The Call to Ministry
Coralles, N. Mex. – During the hours of the first Sabbath of 2020, Texico Conference experienced a rather unusual blessing. On that Friday evening Tiago Arrais was ordained at the Advent Life Church in Santa Fe, and on the following afternoon, Andre Arrais was ordained at the Corrales Church. It was an added blessing that both of their parents were present and able to participate in these special services held in their respective churches.
These pastors are not only brothers, they are also the sons of parents who are both pastors with departmental leadership responsibilities at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Their father, Jonas Arrais, is the Associate Director of the Ministerial Association and their mother, Raquel Arrais, is the Associate Director for Women’s Ministries. Having grown up in the home of pastors, they experienced the joys and challenges of pastoral ministry.
Andre and Tiago Arrais were born and raised in Brazil, and each of them has journeyed with God through their early years to a sense of calling to ministry and then to a pursuit of theological education. They both graduated from the same academy and then obtained undergraduate degrees from the Adventist University of São Paulo and graduate degrees from Andrews University. In many ways their journeys have been similar, yet different.
In the final year of his law program, Andre sensed that God was actually calling him into pastoral ministry rather than to a career in the practice of law. After much prayer and consultation with his fiancé, Natalia Nardy, they concluded that Andre should enroll in the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan. It was in this context that the Texico Conference became aware of his many gifts and passion for authentic worship and mission-focused ministry.
For the past five years Andre has pastored the Corrales Church and the active elementary school that it operates. He is also the Young Adults Director for the Texico Conference. In this context Andre is a certified presenter for the Growing Young Initiative fostered by the North American Division, and he has taken this training to numerous churches around the conference. The critically important goal of full inclusion of all generations, especially the youth and young adults, into meaningful church ministry and leadership responsibilities has become a major focus of his ministry.
Andre and Natalia Arrais have two beautiful children that were both born as native New Mexicans. Noah is four years old and Stella is just seven months. The family enjoys camping, hiking and many other outdoor activities.
Tiago Arrais, along with his wife Paula, has been part of the Texico Conference ministry team for about a year and a half. In the late fall of 2018, they moved from São Paulo, Brazil, where Tiago had been teaching in the Religion Department for the previous four years. Prior to that they spent eight years in graduate study at Andrews University, where Tiago received both master’s and doctoral degrees in religion.
Throughout his professional career, whether as pastor or professor, Tiago has deployed his ministry gifts to meet the needs of his members, students and community. He has authored and presented numerous scholarly papers, but his greatest joy is to open the Bible and lead his audience on a journey through the text. He is a gifted communicator endowed with the ability to explain seemingly complex topics for the understanding of all. His ready use of the marker board as a presentation tool has become a bit of a trademark with the members in his Santa Fe and Los Alamos congregations.
Tiago and Paula Arrais have two children, eight-year-old Benjamin and four-year-old Joana. This pastoral family is a wonderful addition to the Texico Conference and we pray God’s great blessings for them all.
By Phil Robertson