Born in one of the most impoverished barrios in Puerto Rico, Louis Raul Torres struggled, along with his family, to survive. His mother, hearing of the good life of New York City longed to take her little family, six of them by now, to the land of opportunity. In the early ‘50’s the chance of a lifetime presented itself, and the mother with three of her children moved to Brooklyn. “Louisito”, as he was lovingly nicknamed, was one of those “lucky” ones.
At the age of 13, Louis, wanting to relieve his mother of poverty, sought a life in music. This dream became a reality and he worked his way from one band to another until he found a temporary home with “Bill Haley and His Comets”, playing the bass guitar.
Just before a world tour, Christ interjected Himself onto the pathway of this wayward child. Two years earlier one of his older brothers became a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, but this day it was his oldest brother that was to be the “tool of choice” to break through the hardened shell of this empty, howbeit, favored man. Instead of a world tour with the Comets, Louis chose a life with Christ which circumstantially put him in line to be a soldier in the United States Army headed for Viet Nam.
Even so, with a new goal in life, he finished his two years of service looking more like a tourist with the United States Army Chorus of Korea, spending only three weeks at the D.M.Z. before returning to New York City to finish out his tour at the Chaplains school.
During these two years, he found time to keep in contact with his fiancé and they were married in California; then making their home at Fort Hamilton Chaplains School, Brooklyn, NY. In 1970 he went to Pacific Union College to prepare his life for the Ministry. He had some wonderful professors there that galvanized his desire to serve the Lord and he heard the call, “today, if you hear my voice, work in my vineyard”. God opened the way for his young family to work in the Chesapeake Conference territory (Maryland and Delaware) doing health evangelism and Bible work. In January 1972 he entered the ministry in Dover, Delaware.
A year later, the Conference asked him to work for them training pastors and laymen how to find, and present the Word of God, in Bible studies. This he did with great enthusiasm, driving hours to different locations in the Conference to meet with pastors and laymen everyday for three weeks at each location. After a year, his body was so tired that one night on his way home to Hagerstown, Maryland, he fell asleep at the wheel and drove at least two more hours in this slumber, finding himself in a completely different state and nearly out of gas. He pulled into a gas station to find where he was and to fill up. He arrived home at 5:00 a.m. (only six hours late!).
The next day he called the Conference President inclined to tern in his resignation and go back to school. The president would hear nothing to it and instead put him in a district in Delaware that was struggling. These dear people taught the young family so much. It was a wonderful training ground. The family often thanked the Lord for their first Conference President, their fist Senior Pastor, their first Head Elders their first churches, and their first church plant (in Spanish no less—a language he could hardly speak.)
Due to God’s great training ground, Pastor Torres accepted a call to Santa Fe, New Mexico to pastor both an English and Spanish church. With his first real evangelistic meeting in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico, the Pastor started not only training his members for Bible work but also for evangelism and lay preaching. Many were baptized and churches grew. Pastor Torres thought it a waste to have hundreds baptized at Campmeeting from a meeting that was run by the Ken Cox evangelistic team, and not have the media there to spread the good news. That beautiful occasion was viewed by thousands as it aired on both the six o’clock and eleven o’clock news.
While in Santa Fe, the Pastor also served as a liaison between the church and the state legislature. This provided an opportunity to make many friends for the church and when a prominent Catholic Senator from Santa Fe died on the steps of the State Building, unknown to the family, he had put into his will and testament his desire to have the Pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist church perform his funeral. What a sad and thrilling experience to be sandwiched between a traditional Catholic service, Pastor Torres’ message, and then a Charismatic Catholic service. Hundreds that day learned of the hope there is in Christ and were deeply moved by the Adventist message.
The Torres family’s “first Senior Pastor” moved to Kansas City, MO, After struggling a short time to inspire his congregation, he called, feeling very “lead”, to ask Pastor Torres to came to Kansas City and make his church a model evangelistic center. This was a wonderful highlight in the Torres family’s service to God. Hundreds were baptized, both in this district and abroad, thirty-eight lay preachers were trained, three evangelistic teams were formed, and fifty medical students became involved in church outreach. Another church plant was successfully made in Lee Summit, MO., and a Spanish Group was formed at the Central SDA Church
Very obvious indications led the family to minister in Jacksonville, Florida. The First Church (as it was called) was in a dangerous area of town and needed to be sold. God blessed, and what had not been able to be accomplished, in a year was accomplished and two new congregations were formed—both very healthy churches. A Spanish congregation was formed and also a church built in Hilliard. Several times Pastor Torres spoke to the President of the Conference feeling the need to finish his degree; but the President just quipped that if he wanted to be called Master (as in degree), he would call him Master and the subject was again dropped.
The Ohio Conference President (a man who had been the President of Missouri Conference) called Louis to serve in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pastor Torres again broached the subject of schooling as he wanted to go as a missionary. After researching the schools in the area, it was found that the perfect opportunity was right at hand. Both he and his wife took advantage of this situation and finished their degrees. Shortly after, they received a call to the Islands of Palau to be district Pastor.
The Palau experience was cut short by Mrs. Torres’ health yet in the short fifteen months on island, hundreds were baptized, property was procured in Yap to start the work there, and plans were made for a new church in Koror. Such wonderful memories were made that it was very difficult to leave these beautiful people.
From an island of few more than 15,000 people, the family moved to New York City where Pastor Torres became Secretary of the Greater New York Conference. Because of the great needs, he also shouldered Evangelism for the Conference and for a short time—until sufficient funds were raised—became Stewardship Secretary. These next five years were wonderful years of training, evangelism, and conflict resolution. During these years, Pastor Torres organized a massive lay training/evangelism project with 777 precious souls added to the churches, and a three day evangelistic meeting in Madison Square Gardens which was a wonderful success.
In 1992, Pastor Torres became Vice-president of Amazing Facts, Director of Evangelism and Training. It was his job to mentor the evangelists and do training where needed It was while here that he and Carol trained laymen for involvement in Net ’95 and Net ’96 all over the Division. He also was serving, since 1995 as Dean of Mission College of Evangelism.
Because of all the training being done in English, there was felt a need to do more for the fastest growing minority in America—the Hispanics. Spanish Voice of Prophecy asked Pastor Torres to Direct the Bible School for La Voz de la Esperanza, which he did for a year.
The evangelism fire was catching on everywhere and the North American Division asked Pastor Torres to write a Mission Statement for Evangelism. This he did and it was adopted, and as well, Pastor Torres was hired by the Division as Director of Training and Evangelism—ASI. This position he held for four years while also serving as Vise-president of Mission College of Evangelism which was by this time operating in Oregon.
Since 2004, Pastor Torres has continued as Vice-president of the College but has also continued to do Evangelism and training of laymen and pastors throughout the Division and World Church, spending much time in Australia, Europe, Asia, South Africa, North America, Inter America, and South America.
As of this writing, he is now serving the world church as President of the Guam-Micronesia Mission, headquartered in Guam This area stretches over 3000 miles with hundreds of inhabited islands that need the Lord. He has already arranged for several Bible workers, teachers, and health evangelists to serve in that area and will be training on the home campus as well as all over his Mission and Division to prepare workers for the Guam-Micronesia Mission and the mission of the church at large. Because his military service is counted as church service, this January 2010, Pastor Torres will complete forty years of Service to the Movement of Destiny that he so loves.
- D.Min. in Pastoral Studies/Counseling
- D.Min. in Humane Letters
- M.A. in Pastoral Ministries
- M.A. in Management
- B.A. in Communications and Media Studies
- Certificate in Consulting
- Certificate in Community Health Education, LLU/School of Public Health
- Author of numerous books and articles