The Rev. Dr. Richard (Ricardo) Ramos is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as coordinator of theological education for the Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia, based in La Paz. He was commissioned in June 2015.
The Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia is a small but growing community in need of theologically trained pastors and lay leaders. Ricardo works closely with the church’s Life and Mission National Office, the National Pastor Conference, and with the process of planning a Methodist university/seminary for the county.
Dr. Ramos was born in New York City and is an elder in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, where he has served as pastor, chaplain, teacher, and community organizer over a 17-year period. He has served as adjunct faculty at Kean University, Union, New Jersey, and as a lecturer at New York Theological Seminary.
Born into a Puerto Rican Pentecostal family in the Bronx, he moved at an early age with his parents to Puerto Rico, where he attended a Lutheran elementary school and a high school related to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). At age 17, he completed a two-year Bible school program of the World Wide Missionary Movement, a Pentecostal church, and was initially pre-med on the college level, studying at both the University of Puerto Rico and Auburn University in Alabama.
A call from God steered him into ministry rather than medicine, and at age 20 in 1981 he left his family to become a missionary in Bolivia, where he worked for 12 years. Back in Puerto Rico, Ricardo became a pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from the Caribbean University in Bayamon.
He was encouraged to return to the US for further study by the Rev. Dr. Edilberto Lopez, a Methodist minister who taught New Testament at the Evangelical Seminary in Puerto Rico, where he was enrolled in 1996. He went on to receive Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Drew University, Madison, New Jersey. In his studies he conducted extensive ethnographic research on Latino Pentecostal congregations in New York and New Jersey.
Ricardo felt a strong call to mission from an early age. “Since the day I made the decision to follow God’s call to mission, my heart has never stopped feeling ‘strangely warmed.’ With the disciples on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus, affirming after meeting the resurrected Christ, I can say, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’ (Luke 24:32, ESV).”
Ricardo and his wife Rina have two adult children, Alejandra and Gina.
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