Frontera de Cristo is led by a bi-national board who seeks to discern God’s will for the ministry. The board is made up of an equal number of people from Mexico and the United States who each bring valuable perspective to the organization.
Ramon Garcia, President
Rev. Ramon Garcia Sanchez was born November 30, 1973, in Ensenada, Baja California. He graduated from the Mexican Presbyterian Seminary in June 1997, and was ordained by the Northwest Presbytery of the Iglesia Nacional Presbiteriana de Mexico (Presbyterian Church of Mexico) in October 2002 in Chihuahua, Mexico. In June 1995, he married Ruth Robledo and they have four children, ages 6 to 22. He was the pastor of the Voz del Desierto (Voice of the Desert) Presbyterian Church in Hermosillo, Sonora, from 2010 to January of 2020 when he became pastor of Lirios de los Valles (Lily of the Valley) Presbyterian Church in Agua Prieta.
Jeni O’Callaghan, Vice President
Verde Valley, AZ
Jeni O’Callaghan, born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, has been visiting Mexico all of her life, entranced by the “friendliness, love and spiciness” of Mexican culture. Currently residing in Camp Verde, Arizona, where she is a member of Verde Valley Presbyterian Church, Jeni has served as a board member of Frontera de Cristo since 2005. She travels five hours to attend board meetings, motivated by her belief that “Frontera makes a difference on both sides of the border by enriching lives, mutual respect, teaching and more.” She encourages everyone to escape from their traditional way of seeing things, visit Frontera’s border ministry and support new border church development, reform of immigration law and decreased violence.
Carmina Sanchez, Secretary
Agua Prieta, Sonora
Jeff Krongaard, Treasurer
Agua Prieta, Sonora
Born in Raton, New Mexico (pronounced RAT’n), Shirley Jewell migrated to Douglas, Arizona via Burlington, Iowa in 1965. She is a member of First Presbyterian Church. Growing up with Spanish speaking friends, she loved this opportunity to renew her speaking skills with Mexicans, make new friends and enjoy the dry climate. Board meetings in Mexico are a five-mile round-trip drive. Shirley has served on the board since its inception in 1986, the excitement of this service having given her a “wonderful new devotion to God, and it has not abated.” Shirley’s dream is to see expansion of services along the border as more churches and existing helping organizations become aware of the work that Frontera de Cristo is undertaking. Volunteers coming to serve on both sides of the border can help make this a reality.
Rev. John Fife is a Presbyterian pastor who served for 35 years at Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson and was co-founder of the original Sanctuary Movement in the 1980s. In 1992, John was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). He retired in 2005, and is now pastor emeritus at Southside. John was instrumental in the founding of Tucson Samaritans and No More Deaths, two humanitarian aid organizations in southern Arizona. He continues to be active in those organizations and his presence on the board of Frontera de Cristo brings an historical perspective of human rights and advocacy along the US-Mexico border.
Rev. Elizabeth Smith is the Pastor for Growth and Development at The Holy Way Presbyterian Church in Tucson. She grew up in Iola, Kansas, received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kansas and a Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Prior to enrolling in seminary, Elizabeth served as a Young Adult Volunteer along the U.S./Mexico border in Nogales, where she lived for two years. Elizabeth is passionate about creating experiences where people can put their faith into action and loves walking alongside others on their faith journeys. Elizabeth is married to Rev. Bart Smith, pastor of St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Tucson.
Agua Prieta, Sonora
Rev. Dr. Jorge Pazos Aragon was ordained in the Iglesia Nacional Presbiteriana de Mexico (Presbyterian Church of Mexico) in 1989 and has led the ministries of Compañeros en Misión–one of the five ministry sites of the Presbyterian Border Region Outreach–for the past 20 years. He serves as the pastor at Sol de Justicia (Sun of Justice) congregation in Nogales, Sonora, and occasionally preaches in Caborca for a congregation called La Hermosa (the Beautiful). Jorge was born in Veracruz in eastern Mexico. Prior to seminary, he attended medical school and is an MD. He and his wife have three grown children.