Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Therezinha Barbalho Ordained Into Gospel Ministry

Story by Potomac Conference Staff

On June 29, Potomac Conference administration had the privilege of ordaining Therezinha Barbalho, pastor of the Silver Spring (Md.) church, into the gospel ministry.

Barbalho felt called to the pastoral ministry at the age of 18. In 1990 she attended the seminary at the Adventist University of Sao Paulo (UNASP), where she graduated with a degree in theology, with an emphasis in biblical languages. Upon graduation, Barbalho accepted a call to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Belém, São Paulo, where she served as a Bible worker for two years. In 1993 she decided to further her education by attending law school. After graduating in 1998 and working as a licensed lawyer in Brazil, Barbalho continued serving as a volunteer minister for 13 years at her church in Belém.

In 2004 Barbalho received a call from the New Jersey Conference to be the associate pastor at the Luso-Brazilian church in Newark. She worked there for five-and-a-half years. In 2009 Barbalho accepted a call from the Potomac Conference to be the senior pastor of the Richmond (Va.) Brazilian church. There she had the opportunity to hold her first baptismal ceremony, which was followed by many others during the five years of ministry in Richmond.

In 2014 Barbalho went to seminary at Andrews University (Mich.), where she completed a Master of Divinity degree, with an emphasis in mission.

She accepted a call from the Potomac Conference in 2017 to be the senior pastor of the Silver Spring (Md.) church, where she works to date. Barbalho enjoys working with her Silver Spring church family. Her goal is to make Jesus known and loved by the downtown community of Silver Spring and its surroundings. Her favorite Bible promise is, “I will go before you and will level the mountains” (Isaiah 45:2, NIV).

Barbalho has a passion for human diversity and therefore loves to serve all who need to hear the gospel of salvation, regardless of culture, race or beliefs. Her greatest dream is to see Jesus return within her lifetime.

Barbalho has been married to Zeli Leite, a maestro pianist and composer, for 26 years. They have a beautiful and lovely daughter, Rafaella, who is the inspiration of their ministry.

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