A Brief Look into the Lives of Juan & Isabel Lugo by Ligia Douglas
Rev. Juan Lugo was born October 26, 1890 in Yauco, P.R., to Juana Medina and Jose Lugo. His father died when he was barely a few months old and therefore, never really knew him. When he was 10 yrs old his mother migrated to the Hawaiian Islands along with his three older sisters, one of whom died on the tirp and had to be buried at sea. In Hawaii he attended school and it was while still in Hawaii that on June 13, 1913 he accepted Christ as his personal Savior. On November 9, 1913 he left Hawaii, never to return, on his way to San Francisco, CA. In San Francisco he started doing evangelistic work, preaching on street corners. On January 16, 1916 he was ordained as a Minister in the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal organization with headquarters in Springfield, MO. A month later he moved to Los Angeles, along with his friend and co-laborer in the ministry, Francisco Ortiz. There they continued their evangelistic work, which resulted in the organization of a Spanish speaking church. Soon he became the pastor of said church which resulted in his first pastoral experience. In the meantime, God had already called him to the mission field through a special an definitive vision while under a glorious visitation of the Holy Spirit. One night, while attending a youth service at an English speaking church of the Assemblies of God, he gave them the testimony of the vision and the calling of God on his life. Sometime during that week, through a special message in tongues and the interpretation, the Holy Spirit ordained that that group of young people make immediate provision so that the young preacher who had just visited them could go to the country of his calling. A week later they contacted him to inform him that the money for his journey was available and that he could leave as soon as he was ready. On August 17, 1916 that group of young people said their goodbyes at the train station where they gave him the tickets for the train ride to NY and the ship passage from NY to Puerto Rico. On August 30, 1916 he disembarked from the ship “Carolina” in San Juan, P.R. After doing some evangelistic work in the metropolitan area of San Juan and Santurce, on November 3rd he finally arrived in Ponce, the city the Lord had shown him on the vision. Right away he started holding street services on the streets of Ponce, along with his friends from California, Solomon and Dionicia Feliciano. Eventually they were able to obtain a locale where they would gather now as a small but growing congregation to preach and reach the lost.
Isabel Ortiz was born February 8, 1897 in Guayanilla, P.R. to Eladia Ortiz and Dr. Manuel Zavala. She attended primary school in a parrochial school in Ponce and had a good childhood and adolescence. Towards the end of 1916, having just moved to Ponce at the age of 18, and being a devout Catholic where she was a member of the order “Daughters of Mary”, she received three visions from the Lord whereby He revealed Himself to her as the “Good Shepherd”. All three visions took place within one week. Then He led her to the place where a group of redeemed people were gathering under the leadership of a young man who had just arrived from California to bring the Gospel to his native land. That night, standing at the door of this small church, she received confirmation of the visions received directly from the Lord through the ministry of this young minister, Juan L. Lugo. She did not make public confession there that night of receiving Christ as her Saviour, but she ran home and in the privacy of her own room she asked the Lord, in her very own words, to come in and be Lord and Master of her life. From that moment on her life was completely changed. This change, of course, did not ‘set’ right with her family nor her colleagues in the catholic organizations she had been part of. The president of the chapter of the “Daughters of Mary” to which she had been a member of came to the house and spent a whole afternoon trying to persuade her to negate her new found ‘religion’, but to no avail. Her convictions were well found and sincere. When her mother in Guayanilla found out that her daughter had embraced the Pentecostal faith, she immediately traveled to Ponce. As her daughter prayed fervently, her mother approached her with the intent of taking her out of there, but somehow opted to sit next to her instead for the moment. There she sat, observing how the Holy Spirit moved causing them to praise and worship under the power of God. This produced a change of attitude in her and at the end of the service, instead of chastising her daughter for having made her association with those people, on the contrary stated that she found no evil in anything there and had her blessing to continue. Seven months later, on July 29, 1917 they were united in holy matrimony in Ponce, P.R., and together they started a life of total commitment and dedication to the Lord’s service. And what a beautiful and fruitful life that was!
Biographical Information on Lugo's Children
From the union Of Juan & Isabel came six children who have honored them with their Christian lives and service:
Persida was born April 13, 1919 in Ponce, P.R., and married Antonio Collazo on November 27, 1936 in NYC. That union gave them five grandchildren: Ligia Isabel, Juan Antonio, Persida, Raquel, and Rebecca.
Benjamin was born November 23, 1921 in Ponce, P.R., and married Velma Malave in NYC. Their union gave them two granddaughters: Elizabeth and Cynthia.
The late Elizabeth was born September 5, 1923 in San Jose, CA, and married Luis R. Alicea October 31, 1948 in NYC. That union gave them two grandsons: Angel Luis and Benjamin. Elisa died on May 10, 1999.
The late Juan León Jr. was born April 24, 1925 in Aibonito, P.R., and married Josie Sola on September 28, 1951. Their union gave them a granddaughter: Joanne. John Jr. died on November 19, 2011.
Abigail was born September 17, 1928 in Santurce, P.R., and married Hector Vincent Hita September 4, 1948 in NYC. That union gave them two grandchildren: Hector Vincent Jr., and Nancy Ligia.
Hulda Isabel was born July 22, 1930 in Aibonito, P.R., and married Ismael Escanio on September 30, 1950 in NYC. Their union gave them three grandchildren: Ismael Jr., Miriam Isabel, and Evelyn.