Bishop Ricardo Pereira Díaz
Bishop Ricardo Pereira Díaz was born on June 9, 1956, in Rancho Veloz, Las Villas, Cuba, which is currently known as the Villa Clara province. He grew up in Potrerillo, Holguin province, where he attended primary school. He attended a junior high school in Rafael Freyre, Holguin province, and the High School in Camagüey province, where he began working as an Assistant Pastor. He received his theological education through the courses provided by the Cuban Annual Conference. He got a Bachelor's degree in Theology; he was granted a PhD and a Doctorate of Divinity at the Latin American College in Miami Headquarters.
Bishop Pereira began working as an Assistant Pastor in 1973 in Camagüey. He was first appointed Pastor of the Cuban Annual Conference in 1975 in Las Tunas province. He served in Las Tunas, Pilon, and Niquero, which are in the eastern region of Cuba, and later served as Assistant to Bishop Armando Rodriguez in El Vedado, Havana. He worked as a District Superintendent in Pinar del Rio for twelve years. During his faith journey, he served as President of the National Youth and the National Methodist Men´s organization. He chaired the Evangelism Area for the Conference and the Discipleship. He was elected Bishop in March 1999. Currently, he is the Senior Pastor of the Methodist Church in Marianao, Havana, the largest church in the Conference with 3700 members. The Methodist Church in Cuba has been growing by 5 to 10 percent annually. New missions and churches have been opened in municipalities and territories where there was no presence of the Methodist Church. Under Bishop Pereira’s leadership, the Methodist Church has impacted on all the provinces and municipalities with the Gospel, having either a church or a mission. Likewise, from 1999 to date, the Church has grown from 98 pastoral positions to 545 and from 8,000 to 57,371 members.
Bishop Pereira is married to Pastor Maritza Proenza Ortega, who currently serves as the vice president of the Cuban Methodist Women’s Ministry. They have two sons, Ricardo Pereira Jr. and Yosvany Pereira, who are both pastors.