The National Hispanic Caucus MARCHA of the United Methodist Church recently honored Al Pineda of Santa Paula for his many years of leadership in the church on the local, regional, state and national level. Pineda has been a member of El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church for almost 70 years.

Pineda honored by National
Hispanic Caucus of United Methodist Church

August 22, 2014
Santa Paula News

A Santa Paulan recently received a high honor for his strong leadership of his church on the local, regional, state and national levels.

The National Hispanic Caucus MARCHA of the United Methodist Church honored Albino “Al” Pineda for his many years of leadership in the church; Pineda has been a member of the congregation of El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church of Santa Paula for decades. 

In January Pineda, the church historian, oversaw the celebration of El Buen Pastor’s 100 years of ministry to the community and the world.

MARCHA (Methodistas Asociados Representando la Causa de los Hispanos Americanos/Associated Methodists Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans) had its annual meeting at the Hacienda Hotel in Inglewood where more than 200 representatives from all over the country and Puerto Rico met for four days and honored Pineda, who attended with his wife Lydia.

The theme of the gathering was “Reconstruyendo Esperanza en Tiempos de Cambios Radicales/Rebuilding Hope in Times of Radical Change.”

Pineda was Director of Hispanic Ministries in Southern California for eight years and President of the California-Pacific Hispanic Caucus for three years. He was chair of the Southwest Regional Training and Resource Center of the Methodist Church - an organization that provides training events for clergy and laity throughout the Southwest and Northern Mexico - for 12 years. 

Pineda also served a four-year term on the General Board of Global Ministries for which he traveled to different parts of the country and as far as Vienna, Austria.

This has been in additional to his involvement in Santa Paula’s El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, which he has served for almost 70 years in different capacities.

Founder of the Farmworker Monument, Pineda is a World War II veteran who led the Mercer-Prieto VFW Post #2943 as Commander. He is a recipient of the Latino Town Hall Ray Garcia Humanitarian Award and served as a Santa Paula Elementary School District Trustee for two terms.

It was in the 1970s when Pineda served with then Police Chief Ray Tull on a special committee formed to bring the community together following youth riots.

A noted author, Pineda’s memoir, “Among the Repatriated” highlighted the impact of forced migration on his family during the Great Depression, when as many as 1 million people of Mexican descent, many United States citizens, were forced without due process to leave the U.S. 

Pineda became an acclaimed artist in his 80s when a lifelong interest in masks led him to recognize the artistic possibilities of the palm fronds he found on the sidewalk. Taking them home he soon realized that the fronds could be turned into masks as well as other decorative items that he created feverishly and are now collected by art lovers.

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