committee.

Last May, Rev. Badillo was presented the Award for Ministerial Excellence from his alma mater, the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico. As the award’s first recipient, he partnered with the seminary’s Alumni Association and the Synod of Boriquen to establish an endowment with the Presbyterian Foundation. This fund will benefit the church administration curriculum at the seminary and provide an annual Church Administration Award.

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection for Rev. Badillo is scheduled Saturday, May 2, at 3 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The service will be followed by a greeting of the family and light refreshments. Teaching elders are invited to wear robes and colorful stoles.

Anyone wishing to continue to honor Rev. Badillo can do so through the Presbyterian Mission Exchange.

Notes and letters of condolences can be sent to Rev. Badillo’s wife, María de los Ángeles Rodríguez, and their son, Ernesto, at 11 Woodstone Drive, Voorhees, NJ 08043.

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