May 12th, 2019, Mother’s Day on the general calendar also was a day of a historic celebration at La Trinidad United Methodist Church of San Antonio. La Trinidad UMC recognized the music ministry of Dr. Raquel Mora Martínez by naming a stained glass window in her honor. The 143-year-old church has been at its present site for over 100 years.
Until May 12th, 2019, all the names placed on the stained glass windows were of men. Not one woman was named although women have worked side by side with their male counterparts since the establishment of La Trinidad UMC and the effort of the Methodist ministry through South Texas.
Rev. Dr. Roberto L. Gómez, the former pastor of La Trinidad UMC, noticed the omission and had a vision of having a stained glass window dedicated in honor of a worthy woman who made significant contributions to the Hispanic/Latino Methodist ministry.
Raquel’s name came to mind.
Rev. Gómez began conversations with Raquel’s family, Rev. John Feagins and Mr. Mario Barrera of La Trinidad UMC. The church trustees approved and an effort was set in motion to name a window in honor of Raquel.
On August 25th, 2018, Raquel’s family celebrated her seven decades of music ministry with many guests including Bishop Elías Galvan, Dr. Michael Hawn, Dr. Carmen Tafolla, Dr. Socorro de Anda, and Bishop Robert Schnase and wife Esther. During the celebration, Rev. Gómez announced the decision of the church trustees to name a stained glass in the sanctuary of La Trinidad UMC in honor of Raquel.
The 11:00 AM worship service on May 12th, 2019 at La Trinidad UMC dedicated the window. Vice President of the Church Trustees Mr. Hector Pancheco presented the window for the dedication. Rev. John Feagins responded for the congregation. Raquel's daughters—Ms. Patty Bell and Ms. Rebeca Ervin—read Psalm 33:1-3 in English and then in Spanish. Rev. Gómez asked Raquel, her husband, Bishop Joel N. Martínez, and their daughters, Patty and Rebeca, to come forward and stand in front of the congregation while Rev. Feagins read a prayer of dedication.
Raquel gave a brief response with words of gratitude to the congregation, to her family, and to friends who have worked and cooperated with her for many years in music ministry. The congregation sang “Cantemos al Señor”—composed by Carlos Rosas and arranged by Raquel.
Carlos Rosas—a noted Hispanic/Latino hymnologist, composer, and musician who has cooperated with Raquel in various projects but especially in publishing the Spanish United Methodist hymnal, “Mil Voces para Celebrar"—was a special guest.
Written by Roberto Luis