Raul Guerrero, who pioneered the thriving Hispanic ministries in the Central Territory and was admitted to the Order of the Founder (the Army’s highest order) in 2001 in recognition of outstanding service to the Latino community in the Central and Western territories, was promoted to Glory on March 16, 2018.
Raul emigrated from Santiago, Chile, in 1958 to make uniforms for the Central Territory but felt his life’s work was just as much about saving souls and was compelled to start a ministry to reach the Puerto Ricans in his Chicago neighborhood.
While managing the Central Territory’s uniform store and then establishing a uniform manufacturing business of more than 100 employees, he began numerous Hispanic congregations, resulting in three Spanish-speaking corps (Central, LaVillita and Pilsen). He not only planted corps but led them as a soldier during his tenure in the Central Territory.
His passion was people with a focus on ministry to Spanish speakers in their first language. He valued them, taught them God’s principles for living and loved them into the Kingdom. Having experienced and seen how God could use open-airs, he was a strong proponent of these outreach meetings and even held them in a park during the Chicago riots in 1968. Raul possessed a missionary spirit and call to sacrificial service giving much of his time and own financial resources to the Lord’s work and was fully committed to following the Lord’s leading throughout His life.
So, it was not surprising to many that in 1987 at age 66 when he retired from his business that Raul moved to California to help expand the Army’s Hispanic work fulltime as coordinator of Hispanic Ministries for the Southern California Division. Over the next 14 years his passionate leadership resulted in six new corps openings and numerous innovative Spanish-speaking ministries which significantly advanced the Army’s ministry in the Western Territory. He was active in leadership development, initiating the Southern California Hispanic Leadership Institute to train local officers and future leaders. He also was in charge of the Hollywood Temple Corps as well as the El Monte Corps, which he had planted, for six years until his retirement in 2001.
Raul served on many advisory groups such as the National Soldiers’ Commission and National Committee for Ministry to Minorities and traveled throughout the U.S. and Latin America to hold campaigns and seminars. His commitment to share the gospel, lead people to the Lord and disciple them did not waiver as he aged. He continued to teach Bible studies and conduct prayer meetings in California until age 92.