The Rev. Arrieta-Ramos is a missionary of the General Board of Global Ministries assigned to the Louisiana Annual Conference through the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries. She is one of two missionaries from this plan assigned to the Louisiana Conference and shares the responsibilities for overseeing conference efforts to reach out and minister with members of Hispanic/Latino communities.
One responsibility involves the development of La Semilla: Hispanic/Latino Center for Educational Development, a nonprofit organization serving New Orleans, Kenner, and Chalmette. The center seeks to increase the number of Hispanics/Latinos in college, increase the number with English-language proficiency, create a culture favorable to education in the community, and help families navigate the US educational system.
Rev. Juanita, as she likes to be called, also leads a faith community that is part of Covenant United Methodist Church in Chalmette, attending to the spiritual and emotional needs of persons and developing leadership skills. She helps to strengthen Hispanic/Latino communities through interaction with other organizations concerned with culture, workers’ rights, housing, legal and medical interpretation, and other justice issues.
The conference Hispanic/Latino plan also aims to educate congregations about and help them minister among the region’s Hispanic/Latino communities. Rev. Juanita serves as a resource for pastors and other church leaders reaching out to Hispanics/Latinos. She solicits resources for these programs, and serves as a guide for non-Hispanic churches in their efforts to serve and empower Hispanic/Latino communities. She develops lay-missioner and pastor teams to foster such goals.
Prior to her present assignment, Rev. Juanita served for 13 years in the then North Indiana Annual Conference, where she was the first Hispanic/Latino female pastor of Monson Chapel United Methodist Church in South Bend, co-pastor of La Sagrada Familia United Methodist Church in Goshen, and the first Hispanic/Latino pastor of Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Hammon, Indiana.
Reflecting on her ministry, she says, “As Christians we are called to do mission wherever we go, wherever we are. God called me long before I was aware of it.”
Rev. Juanita was born in Monterrey, in the Mexican state of Nuevo León. She attended Juan Wesley Seminario in Monterrey, earning a license in theology in 1991. She then studied at Garrett Evangelical Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, where she earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1994. She was ordained an elder in 1997 in North Indiana.
Juanita is married to the Rev. Dr. Oscar Ramon-Gallardo, also a missionary, and they have two children, Damara and Emilio.
: Indiana Annual Conference
, Louisiana Annual Conference
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