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Mexico missionary professor Tony Rengifo dies after illness


RAYTOWN, Mo. (BP)–Tony Rengifo, a Southern Baptist missionary to Mexico, died May 19, 2004, in Raytown, Mo., of complications resulting from an ongoing illness.

A native of Lamud, Peru, Rengifo and his wife, the former Maria Renee Torres of Jauja, Peru, were appointed by the International Mission Board in 1987. He served as a professor at Costa Rica Baptist Theological Seminary in San Jose, until January 2003 when he transferred to the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary in Mexico City.

Though he had not served at the Mexico City seminary for very long, Rengifo had touched many lives for Christ, one colleague said.

“Tony was a much loved and respected professor of church history,” said Russell Herrington, a Southern Baptist missionary and academic dean of the seminary. “He gave of himself selflessly, encouraging young ministerial students in their studies and ministries.

“He was an active counselor to not only students, but also to medical personnel, in whom he had a particular interest. In a relatively short time, Tony and Renee formed fast friendships among the Mexicans with whom they worked. He will be greatly missed.”

Rengifo, 65, was undergoing treatment for leukemia and blood clots, according to Carl Rees, who helps lead Southern Baptist work in Middle America. Rengifo contracted a serious blood infection that could not be effectively treated due to his weakened condition.


Prior to missionary appointment, Rengifo was director of youth and student work at the Baptist Spanish Publishing House in El Paso, Texas. He had taught at the University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso County Community College and Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla. He also had served as pastor of First Hispanic Baptist Church in Norman, Okla., pastor of First International Baptist Church in Norman, pastor of International Baptist Church in El Paso, associate pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, Texas, and pastor of churches in Costa Rica and Peru.

He and his wife also served as North American Mission Board missionaries in Oklahoma, where he was director of multi-ethnic ministries in the Union Baptist Association.

Rengifo was a graduate of Latin American Bible Seminary in San Jose, Costa Rica; LeTourneau College in Longview, Texas; Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas; Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; and Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

Rengifo is survived by his wife; one daughter, Vanessa Rengifo of Mobile, Ala.; and his mother, Alicia Tuesta de Rengifo, who resides in Peru.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: TONY RENGIFO.