A Journey of Faith and Leadership

February 15, 2024

Note from the Editor: The following is the second in our 2024 series featuring a president from within the Southwestern Union territory as they explore one Adventist fundamental belief and how it has affected their life, faith and ministry. Previous features from this series can be found online at SWURecord.org.

Elton DeMoraes is a third-generation Seventh-day Adventist born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. His childhood was deeply rooted in the church. By age 12, he felt a profound calling to serve God and, at 17, became an elder for his church. His academic pursuit in theology led him to Centro Universitário Adventista de São Paulo, where he graduated on December 14, 1997. A week later, he embarked on a new journey, marrying his childhood friend Alessandra. This marked the start of a shared life and partnership in ministry that shaped his future endeavors.

DeMoraes’ story is one of spiritual growth and an earnest desire to fulfill God’s mission. His leadership reflects his devotion to his faith and his dedication to serving and inspiring others in their spiritual journeys, underscored by his strong belief in the power of collaborating with fellow believers in finishing the work and hastening the Second Coming. 

DeMoraes’ first pastoral assignment was in Houston at the Houston Central Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church, two years later he would become the associate pastor of the Houston Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. Fluent in Portuguese, he had to overcome language barriers, learning both Spanish and English. Later, his tenure as a senior pastor at the Tyler Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tyler, Texas, was a period of community engagement and personal joy, marked by the birth of his daughter, Isabella. Four years later, he returned to Houston as senior pastor of the Houston Northwest Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Through these early experiences in his ministry, he understood the valuable role of church members and volunteers and the power they have when they work together and with God. “As a team of believers,” DeMoraes shared, “we grew in faith, developed meaningful relationships and witnessed the transformative power of God’s love within our church community.”

Almost two years later, DeMoraes’ ministerial journey continued at the Texas Conference headquarters in Alvarado, Texas, where he served in departmental leadership roles, including Ministerial, Stewardship and Church Planting. 

The core Adventist belief in the remnant is pivotal to DeMoraes’ faith and leadership. This belief, centered on being part of a faithful minority, has profoundly shaped his faith and spiritual life. It’s a commitment beyond mere identification and lifestyle embodying the church’s core values and mission. He views the remnant as a call to unwavering faith and service, even amid societal pressures or opposition.

In 2016, DeMoraes transitioned to a new role as Texas Conference Executive Secretary. He installed new pastors and kept the conference records and statistics, among other administrative responsibilities, often preaching at different churches. He interprets key Bible passages, like Revelation 14:6-12, as a mandate for the remnant’s mission. These verses outline a call to proclaim the everlasting Gospel, emphasizing the importance of worshiping the Creator and warning against the spiritual deceptions of the end times. For DeMoraes, these passages are not just theological concepts but actionable directives that shape his approach to ministry and leadership.

Two years later, he felt God’s call to serve the Southwestern Union as Vice President for Ministries. He oversaw several departments and led training events to encourage lay member involvement in sharing the Gospel within their communities. The belief in the remnant and its end-time mission frames DeMoraes’ perspective on current world events and the future. He views these events through a prophetic lens, seeing them as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. This perspective brings an urgency to his mission work, emphasizing the need to prepare people for Christ’s Second Coming. It also instills hope and assurance in the ultimate triumph of God’s kingdom, guiding his leadership with optimism and faith. According to DeMoraes, “Empowering the remnant’s mission involves nurturing personal relationships with God, fostering discipleship, mentoring, engaging in community-relevant outreach and promoting unity and collaboration, which must be underpinned by collective prayer and an openness to the Holy Spirit's guidance.”

DeMoraes currently serves as president of the Texas Conference. He is both humbled and honored by the great task of leading a conference and asserts it would not be possible without the contribution of a fantastic ministry and leadership team. Central to DeMoraes’ leadership is the belief in the value of each member and collaboration in ministry. He consistently emphasizes that finishing the Lord’s work is not a solitary endeavor but a collective mission requiring the empowerment and support of everyone involved. DeMoraes believes in embracing his team’s diverse talents and strengths, fostering an environment where each member feels valued and motivated to contribute their best.

The belief in the remnant and its end-time mission has deepened DeMoraes’ faith, enhanced his scriptural study and reinforced his commitment to God’s mission. The sense of community within the remnant has also been a source of strength and fellowship. It drives his commitment to spreading the Gospel, facing leadership challenges and embracing diverse communities.

DeMoraes’ journey, from his roots in Brazil to leading the Texas Conference, is a testament to God’s leading. 

“I praise God for the blessings He has bestowed on my life, especially my beautiful girls.” DeMoraes shared, “It has been a joy to have them alongside me in this ministry journey. I am also grateful for the tremendous faithfulness of our Texas Conference church members. They know the Lord is coming soon, and we want everyone to be ready to meet Him when He comes.”

By Jessica L. Lozano. Lozano is a writer and consultant who lives with her family in Northwest Arkansas. Photos by Texas Conference Communication & Public Relations. Elton DeMoraes is the Texas Conference President. He lives in North Texas with his wife, Alessandra, and their daughter, Isabella.