With a desire to participate in the “Encounter 2018” event, Dr. Jerry D. Porter and his wife Toni were guests on the SENDAS campus for nearly two weeks.
Jerry was president of SENDAS from 1979 to 1986, and he developed an ambitious and innovative program of study by extension, unprecedented in the Church of the Nazarene and in Latin America. In July of 1982, there were already 600 students taking courses via the extension system, located in 15 different districts.
On the other hand, the resident program by the same time achieved an average of 80 students, benefitting leaders, both Nazarene and non-Nazarene from other affiliated denominations. In fact, specifically in Costa Rica, many known leaders on the national scene studied at SENDAS during those years.
The year 1985 reached a milestone in the academic experience and in the ecclesial responsibility of the institution. A decentralized program of studies for minister called to serve began in San Jose and expanded to Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Guatemala. The far-reaching effects born out of this program has been immeasurable. The current president of SENDAS, Dr. Ruben Fernandez and his wife, Monica, were students in the decentralized program in Buenos Aires, and there, they received classes taught by Dr. Porter.
After his time of service at SENDAS, Brother Jerry served as regional director, district superintendent, and general superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene. Currently, he is retired and he and his wife volunteer in a creative access country.
Dr. Ruben Fernandez says:
It has been a privilege and honor to welcome Jerry and Toni Porter “back home.” They have made an incredible contribution to the development of the education of the church in Latin America, and we will always be grateful. Personally as a young pastor in 1986, the course he taught, in large part because of his spirit of service and humility, was a great inspiration in my development later as a leader in the denomination. At SENDAS we will always thank God for having had the privilege of being under the leadership of two “giants” of the faith, Jerry and Toni Porter. Today we are harvesting what they – together with those who came before them – planted. We wish them the greatest success in the coming years.
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