Julia Valencia de Córdova, the last pioneer member of the Guadalajara, Mexico, church, passed away 5 March. She was 89 years old.
Julia and her family moved from Jocotepec to Guadalajara when she was only a year old. There was no Nazarene presence in Guadalajara at the time, so they got together with other families from the area and a pastor named Victor Godinez to start a Church of the Nazarene in 1933.
“What appealed to them the most was the church’s doctrine,” said Samuel Córdova, Julia’s son. “The church started in a home. Later, many more people joined them and they bought a piece of land to build a church.”
During her youth, she served in many areas in the church, including the church’s choir where she met her husband, Francisco Córdova. Julia and Francisco were both lay leaders, and they served wherever they were needed — from greeters to lay pastors while the church was in search of a senior pastor.
“My mother had such a passion to serve in the choir I almost was born in the church,” Samuel said. “She was in labor during choir practice, the choir director dismissed her to go see the midwife, and I was born a few hours later.”
Many people in the community were influenced by the lives and testimony of Julia and Francisco. People in the community often would ask the Córdovas to come pray for them whenever they were going through difficult times.
“I remember the neighbors asked my parents and their prayer group to pray for their daughter who had polio,” Samuel said. “To the surprise of many, the girl left the room jumping and walking because God healed her that day.”
At home, Julia was a devoted wife and mother. She would always remind her children to love God above everything else. She even taught her children to read and write using the Bible.
“By the time I reached school age I already knew how to read, write, add and subtract,” Samuel said. “My mom taught me all of that using the Bible as a textbook.”
Julia was survived by seven of her children and 26 grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband and three of her children, Daniel, Judith, and Eunice.