Pastor Highlight: Elliot Ramos April 23, 2021
Due to the limitations that filled 2020, many of you have been worshipping with Westover Church online and from a distance for the past year. While we are grateful and feel incredibly privileged to have been able to worship with you and to add new members to our body during this time, we also realize that this distanced format may have left some feeling disconnected. That is why throughout the next few months, we are hoping to highlight different ministry areas at Westover Church, as well as the people behind these ministries.
Get to Know Pastor Elliot Ramos—Internationals Pastor at Westover Church
Pastor Elliot was born and raised in Puerto Rico before moving to Pennsylvania when he was 18. There, Elliot met Damaris, his wife of 33 years. Though both Elliot and Damaris grew up as pastor’s kids, neither expected Elliot to become a pastor as well. For Elliot, the call to ministry was not a decisive Saul-to-Paul calling, but rather a gentle, consistent pull from the Lord. This pull resulted in his family serving as church planters in Pennsylvania. It was while serving one of his church plants that Elliot first became aware of Westover Church through Project Serve—a short-term trip which had sent over 100 high school students to Pennsylvania to participate in service projects.
Years later after the Ramos family had returned to Pennsylvania to take care of a family member, Elliot became aware of an opening for an Internationals Pastor position at Westover Church and remembered the impact of Westover’s ministry teams. What drew Elliot to the position was the church’s history and commitment to both local and global missions, as well as the engagement with Greensboro’s local community. This mission, along with his experience in community-building, led Pastor Elliot to apply and later become Westover’s first Internationals Pastor.
Pastor Elliot’s ministry is a unique one—one that joins international missions with local missions. While there is absolutely a need to share the gospel with the nations, the nations are also here in Greensboro. It’s Pastor Elliot’s goal to make sure that this international community has a home here at Westover—a place to connect in community, grow in the gospel, and serve on mission. Pastor Elliot’s heart is to make Westover a place that is more inclusive and diverse. It is important to note that the goal isn’t to encourage the international community to give up their own unique cultures in order to blend in with majority culture, but rather for them to be accepted as they are. In fact, this is the goal of Christian community as a whole—to meet people where they are, to come alongside and celebrate, mourn, and grow together, and to encourage one another in Christ. Pastor Elliot hopes to encourage community and discipleship in the church, and for Westover’s community of internationals to be welcomed with open arms into Westover and not be set aside as one separate from the main body.
There are several events that are encouraging steps towards this goal. The first is International Worship Nights. The first International Worship Night took place in March of 2021, and was a time of singing, prayer, and scripture reading by members of Westover in their native languages including Korean, Farsi, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, and many others. This was a time of encouragement that showcased the unity of the body of Christ—though many had different native languages, the grace, the love, and the joy of Christ was present with all. Pastor Elliot anticipates having similar worship nights several times each year, and hopes that this will provide the opportunity for members of Westover to connect in community and form lasting relationships.
Another way to get involved and make connections with Westover’s internationals community is through Camp Allelu. This is a summer camp for international high school students who have been in the U.S. for less than 4 years. This year Camp Allelu will be held as a day camp on Westover’s campus from June 9-11, 2021. However, in order to accommodate the number of campers expected, we need volunteers! This is an excellent opportunity to serve on mission and connect in community. If you’d like to read more about this summer camp or to get involved, please click here or email Elliot Ramos or Michelle Moore.
We are incredibly grateful for Pastor Elliot Ramos and his commitment to serve the Lord and the Body of Christ through emphasizing the importance of connection and discipleship of our local community, no matter their country of origin. Through Westover’s ministry to the international community, may we look more like the body of Christ—united in the love of our Savior.
“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:1-3