The Rev. Teresa Santillana is an Elder in full connection with the California-Pacific Annual Conference. Her appointment to this congregation [Hawthorne UMC] within the Long Beach District happened on July 1, 2006 through the present time. Rev. Santillana was consecrated in 1998 as a Deacon/Probationary member and in June of 2003 she was ordained an Elder. She completed her studies for ordination in 1997 from Perkins School of Theology/SMU, Dallas, TX with a Master of Divinity degree.
Before coming to Hawthorne UMC, Rev. Santillana was asked to do start-up ministries with Latino/Hispanic population in two opportunities as well as to revitalize congregations in two other occasions, including the present one.
While a student at Perkins she had her first invitation with an Anglo congregation, Walnut Hill Lutheran Church in Dallas, Texas. In July of 2001 Rev. Santillana was appointed as an Associate Minister to start-up a Latino ministry at the Orangethorpe UMC in Fullerton, CA, and in July 2004 she was appointed to a two-point charge also serving El Getsemani UMC in Santa Ana, CA.
Rev. Santillana brings to us her expertise of having served as a missionary for fifteen (15) years through the Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. She speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese. She has served in countries like Peru and Brazil and had also lived in Argentina.
Rev. Santillana believes strongly in John Wesley's phrase of "The World is My Parish". She comments: "We are very fortunate to live in times where the world is so close to us. There is no reason why we cannot make friends and build relationships with people who are different than us, because of culture, language, customs. On the contrary, we need to become ONE PEOPLE – ONE GOD and ONE FAMILY".
Rev. Teresa Santillana's biography above was copied from the Annual Conference's web site in 2011. The following picture, which includes District Superintendent Kathey Wilborn, and friends and members from the churches where Teresa served, was taken at her retirement celebration at the 2013 Annual Conference. – CWC.