- Jose Cortes Jr. hi-res photo (JPG 4.3 MB)
Pastor Jose is a friend of God, who loves his family, a fourth generation Seventh-day Adventist and a second generation Seventh-day Adventist Ordained Minister. A graduate of Washington Adventist University (Columbia Union College) and of the Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. He is presently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree (D. Min). His pastoral experience began in 1992 in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (Potomac Conference of Seventh-day Adventists) where he served for 11 years, as youth pastor, associate pastor, senior pastor, and associate youth director. There he led hundreds of people to Christ and planted three new churches. He also served as an adjunct professor in the faculty of the Religion Department of his alma mater, Washington Adventist University (Columbia Union College). In September 23, 2000, he was ordained to the gospel ministry, in Silver Spring, Maryland.
In January 2003, having felt the call of God, Pastor Jose and his wife, Joanne, accepted the invitation to go to the Greater New York area, where he led thousands of youth, young adults, and kids, as the director of Adventist Youth Ministries for the Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. In this post he has provided leadership, vision, and equipping to leaders in the areas of: youth evangelism, small groups, Adventurers, Pathfinders, Master Guides, teens, collegiate, young adults, Adventist Youth Emergency Services (AYES Corps), National Service Organization, Bible Bowl, and camp. Other youth ministries have been created under his leadership, such as Youth Media Ministry and the Volunteer Health Corps. He also led the development team in the multi-million dollar master planning and renovation of Camp Berkshire.
On June 12, 2011, Pastor Jose was elected Youth Director of the Atlantic Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, during its regular Constituency Session. The Atlantic Union is the Administrative Headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Northeast of the United States and the country of Bermuda. It is composed by over 112,000 members, 535 churches, 73 schools, and 1 college campus, through the following six Conferences: Bermuda, Greater New York, New York, Northeastern, Northern New England, and Southern New England.
Pastor Jose, Joanne, Jose III and Joel Benjamin are a team. They minister together. You will hardly ever see one without seeing the other three. Pastor Jose is grateful to God for His grace and for the risk God takes to entrust such important mission to a sinner. He believes that young people and adults need each other to finish the proclamation of the gospel. He believes that the only way to keep the youth and young adults faithful to Jesus and in the church is to give them assurance of their salvation, hope in the second coming of Christ, and to keep them working on behalf of those who have neither the assurance nor the hope. Pastor Jose upholds the fact that youth ministries must happen daily at the local church; and definitely, not only within the walls of the church, but outside in the church’s community. He is a firm believer that youth ministries produce baptisms and faithful disciples to God and His church. If it doesn’t, it isn’t Adventist youth ministries. Pastor Jose is conscious that just as God used Joseph in Egypt, Esther in Susa, Daniel and the three Hebrews in Babylon, John the Baptist by the Jordan, and Timothy in Ephesus, God can also use him and each youth and young adult throughout the Northeast of the United States and Bermuda, in the twenty-first century.