Mendota pastor dies in Mexico

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Alicia and Hector Garcia had finished their ministry, and were ready to celebrate their 30th anniversary in San Luis Rio Colorado Mexico, Hector's hometown.

It's where they go on mission trips every year. On Sunday, December 6th, Hector told his wife he wanted to go wash the car he bought her. He never came back.

His body was found in a canal later in the week, and Mexican media reports three people have been arrested in connection with his alleged murder. Alicia believes they were cartel members, and that her husband had offered them a ride before being killed. "He died doing what he loved, helping somebody unfortunately he ran across the wrong people," Alicia Garcia said.

In Mexico, the couple fed the needy and spread the word of God. They did the same in Mendota, where they ran Maranatha Pentecostal Church of God-a place of worship they were recently forced to close due to financial struggles.

But even in hard times, Garcia, also a farm laborer, would help those in need. Family members say he got that from his mother. "I told my mother-in-law look mom, somebody said Mendota lost a great man," Garcia said. "And my mother in law said, 'No, the world lost a great man."

"You know I'm not going to live my life holding what was done to my father against them," said Garcia's son, Hector Jr. "No, I'm not. I forgive them, and I love them for whoever they are."

This family is grieving, but Pastor Garcia taught them the importance of forgiving, so that's what they're doing as they try to move on with life. There will be a celebration of life for Garcia this coming Friday and Saturday at the Mendota Pentecostal Church of God in Mendota.

His family has also set up a GoFundMe account.
To donate, click below:
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.