What’s the Benefit to the Kingdom?
Bishop Juvenal and Nohely Perez
They started a small independent congregation in Punto Fijo. They met in rented space and had no training in ministry. They began attending the Seminary and were among the first graduating class of the Seminary. Today, they have their own church property and facility, have planted three other churches and Juvenal became the first Bishop of the United Methodist Church of Venezuela at the organizing conference in August, 2007.
He now travels the country preaching the Gospel and sharing the Wesleyan spirit of the United Methodist Church in addition to serving the four congregations with the help of several lay pastors. On a recent Sunday 100 people made a profession of faith following Bishop Perez preaching in two congregations.
The Wesleyan Seminary of Venezuela has begun construction of a Medical Clinic on our main Campus. Medical service is not available in the community where the seminary is located. Two Seminary graduates are also medical doctors and our Property Superintendent’s wife is also a recent medical school graduate.
They will provide the care to the community on a minimum fee basis. They will also explore and develop ways to both model this ministry for the rest of the church in Venezuela and incorporate it into the education available through the Seminary.
We hope and pray this will be the seed of what will eventually become the first Methodist Hospital of Venezuela. This Clinic is being made possible by the strong and generous support of the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church and other friends of the Seminary and Clinic. The first phase will include a receptions area, office, two exam rooms and a treatment room with restrooms.
The second phase, for which we have to raise funds, will house a laboratory, eye and dental clinic.
We need $150,000 in the next 12 months to continue offering classes. Additional funds are needed for the Master’s Degree program and the Medical Clinic as well as capital improvements to the Seminary Campus.
We are praying for several new generous partners! Has God blessed you to be one of these sponsors? All US gifts are tax deductible. How do we give? Make you check payable to:
Venezuela Now, Inc.
PO Box 1655,
Duluth, GA 30096.
Contact Warren Lathem at
Or call 770-889-6423.
We also offer direct deposit funds transfer for those who prefer electronic banking. Contact Warren at the above email or phone number to learn more about how to do this.
What we do: Provide an excellent, accessible, affordable and practical Wesleyan theological education to over 150 Venezuelan church leaders since 2002.
Who got it started?: Bishop Luis Palomo, Dr. David Cosby (Dean), Dr. Dan Dunn (Dean) and Dr. Warren Lathem (President) founded the Seminary in Barquisimeto in response to the request and demonstrated need of the church in Venezuela. Who is leading it now?: Since 2002, 39 pastors and church leaders have finished the 6 year program earning the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree in Theology. The Faculty now includes 5 Venezuelans (all graduates of the Seminary with graduate degrees in other areas).
All faculty have a Master’s degree or a Doctorate. Beginning in February, 2013, the Seminary will offer a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Leadership. Plans for additional degree programs are progressing. Where is the Seminary?: SemWesVen is located in LaPiedad, a suburb of Barquisimeto, a city of over 1.5 million people. Does the Seminary have a Campus?: The Seminary met in rented facilities for 6 years before purchasing its campus. The property has 5 buildings (Men’s and Women’s Dormitories, Classrooms, Cafeteria, and two staff houses all within a wall/ fenced campus).
We have an interest-free mortgage balance of $85,000 with an annual payment of $30,000. We are making significant improvements and additions to the existing facilities. This is a great opportunity for local church mission teams!
PRAY. We are developing an army of Prayer Partners who will regularly and faithfully pray for this ministry.
GO. We are praying for God to raise up some full-time missionaries to serve with the seminary, to work with our retreat ministry at the campus, to help with the Medical Clinic, to host mission teams, to coach Venezuelan pastors and churches and much more. We also pray for local church mission teams to go to the Seminary to work with all the above.
GIVE. We are praying for individuals, groups and churches to give at least monthly to this work. We need $150,000 a year just to maintain our current level of operations.