Raul Pinto Jr.
Heritage Baptist Church
161 South Whittlesey Ave, Wallingford, Ct 06492
Raul Pinto, Jr.
I came to know the Lord two years after moving to Wallingford in the fall of 1973 at the age of twelve. I was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised a Catholic. Pastor Bob Alter came and started the Faith Baptist Church in the summer of 1973. My friend Curtis Swires received Christ through the witness of Bill Alter, the pastor’s oldest son. Curtis witnessed to me and I received Christ at a Wednesday night Bible study in the home of Pastor Alter at 421 South Elm Street. He led me to Christ in the dining room and was encouraged thereafter to attend the Sunday services, which I did at Moses Y. Beach School on North Main St. I attended there until the fall of 1979.
Through the early years of my Christian life I was impressed by the Lord to surrender my life to full time service. I can’t say that the call came at one specific time to me. I never fought His call; it only seemed to be my “reasonable service” to give my whole life to Him. I believe it came many times and consistently through my teenage years into my twenties. I had two strong impressions that I recall. One that comes to mind are at the 1975 Youth Conference at First Baptist Church, Hammond, Indiana under the preaching of Dave Hyles and the other was in the fall of 1979 at First Baptist Church under the preaching of Jack Hyles. The text that Bro. Hyles used on a Sunday night was from Acts 13:36.
“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God,
fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption.”
I “felt” the call of God on me strongly that night and went forward to declare it publicly. I thought at that time that it would be the pastorate. It seemed logical since I wanted to do what I believed would serve my generation best. I was attending Hyles-Anderson College at the time and after my transfer to Maranatha Baptist Bible College I believe I went through a period of doubt about the call to be a pastor specifically. I had trouble staying at Bible College because of finances. I never doubted however during this period, that God had called me to “full-time” ministry. I came to realize however that God was the One who called and that He will enable me. I wanted to continue to be sensitive to the Spirit of God and be sure about the specifics of His call. I needed to know what abilities God has already given me and be patient about His leading. I needed to mature mentally as well as spiritually. Coming from a broken home and without my father in my life, I struggled with insecurities and maturity.
What I could not receive at Bible College because of lack of money I received by working in the ministry at Heritage Baptist Church under Pastor Stephen Baker and Tom Bish. Through the “work of the ministry”, God has shown me many areas of my life that needed changed as well as the needs of people. As I have served here on the pastoral staff in the Spanish department, music ministry and Christian school in the past 10 years under Pastor Tom Bish, this experience has helped make clearer to me the specific areas of ministry that I believe the Lord has given me ability to serve. God opened many areas of service that include soul-winning, preaching, deacon, choir and congregational song leading, special music, bus ministry, Sunday School teacher, youth ministry, Christian school, Spanish ministry, and janitorial work. All of these ministries have worked to make me more effective in the “work of the ministry”. I was placed by God in a pastoral position in the Spanish department in 1995. I was an extension of my pastor, Pastor Tom Bish, doing the work of a pastor. By His grace, in the last 10 years I’ve worked on our pastoral staff to help get our Spanish department started and have seen God save souls and grow in the Lord. Now I’m serving as interim Spanish pastor as we seek God’s will and trusting Him to take our Spanish brethren to greater heights for Christ, reaching our Hispanic community.
God’s call on my life comes from His Word. The verse that would accompany the signature of Pastor Alter in my Bible became one of the key verses as to my call to the ministry and it is Romans 12:1, 2. His leading has been unmistakable and sure in the past and by God’s grace I want to be open to God’s leading for the future days ahead. I am so thankful and amazed that God, in His mercy would use the wretched man that I am.