Inter-American Publishing Ministries Leader Dies of COVID-19 Complications

Pastor Ervin González, publishing ministries director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America, died on Dec. 31, 2020, after complications due to the novel coronavirus. González passed away after being admitted to a hospital in Monterrey, Mexico, earlier in December. He was 59.

“This is most devastating news for us,” said Pastor Elie Henry, president of the church in Inter-America. “Last time I spoke to him was just before he went into the hospital on Dec. 18. We prayed together and I could hear that he was so strong in his connection with God.”

His passion for the publishing work and spreading the good news of the gospel in the printed word was the driving force that led González’s to push for more books and resources readily available to literature evangelists all across the territory, added Pastor Henry.

“I met Ervin more than 18 years ago while he was president of Linda Vista Adventist University in Mexico, and since then he has always remained a man of conviction and passion for young people to grow, especially for students to learn early on how to support themselves as student literature evangelists,” he said. “He was instrumental in ensuring that each local church has an active publishing ministries department in order to involve every member in sharing Adventist literature and resources on topics of heath, marriage, the family, spiritual growth and more in their place of work and in their communities.”

His passion for the well-being of literature evangelists, whether they were full-time, part-time or students paying for their schooling, as well as the important role publishing houses play in advancing the gospel, was at the heart of his mission, explained Pastor Henry. “His influence in our church territory was invaluable.”

“We lost a wonderful educator, a promoter of the truth, a committed and dedicated colleague and a great leader,” added Pastor Henry. “Our church in Inter-America will continue to pray for his wife Lilia, who is battling the coronavirus, and the family he leaves behind.”

Dedicated church service

González was born in Mexico and began his service as a church pastor in South Mexico. In his more than 34 years of church service, he led as conference publishing ministries director, conference president, university president and publishing house president of GEMA Editors in Mexico before becoming publishing ministries director for Inter-America in 2012.

He completed his bachelor’s degree in theology at Montemorelos University, obtained a master’s degree in theology through Andrews University in 1996 and a doctorate degree in pastoral ministry from the same institution in 2002.

For Pastor Tomas Tórres, vice president for the church in Inter-America, the death of González comes as a shock. They both met as college students at Montemorelos University through undergraduate and graduate studies. “He’s been a friend for so many years, full of wonderful moments shared as students and workers in the church,” said Torres. “I know this loss is only temporal because it’s now an opportunity to renew our supreme hope to see each other again in heaven.”

Leadership in Chiapas

The passing of González is a devastating blow to Pastor Ignacio Navarro, president of the church in Chiapas Mexican Union. “My heart is too sad for such a great loss,” said Navarro. Their friendship went beyond 30 years. “When I started my ministry, he was president of the North Chiapas Conference during a time when the field was going through financial crisis. His leadership was so important for the growth of the church.” In a short time, the conference became one of the strongest fields in the union. “He was able to motivate, inspire and mobilize pastors and church leaders in a very impressive way.”

Navarro recalls a long conversation via Zoom several months ago where he reminded González how his own ministry had been greatly touched by his leadership.

“I know God always decides what is best for his children and we will soon be able to hug my great friend,” said Navarro. “Chiapas owes a lot to the leadership of this great servant of God.”

Dedicated leader and friend

The eight years that Belkis Archbold, health ministries director for the church in Inter-America, got to work close to Pastor González, translated into a relationship of respect and collaboration in countless initiatives and events as departmental colleagues. “He was always willing to go the extra mile in any project,” said Archbold. “I am forever grateful for his assistance and support during the division’s territory-wide health summit of 2013, and more recently Inter-America’s health summit held in Jan. 2020.”

There was no one more passionate about publishing ministries as González, commented Pastor Melchor Ferreyra, personal ministries director for the church in Inter-America. “He was a great friend, brother and a person with such an extraordinary compassion for humanity. He always helped those in need,” said Ferreyra. Ferreyra added that it was very evident to see that González was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. “I am sure that I will see him in the morning of the resurrection at the sound of the trumpet when Christ will come for the second time.”

Ervin González is survived by his wife Lilia, their sons Erwin and Jenner, daughter Lilia and four grandchildren.


This article was written by Libna Stevens originally appeared on the Inter-American Division website. 

Image courtesy of the Intra-American Division website.


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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

COVID-19 is heartbreaking. But it is part of God’s plan to get us ready for Jesus to Come!

i’m not so sure god deliberately sent us covid…more likely the HS is slowly withdrawing from the world, and satan is being allowed to launch the beginnings of his attacks…there are aspects of covid that seem to be too perfectly honed towards human disease and suffering to have arisen through random mutations…

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personally, I believe that God specifically designed Covid-19 to stop us in our tracks.

Note this EGW quote:

There are thousands upon thousands, millions upon millions, who are now making their decision for eternal life or eternal death. The man who is wholly absorbed in his counting room, the man who finds pleasure at the gaming table, the man who loves to indulge perverted appetite, the amusement lover, the frequenters of the theater and the ballroom, put eternity out of their reckoning. The whole burden of their life is: What shall we eat? what shall we drink? and wherewithal shall we be clothed? They are not in the procession that is moving heavenward. They are led by the great apostate, and with him will be destroyed.

Note that COVID-19 especially impacted:
The man who is wholly absorbed in his counting room…bank lobbies closed
the man who finds pleasure at the gaming table…the casinos closed
the man who loves to indulge perverted appetite…restaurants closed
the amusement lover…theme parks closed
the frequenters of the theater…Movie theaters and Broadway shows closed
the frequenters of the ballroom…all closed because of COVID-19

God stopped this fast-paced life as we know it
to give us time to study His word and to get ready for Christ to come.
God put eternity back into our reckoning!

