A Baptist peacemaker in El Salvador’s 1980-1992 civil war, who for the past 18 years has ministered to fellow expatriates in the United States, is entering a new chapter as ambassador of El Salvador in Canada.
Edgar Palacios, associate pastor of Christian education at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., said his goodbyes to the congregation at a reception at the church Aug. 28. According to MetroLatinoUSA, his appointment awaits approval by the government of Canada.
Winner of the Baptist World Alliance Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award in 2012, Palacios served in the 1980s as executive director of the Permanent Committee of the National Debate for Peace in El Salvador, a non-governmental organization that worked to stop fighting between the nation’s right-wing military government and a coalition of left-wing groups.
During the conflict, Palacios’s life was at constant risk. In 1989, he took refuge in the German Embassy and a United Nations safe house in San Salvador, the country’s capital, after being informed that he and several other clergy members and social leaders were on a government hit list. Six Jesuit priests were assassinated during the government’s repressive campaign.
He came to Washington in 1998 with his wife and co-worker, Amparo Lopez Palacios, who died in 2008. In addition to his Christian education duties, Palacios has served as missionary pastor for the Latino fellowship at Calvary as well as in the greater Washington area.
Describing his 18 years at Calvary Baptist Church as “a period of very significant time of my life,” Palacios said “now I have to say goodbye, or rather a see you later” in an open letter to church members Aug. 28.
“New challenges arise in my life,” he explained. “I go to El Salvador. I go to Canada. I am a servant. Wherever I am and whatever I do, I do for the glory of God. In God I trust.”
On Aug. 21 church leaders approved renaming the church chapel the Edgar and Amparo Palacios Chapel in recognition of their many years of service.