Jesse Nascimento, pastor of the Richmond Brazilian Community Church, Petersburg Church and Living Word Mission Group, will be ordained into the gospel ministry on April 17. Nascimento is a third-generation Seventh-day Adventist. He first felt called by the Holy Spirit into the Ministry of preaching the Gospel of Jesus during his 6th grade at an Adventist School. Mr. Rui Rodrigues, then school principal and Bible teacher, predicted that Jesse would be a pastor someday. Before that “someday” would arrive, the calling accepted and affirmed, God spoke to him through family and relatives, several members of varied congregations, and multiple pastors at different Conferences throughout the years.
He was ordained as a church elder in 1991 at his beloved East Providence SDA church, in Providence, Rhode Island. Before the candlelight of full-time dedication to ministry rekindled, Jesse was for several years on a track in parallel to his volunteer ministry. He worked as an entrepreneur; as an engineer at Fortune 500 companies; and as a digital media architect and senior information analyst with the US Government, among other assignments.
In 2004, he joined Andrews University Theological Seminary. In 2010, he began assisting Dr. Rollin Shoemaker, PhD (in memoriam) in his Pastoral Ministry in Bristol, Connecticut, with Southern New England Conference, where Jesse had previously served on the Executive Committee. He joined Greater New York Conference in 2012 at the city of Port Jervis, New York, through a special program led by then GNYC Executive Secretary Dr. Gerson Santos, PhD, in partnership with the General Conference. While in upstate New York, Jesse assisted Pr. Lloyd Scharffenberg; pastored; was a member of a Conference committee; and director of a great ministry started and operated by the Eckes family (Carol, Wilbur, David and Mischelle), named “Seventh-day Adventist Food Pantry.”
In 2015, he was honored to join Potomac Conference and its lovely people, great leadership and top-notch staff, where he had also previously enjoyed the privilege of serving on the Executive Committee. Jesse has a very particular sense of humor. He jokes that in order to be allowed to marry his beautiful wife Leila, he had to offer her parents —Mr. & Mrs. Tassolo— a sizable amount of “Chef’s choice gourmet kosher fish,” as a required gift. The “fishy” part of the joke is actually true, as Jesse did in fact work for a time as a fish peddler!
Leila and Jesse are proud parents of Andrew, a senior electrical engineering student at Walla Walla Adventist University, and Elyssa, currently a medical student and recent graduate of Columbia University in the City of New York. Leila is currently an MBA and Mission student with Andrews/UNASP Universities. Jesse attended Harvard, holds master’s degrees from Andrews University Theological Seminary and Leicester University, had a stint as a PhD candidate, and studies leadership and law.
Pastor Jesse loves God, family, and friends. He enjoys traveling with his family and engaging with people. He appreciates the Petersburg and RBCC congregations, and the new church plants. He likes simple things, is a ferocious reader, and confesses to being a bit of a dreamer — particularly of his imaginary and much-desired herd of Miniature Jersey cattle—Milka, Perestroika, Chanticleer (the cows); Queso, Olympus and Boye (the bulls).