Rev. Dr. Richard Mirpuri, A Pastor’s Spiritual Journey
His calling has always been to build a church and minister to his flock, and so, armed with the eloquence of a highly learned man and the heart of a true servant of God, he braved the uncertainties of the world and embraced his reason for being, to serve his Master and his people.
Born in the Philippines of an Indian father and a Filipina mother, Rev. Dr. Richard A. Mirpuri, D.D. (Doctor Of Divinity) came to Chicago in late 2003. He came to the United States in 1991 as a missionary to the Filipino-American community for the Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA), a worldwide evangelical organization based in Colorado Springs. His first assignment was as the Director for Filipino Ministries of the Central Pacific District of the C&MA covering Northern California, Utah, Nevada and Hawaii. In Daly City, he founded the Jesus-Prince of Peace Christian Fellowship (C&MA) which he pastored for 7 years. He was then called to serve in a concurrent capacity as the International Director for Worldwide Filipino Ministries of the C&MA Churches of the Philippines while based in San Francisco.
Because of his background in business and his involvement with the pharmaceutical industry as Regional Manager for Roche in the Philippines, he served brief stints as District Manager for AstraZeneca in Arizona and as District Manager for GlaxoSmithKline for Chicagoland while he was pioneering church work in Chicago. Very often, church planters like Rev. Mirpuri have to be bi-vocational in the ministry until the church being pioneered becomes financially independent. He also served, while in the Philippines, as Regional Manager for Union Carbide and as Vice-President & Marketing Director for Snap-On Tools, an international tool company based in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rev. Mirpuri graduated from La Salle College, Bacolod City with a BS in Commerce major in Accounting (Cum Laude) and later completed his postgraduate studies in theology with a Master’s Degree in Divinity from the Asian Theological Seminary with top honors. He also completed specialized studies in Third World Christian Leadership in Singapore and Advanced Christian Communication in Thailand. While in the bay area, Pastor Dick was a gospel columnist for the Filipino Guardian and the Filipino Monitor – 2 Fil-Am newspapers of wide circulation in Northern California. He also hosted the gospel radio program “Life is Worth Living”.
Prior to his coming to the U.S. with his wife, Lillian and their children, Nadja, Johanna, JayJay and ShaSha, Pastor Dick (as he is fondly called by his flock) was and still is the Founder and Spiritual Director of the Philippine Evangelical Alliance for Christian Endeavors (PEACE), Inc. One of the ministries he has been involved with as Founder of PEACE, Inc. is that of ministering to artists, movie stars and political figures who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior like Gary V, Carla Martinez, Kuh Ledesma, Pilar Pilapil, PBA stars Francis Arnaiz and Marte Saldana, former Malabon Mayor and MMDA Governor Prospero “Peng” Oreta and so many others.
One of the focus of his ministry in line with biblical mandate is to pray for those in high government positions. Pastor Dick has been around the world praying for Ambassadors, Senators and other government figures. In Chicago, he has developed a close relationship with Philippine Consul General Blesila Cabrera and her staff. Pastor Dick also developed a relationship with the General Consulate of Israel in Chicago where the former Israel Consul General for the Midwest, Barukh Binah and the Senior Policy Advisor of the General Consulate of Israel in Chicago, Mr. Robert Schwartz, have been guest speakers at Rev. Mirpuri’s Word of Grace church. It was the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem which the Word of Grace has held every January since 2004. Pastor Dick leads a Spiritual Journey & Prayer Pilgrimage Bible Tour every year to Israel.
Today, Pastor Dick, as the Founding Pastor and Spiritual Director of the Word of Grace Family Christian Fellowship is based in Chicago under the Midwest District of the C&MA (Christian & Missionary Alliance) which covers Indiana and Illinois. He is licensed and credentialed as an ordained minister of the C&MA under the Midwest District. The Word of Grace has outreaches in South San Francisco and in the Philippines where he visits at least once a year to speak at conferences, to oversee medical missions and to supervise the ministry of WOG overall. Pastor Dick is also currently a gospel columnist for Via Times monthly newsmagazine. In 2005, Pastor Dick received the Chicago Hall Of Fame Award for Religious Service from Via Times/CPRTV. He and Lillian are the beaming grandparents of Elijah (8) and Sofia (3) with another grandchild on the way. All are the children of Johanna-Marie Mirpuri and Marvin Cook. You can get more details and information regarding his ministry by visiting his ministry website, www.thewordofgrace.org.