REV. SYLVESTER T. ACEVEDO
1918 - 2011
Sylvester T. Acevedo, who was the longtime pastor of the First Mexican Baptist Church of Brawley from 1960-1985, has died. He was 92.
He died Sunday evening at the San Gabriel Valley Medical Center of complications from pneumonia. Acevedo had been living in Alhambra, CA at Atherton Baptist Homes for the past 10 years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Cassie, who died in 2005.
In 1960, Acevedo had been preaching at the Belvedere Park Baptist Church in Los Angeles when he decided to move his wife and three young children to Brawley in order to preach at the First Mexican Baptist Church.
Concurrent to his church work, Acevedo served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Brawley School District from 1967-1979. He was also Acting Director of Casa de Amistad Community Center from 1963-1966 and Community Liaison with the Brawley Union High School from 1969-1971. Acevedo also served on a variety of local, state, and national boards and committees with the American Baptist Churches.
Acevedo was born December 31, 1918 in Bowie, AZ as his family was relocating from El Paso, TX to Los Angeles. He attended local schools in L.A. and graduated from Polytechnic High School in 1938. Acevedo served in the U.S. Army (Reconnaissance, 7th Division) from 1942 until 1943 when he received a medical discharge after contracting pneumonia and the Army discovering he was deaf.
He went on to receive degrees from the University of Southern California in 1956, the Spanish-American Baptist Seminary-Los Angeles in 1952, Berkeley Baptist Divinity School in 1955. He later obtained two masters degrees from the American Baptist Seminary of the West, Covina in 1976, and Berkeley in 1979. In 1980, Acevedo found what he called "a dream job" when he became a teacher at Calipatria High School in Calipatria, CA where he taught for three years. Upon returning to Los Angeles in 1985, he became the Executive Director of the Baptist Social Service Center, a position he held until his retirement in 1987.
He is survived by his three children, Sylvia Acevedo of Hacienda Heights, Rosalie Westrup of Bellflower, and Ray of San Diego; four grandchildren, and a great-grandchild due any day now.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 2 at Rose Hills Memorial Park - Sky Rose Chapel, 3888 Workman Mill Rd., Whittier, CA 90601. Donations may be made in his name to Atherton, 214 S. Atlantic Blvd., Alhambra, CA 91801.