Evangelical Pastor Rediscovers Truth
José Tavares first learned about the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Osasco, Sao Paulo, Brazil and was baptized in 1977. Two years later, and in need of money, Tavares was invited to work as a pastor-teacher for an evangelical church. It was a prestigious and lucrative calling. He received $1,000 for every sermon he delivered or for every 40-minute lesson he prepared. Soon he became head pastor of the Osasco region in Sao Paulo, and even founded a church in a new region of Brazil. He trained more than 200 evangelical pastors and missionaries in the 32 years he taught.
One day a theology student asked Tavares to explain the 10 commandments. When Tavares explained the law of God, and the Sabbath commandment, in particular, he was forced to rethink his beliefs. He was convicted that Saturday was the Sabbath. When others heard about his teaching on the Sabbath, it caused a big stir in the community. Professors were outraged, and told Tavares that he could no longer teach theology or pastor in the church. His car was vandalized and he received death threats. Many students, curious to know more about God's law, dropped out of the course, and studied with Tavares privately in his home. Professors and pastors drove him out of Osasco, where he had become well known.
About that same time his wife discovered Novo Tempo, an Adventist channel on TV, and Tavares started watching some of the programs. When he saw the outreach program called, “Arena of the Future,” God spoke to him in a special way. The speaker read 1 John 2:4, which says, “Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.” Tavares, not wanting to be a liar, got back in touch with the Adventist Church. He attended an evangelistic series by Pastor Luis Goncalves, and was re-baptized on Friday, May 16, 2014. Tavares’ wife is now preparing for baptism.
"I regret the errors I've taught over the years," he says. “Now I want to be God’s mouthpiece for truth."
Tavares is serving as a Bible worker in the city where he now lives, and is studying with as many people as possible, including former students. He experienced a revival for the truth and is passionately sharing that with countless others.