Granado Leads Michigan District Hispanic Ministry6 min read

Rev. Ricardo Granado was installed as Michigan District Missionary for Hispanic Ministries at the All Pastors Conference, October 9-12, 2022. Below is an interview of Rev. Granado by Michigan District Staff Writer Elisa Schulz.

Elisa Schulz: Where are you from?

Rev. Granado: I am from Venezuela. I was born in Monagas state on the eastern side of the country, in a small town called La Morrocoya, where I was raised until the age of five.

I grew up in another small town in the countryside, south of Venezuela, where my parents moved to, migrating because their crops had been lost due to flooding. In this new place we lived for about 30 years.

I arrived in the United States due to the hard economic and political situation that my country is experiencing, with an increasingly difficult crisis. Without being at war, we have as many displaced people as Ukraine, which is actually experiencing war. Unbelievable! That is how big the Venezuelan crisis is.

Schulz: Tell us about your family.

Granado: We are a family of 12. My dad went to meet the Lord about 18 years ago and four of my siblings have already passed away too. The most recent one was my brother Juan, who died on August 25, 2022. He was younger than me and was the brother with whom I used to play and fish when we were kids. As part of those things that happen in migration, where sometimes we have to say goodbye to loved ones by a phone call, I had to say goodbye to him from a distance. I still have seven siblings and my mother back in Venezuela, in addition to other relatives.

I am married and my wife and children are also Venezuelan. My wife Pricilla and I have been married for 25 years. She is a Medical Laboratory Technician, a housewife, and a faithful companion in the mission of the Lord. We have three children: two girls, Sara and Ana Rebeca, and a son, Samuel. Sara is already in college, Samuel is waiting for his documents and scholarships to start his career, and Ana is in her last year of high school.

I am so grateful to God for my family, for the family of the Church, for calling, joining, and sustaining us in faith. Truly God has used so many brothers and sisters in the Church as His visible body to take care of us in this country.

Schulz: Tell us about your journey to becoming a pastor and how you ended up in the Michigan District.

Granado: I grew up in a Lutheran family. My parents attended Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in La Morrocoya, where I started attending Sunday School and VBS led by the LCMS missionary Rev.Dr. Rudolph Blank. Later, when the family moved to southern Venezuela, we attended a mission planted by Dr. Blank as well, which later became Prince of Peace Lutheran Church where I was confirmed and baptized, and also began my theological studies. From there, I participated in youth gatherings as well as leadership workshops and trainings that were offered at National Conventions by missionary pastors and professors such as David Coles, Rudolph Blank, Dan Conrad, Dana Brones, Robert Selle, Mark Braden, Philip Bickel, James Tino, Mark Kempff, Michael Tanney, Angel Lanza, Arthur Boone and many others.

I moved to the country’s capital, Caracas, to do my university studies and I graduated with a business administration major. I then did a certification in conversational processes and conflict resolution. I participated in the local churches, and also continued with my theological studies at the Juan de Frías Theological Training Institute during the time I was there. Juan de Frias offers continuous studies of theological formation and trains pastors and leaders in Venezuela. After completing my studies, Prince of Peace Lutheran, my home church, extended a call to me to serve as their pastor.

After serving at Prince of Peace, I was called to serve as vice-president of the National Church (The Lutheran Church of Venezuela or ILV), then as administrator of Christ the King Lutheran School in Eastern Venezuela, then as Director of the Juan de Frias Theological Training Institute, and finally I was called to establish/plant a mission called Christ the King of Glory, which was the last congregation where I served in Venezuela.

While I was in Venezuela, I started my Master’s Degree in Systematic Theology from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. and was able to finish it once I moved to the States. I hope to be able to start my doctoral studies soon with the help of God and His church.

The arrival in the Michigan District was through Pastor Don Schmidt from Messiah Lutheran Church, where we attended in Memphis, Tenn. He was in conversation with Seminary President Emeritus Dr. Meyer looking for an opportunity to call me. Dr. Meyer later contacted Dr. David Maier and, thanks to God and the leadership of the Michigan District, the call was given to serve here, planting Hispanic missions.

I remember that I came to Detroit for the first time in 2019. At that time I had been living in the United States for 8 months and I had not received a call, nor did I receive one in Detroit on that date, although in my heart I wanted to come and serve here. However, it was after 3 years, in 2022, when I was busiest establishing a mission in Memphis, that God called me to come to Michigan. God has His time and that shows that almost always He calls us when we are busiest in His kingdom, so I thank God for the opportunity to serve with His Word and Sacraments, the gifts of Christ for His church, with great joy to my dear brothers and sisters.

Schulz: What will you be doing in the District? Where will you serve and what do you hope to accomplish?

Granado: I am working from both Pan de Vida and St. Stephen Lutheran Churches, located in Southwest Detroit, specifically in Mexicantown, focusing on God’s mission in an intentional way. Along with Pastors Eddie Morales, Tyler Cronkright, Jim Hill, Todd Jones, Robert Kasper and Sergio Vargas, we hope that God opens doors and opportunities to plant His Word throughout the District, especially where there is a greater presence of Hispanics. It is our prayer that God takes His Word from the ears to the hearts of His children and that He brings to the Church those who have to be saved. The goal is to establish Hispanic mission points in congregations that are open to developing a Hispanic Ministry so that, by the grace of God, we can serve the hundreds of Hispanic brothers and sisters who live around us (some of them living in critical, difficult situations) and show God’s love and compassion for them and for our world. May God, who is the owner of the harvest, receive all the glory and honor forever and ever. Amen.

Photos by Elisa Schulz/Michigan District, LCMS

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This blog was published by the Communications Department of the Michigan District, LCMS.

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Craig Britton - October 25, 2022

God be praised for Rev. Granado, and his family being called to our state. May our Lord show Himself in many ways through Rev. Granados’ service here. Thanks, Elisa, for the wonderful interview as well.