Texas Baptists mourn the passing of Director of River Ministry Daniel Rangel


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This story was updated with memorial service information on November 15, 2019.

Daniel Rangel, director of Texas Baptists River Ministry and Mexico Missions, passed away on November 10, 2019. Rangel faithfully served with the Missions Team for 11 years. He oversaw a team of 17 River Ministry missionaries who serve along the Texas/Mexico border and into Mexico. Rangel was a strong advocate for mission work and evangelism, and he mobilized countless volunteers to serve in areas of great need. 

“We are sad and deeply grateful for the life and ministry of Daniel Rangel,” said Executive Director David Hardage. “No one knew more about what was happening along the border through our River Ministry. He will be missed. He was a dear part of our Texas Baptists family.” 

Texas Baptists staff honored Rangel during Monday morning’s chapel service. Friends shared stories of his kindness, humor, commitment to ministry and deep love for his family and the Lord. 

Rangel attended the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas (now The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley) and graduated in 1985 with a degree in Physical Education and English. During his time as a college student, he served as a summer missionary for three summers through River Ministry, the Union Baptist Association in Houston, and BSM work in Monterrey, Mexico. Also during his college years, Rangel was very active in the Baptist Student Union and in community missions.

Rangel then attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and graduated with a

Master of Divinity in 1996. He served as a minister of education in a church in North Texas and pastored three churches in South Texas. Rangel then became the Director of the Center for Theological and University Studies in Harlingen, Texas, representing Howard Payne University and Hardin-Simmons University.

Additionally, he served as the Director of Missions for the Rio Grande Baptist Association.

In 2008, Rangel joined the Texas Baptists staff as the Director of River Ministry/Mexico Missions. During his time overseeing River Ministry, he provided training to many churches and mobilized thousands of volunteers to serve along the border. From January through June of 2019 alone, more than 40,000 people were served through River Ministry and 2,446 individuals made professions of faith.

For the last two years, he also served as interim pastor at FBC Forest Hill.

He has been married to Elizabeth (Liz) Molina Garcia from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico for 31 years. They have two children: Elisa (28) and Esteban (22).

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at First Baptist Church of Forest Hill, 3430 Horton Rd, in Forest Hill, TX 76119. The visitation will take place at 6:30 p.m. followed by the service, which will start at 7:00 p.m.

A second memorial service will be held in the Rio Grande Valley on Friday, November 22 at Calvary Baptist Church, 1600 Harvey St, McAllen, TX 78501. Visitation will be 6:30 p.m. and the memorial service will be held at 7:00 p.m.

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