The Reverend Eli S. Rivera

The Reverend Eli S. Rivera


Let us remember with thanksgiving the life and ministry of Rev. Eli Samuel Rivera, who died on June 11, 2015. Rev. Rivera spent his ministry career in the Greater New Jersey and New York Annual Conferences working in Hispanic ministries. He served as associate program director for mission and social witness, Hispanic ministries for NYAC in 1993-94, and as coordinator of Hispanic ministries (cross-conference) for the New York, Southern New Jersey, and Northern New Jersey Conferences from 1994 to 1998. He also served in several capacities at the General Board of Global Ministries from 1977 to 1993, finishing his career as Executive Secretary for Congregational Development at GBGM from 1998 until his retirement in 2004.

Rev. Rivera was a visionary about the need for Hispanic ministry and helped in the planning and development of the Hispanic National Plan for The United Methodist Church. He was a member and strong supporter of MARCHA (Metodistas Representando la Causa de los Hispano Americanos).

He supported the ministries at Grace United Methodist Church, Manhattan especially when the church was left homeless after a fire in 1983.

A funeral service took place on Monday, June 15, 2015 at 10 am at Teaneck United Methodist Church
in Teaneck, NJ. The Metropolitan District of the NYAC held a memorial service on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at Grace United Methodist Church.

Memorial contributions may be directed to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087 or In addition, MARCHA has established a memorial fund to honor the many contributions of Rev. Rivera to Hispanic/Latino ministries. Online contributions may be made in his memory at

Rev. Rivera is survived by his wife, Marie Rivera and two daughters, Diana Rivera and Eileen de la Hoz. Thoughts can be sent to Mrs. Marie Rivera, 1766 Brookview Drive South, Jacksonville, FL 32246.