Remembering BTS Professor Dr. Manny Ortiz
This past Saturday an overflow crowd joined their hearts together at Spirit and Truth Fellowship to remember our beloved colleague and Clemens Visiting Professor of Missional Theology (until his retirement in 2016), Dr. Manny Ortiz. I knew Manny as one of my seminary professors in the 1980’s and then as a faculty member when I assumed the presidency of BTS in 2013. I knew that he was a pastor, professor, mentor and church planter, but I did not know that he served his country as a Marine and that he did not come to saving faith until he was 30 years old. And still, God accomplished marvelous things through this servant.
Manny’s ministry reached around the globe but his ministry focus centered around 3 cities: New York City, where he was born; Chicago where he was a pastor and planted 5 churches and 2 elementary schools; and Philadelphia where he planted 9 churches, an elementary school, and numerous other ministries while teaching at Westminster Seminary alongside his friend and mentor, Harvie Conn.
Manny and his devoted colleague Dr. Sue Baker, were key players in the development of the urban vision of BTS. It was through Manny and Sue that BTS established its Philadelphia campus at Joy in the City. I was particularly gratified that I was able to count at least 12 BTS residential and adjunct faculty who attended the memorial service and too many students to count. Manny’s ministry touched so many of us at BTS.
Please remember his family in prayer—Blanca (his wife of 54 years) and their four children, Deb, Joe, Liz and Stephen—along with his ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.