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Cortina, Carlos M. (1927-1973) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Cortina, Carlos M. (1927-1973)

Historical Note:

Carlos and Elsa Cortina left Cuba as refugees in 1961.  They were among many who found it impossible to remain under the Castro regime.  Carlos had studied law.  Both he and his wife operated a private school in Cuba.

After ten months in Miami, the Cortinas moved to Grand Rapids.  While in Miami, they had met Christian Reformed people.  Carlos accepted Christ as his Savior and Lord and decided to enter the Christian ministry.

When Carlos graduated from Calvin Seminary in 1966, he served as missionary for Cuban evangelism and was pastor of the Spanish Christian Reformed Church in Wyoming, Michigan.  Our collection includes bulletins of that congregation in which he inserted his sermon notes and special messages.  In 1971, Carlos received the Lincoln Marti prize of the US Department of Social Services for his aid to Cuban refugees.

Carlos became a victim of cancer in 1970 but he continued in active ministry until his death on April 10, 1973, shortly before his forty-fifth birthday.

His ministry to the Spanish-speaking people was at a time when many Cubans came to the United States and moved in areas where Christian Reformed churches were attempting to witness to Mexican and Cuban workers.

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