On File

A pioneering Spirit

¡Triunfarán! (Triumphant! in English), written by Colonel Frank Payton, chronicles the history of The Salvation Army and its growth within the Spanish–speaking community of the United States and Puerto Rico. In this excerpt from Chapter 1, entitled Modestos Comienzos (Small Beginnings), we meet Roque and Josefina Ortiz, officers who started
a southwestern Spanish–speaking ministry in 1929.

¡Triunfarán! will be available in both Spanish and English later this year.


Roque and Josefina Ortiz possessed a pioneering spirit. They first came into the Army ranks as envoys in 1924, in charge of the work in Globe, Arizona. In 1929 they opened a corps in Nogales, Arizona, with an outpost just across the border in Nogales, Mexico. In both locations, the ministry of Captain and Mrs. Ortiz was in Spanish. At an Annual Young People’s Councils for the Border Division held in Phoenix, Arizona,

Major A. W. Brewer, the Divisional Commander, explained to the audience that taxed the seating capacity of the Hall how Captain Ortiz, through his conscientious and practical work, had won the confidence of the people in Nogales on both the Mexican and American sides, then reported that in addition to his welfare work he had had the joy of seeing some forty-four people converted during the last month.

—Central War Cry, December 13, 1930

The territorial commander of the Western Territory, Lt. Commissioner Benjamin Orames, visited along with his wife in 1933:

It is impossible to describe in cold print the happy time experienced in Nogales. Here and across the border, a splendid work is being carried on among the Mexicans. The Corps Officers are Captain and Mrs. R. Ortiz, the work of God is progressing mightily under their direction, and no more loyal Salvation Soldiers can be found anywhere in the Territory. Right from the very moment the Commissioner and party entered the Meeting, it was a time of blessing, and the presence of God was manifested mightily. Picture if you can a well–filled Hall of native–born Mexicans, both young and old, singing as only they can—and such singing!

—Western War Cry, February 18, 1933

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