He has chosen to passionately live in response to God’s call, connecting others to their fullest identity as belonging to their Heavenly Father and cultivating a culture of service through relationship to others.
A celebration of service was held on August 27, 2022, as William “JR” Bonilla was ordained to the gospel ministry at the Honolulu Central church. Conference President Erik VanDenburgh led out in the service, with assistance from Senior Pastor Travis Sager and two of JR’s former pastors, Bill Payne and Tara VinCross.
Pastor JR has served as the associate pastor of the Honolulu Central church since 2016. Service and church involvement have long been a way of life for JR. As a young adult, he served as one of the youngest elders in his conference and helped support various ministry initiatives across New Jersey. While involved in ministry, he met another influential, service-minded youth leader named Felecia, and God soon brought them together in marriage.
Fully intending to serve God in a lay capacity in the mortgage industry, JR began to feel God impressing his heart to serve in full-time ministry, and in the spring of 2011, the young family moved to Andrews University to attend the seminary. He began his official ministry after seminary in Philadelphia in 2014, working with Pastor Tara VinCross at a new inner-city young adult church plant called REACH Philadelphia. Two years later, Pastor JR received the call to serve as associate pastor at the Honolulu Central church, where the Bonilla family is greatly loved and appreciated.
To JR, ministry is a lifestyle. He has chosen to passionately live in response to God’s call, connecting others to their fullest identity as belonging to their Heavenly Father and cultivating a culture of service through relationship to others. He is fully supported in ministry by his loving wife, Felecia, and their tribe of energetic and talented children—Oksana, Uriah, and little Azariah. JR’s favorite Bible text of the moment: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35, NKJV).
By Jay C. Warren