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Jim Velazquez

biography

I was born on February 20th, 1948 at Englewood Hospital on the Southside of Chicago, IL. My family lived at 51st and Princeton Street in Chicago until I was 5 years old. We then moved to 103rd St and 86th Court, Palos Hills, Illinois just forty minutes southwest of Chicago with a population of 3000. I attended North Palos Elementary School, Quinn Middle School, Oak Ridge Junior High School all in Palos Hills, IL and Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, IL.
During my freshman year of High School my family moved to 1927 S. May Street, Chicago, IL and I was enrolled at Harrison High School on the Westside of Chicago. I graduated from Harrison High School in June 1966. After working a few part-time jobs, I enlisted in the United States Air Force and went off to Basic Training at Amarillo AFB, Texas on June 19, 1967. After Basic Training, I was stationed at Charleston AFB, Charleston, SC serving with the 437th Security Police Squadron from September 1967 until May 1969. I was then issued orders to go to Vietnam and be stationed with 377th Combat Support Group where I was assigned to serve with the 377th Supply Squadron from May 1969 until May 1970.
While in Vietnam I realized my need for God in my life and bought a Bible at the Base Exchange. I found the Old Testament genealogy difficult to understand. So I prayed a short prayer and told God, if He would see me through my year in Vietnam, when I returned to the USA I would find someone to help me understand his Word.
On my return to the USA, I was assigned to Ellsworth AFB, Rapid City, South Dakota in June 1970 and served with the 28th Bomb Wing Command Post. My Commanding Non-Commissioned Senior Master Sergeant Campoamor was a born again Christian and he helped me to understand the Bible. He told me If I would call on the name of the Lord Jesus and invite him into my life I would be born-again. So on December 7, 1970, at the side of my bunk bed I called on the Lord to forgive my sins and come into my life. On December 1, 1969, President Nixon signed Executive order 11498 authorizing the Secretary of Defense to approve early discharge from 90 days to 180 days for enlisted military members. I applied for the early discharge and was honorably discharged from active duty on December 31, 1969.
Upon my return to Chicago, I worked for the financial division of the Veteran’s Administration at 2122 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL. I also started attending the First Baptist Church of Cicero, Illinois and on February 13, 1972 I was baptized and became a member of the Church. During that time, I also began to feel a call to Pastor and preach God’s Word. So in September 1973, I went off to Bible College and earned a Bachelor Degree in Christian Education. Since that time I have been a pastor in 4 Churches: 1972 - 1990 The First Baptist Church of Cicero, IL; 1990 - 1993 Welcome Hill Baptist Church, Lemont, IL;
1993 - 2005 Heritage Baptist Church, Pueblo, CO; 2005 – 2018 Temple Baptist Church, Santa Fe, NM.
On January 31, 2019 I retired from Pastoring and my wife and I are now living in Pueblo, Colorado.

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