The whole point of COVID-19 is to put us in the procession that is moving heavenward.
To stop the great apostate, and with him the needless destruction of many.

i think you’re reading this egw passage too literalistically…in fact she isn’t saying, at all, that god is seeking to save any of these people from themselves…she’s not portraying any divine interception to choices which she predicts are doomed…

as for the public’s response to covid, i’m not really seeing a lot of spiritual overtones, at least not at this point…if anything, and while the majority are largely trying to adjust their routines, i’m seeing relatively frequent exhibitions of rebellion against medical advice, and especially government shutdowns…in fact governor newsome is on the verge of being recalled because he’s trying to save the ICU capacity of california’s hospitals…this isn’t a picture of people in any stage of repentance, least of all any procession that is moving heavenward…

the larger reality unfolding before our eyes, having nothing to do with covid, is trump’s steady attack on american democracy…just today we learned that yesterday he tried to strong arm georgia’s republican secretary of state, for over an hour, into altering the state’s certified vote to give him victory, and then lying about it…this is shocking…it’s all the more shocking because a tape proves it…the fact that so many congressional and senate republicans, for whatever reason, are in lockstep with trump’s assault on the majority vote is probably as much an omen of end time disaster as covid (and i agree that covid has an end-time feel)…what it shows us is that when sufficient masses of people clamour for a sunday law, for example, and for whatever reason, congress will respond, despite themselves, or any oath they’ve taken…remember, egw does imply an end to full democracy during the time of trouble…

i hope pelosi, who squeaked out a new 2-yr speakership term today, re-impeaches trump…i hope georgia prosecutes trump for attempting to interfere in that state’s elections…consequences have to accrue to this man’s behaviour…otherwise america, and the world, are that much closer to end time horror than we are now…


I think we need to remember that tomorrow is not promised for everyone. The media might be reporting covid related deaths but I can assure you that the larger part of the world’s population are dying from natural causes and accidents, whether it be old age or choking on a grain of rice.

My point is, God told Adam and Eve what is to come after eating from the tree of knowledge and evil. Whether we die as a result of covid 19 or any other thing, we were told that we will surely die.
We need to take this time to introspect and make things right with God and our fellow brothers and sisters, because time is short for everyone. You can avoid getting sick but probably get hit by a car that makes its way on the side walk to while you’re busy chatting to a friend.

Let us take courage in the promises of God… He that said he shall come and not delay… and when he does come, he will do away with this ugly thing that is called death.

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this is so well worth repeating, over and over again…

btw, welcome to Spectrum :slight_smile: i see you’re coming to us from the great city of Cape Town (i was born there) :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Thank you very much for the hearty welcome :slight_smile:
Cape Town is indeed wonderful, especially around this time of the year when it gets its highest temperatures. I love the heat. It’s just a pity we can’t enjoy the beach because of these lockdowns.

I’m probably the youngest subscriber. I’m here to garner more wisdom than anything else. Your discussions are contributing to my growth in the most amazing way. I’ve been on the sidelines long now and decided to subscribe. Thank you very much

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i was there last about 10 yrs ago, in august if i’m not mistaken, and even then there was tons of sunshine - bright flowers and green trees and shrubbery all over the place…i was also in Durban, and did a lot of swimming in one of the beaches there…and speaking of beaches, Muizenberg was where we went absolutely every wknd, as kids…my dad was a big surfer, but my brothers and i were content with swimming, building sand castles, and stuffing ourselves from my mom’s huge picnic basket…

but i know what you mean about the heat…120F+ wasn’t so uncommon, as i recall…when i was 4, we moved to Piketberg, about 80 miles NE, if i’m remembering right (my dad drove a little cortina then, and i’m almost sure our licence plate started with CA)…we had a big chicken coop in the back, and some of the chickens died of the heat, even though they were sheltered by shade…there was another time, when the three of us kids were in the back, running through the fruit trees - quince, apples, lemons, oranges, figs, etc - trying to catch the sunbirds that were everywhere, but just then i decided we needed to light a match…well, due to the heat, that single match turned into quite a fire…boy were we ever in trouble as a result of that :wink:

you’re making a good decision…there’s no value in being on the sidelines, and keeping your opinions to yourself…in my view, Spectrum is the best adventist site now…you’ll find a lot of very informed and educated writers and commenters on this site…views are varied, and people usually think quite carefully about what they believe…reading and commenting is a great opportunity to clarify your own views in your mind…

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What a beautiful and vivid memory, I couldn’t help but laugh though, I’m sure in as much as you wished the fire would go out, at some point you wished for the fire to consume rather than face the consequences thereafter. :smile

This is what I’m most grateful for, for the varied views… It reminds me of what Ellen White says in Education, that “we are not mere reflectors of thought…” Everyone here expresses thought quite well… and I appreciate being able to engage or also share a thought. There is a lot of wisdom to be gained.

Thank you very much for your words of encouragement.


Joining Jeremy (@vandieman) in his welcome to you. I’m looking forward to learning from you and your perspective and also with you and your perspective.

We have good and bad days here; just don’t give up on us in case you discover our bad days. Rather see it also as a good tool for learning perseverance and forgiveness. :blush:


Thank you so much. I’m loving this family already :blush:

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I am thankful for the life of Ervin Gonzalez as shown in this well-written article. He was dedicated to his work of bringing people to know Jesus Christ. To me, living a Christ like life and bringing others to accept Christ, is the highest “calling” a person can have.

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