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Rodlie Ortiz Interview
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Watch video interviews at the end of this article.

All my life I wanted to be a doctor. I enrolled at the University of North Florida as  biology pre-med. I went to church with my parents, more because they wanted me to—I wasn’t into church. One day I asked my mom “Where’s all the college age girls in church?” There were a lot of 14 and 15-year-olds and a lot of 24 and 25-year-olds, but not a lot of college age young ladies. She very wisely said, “Rodlie, I think a lot of them are attending the Adventist universities.” Then she asked, “You want to visit?” I said, “Yeah, let’s do it.”
 
So we trekked over to Southern Adventist University (SAU)—I still remember the day. I was sitting there in the cafeteria looking around and seeing a lot of pretty girls. That kind of did it for me. I told my mom and dad “You guys have got to help me come here.”
 
I transferred to SAU for my Sophomore year of college. During the first semester there, a thought popped into my mind—it doesn’t matter how spiritual my mom and dad are—I'm saved by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I wrestled with this thought. I couldn’t shake it off, try as I might. My parents had given me a Bible so I started to check Jesus out for myself. I began in the book of Matthew and as I read, I felt like something was happening to me—I felt God drawing me and pulling me to ministry—and I didn’t like what was happening. So, I said, “God, I’m supposed to be a doctor, so don’t mess with my plans.” 
 
Yet, I was like someone who has been thirsty their whole life, and had just found a well of water. I just kept coming back to the Scriptures and I couldn’t help myself. I felt God changing me and doing something in me. So, I finally said, “Okay, God, if there’s something else that you want me to do other than to be a doctor, you’re just going to have to prove it to me, because I don’t have any faith.”
 
A few days after that I got to Luke 10, verse 2, which reads, “The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest…” and as I read those words, they seemed to jump off the page and I felt a physical reaction like something hit me. I remember that I turned around and looking behind me to see if anybody else was there. I said, “God, I guess I’ll accept that as a sign, but that’s not good enough, because anybody can have a warm fuzzy when reading Scriptures. That’s just not quite good enough for me.”
 
A few days after that, I was walking from one end of the campus back to Talge Hall when I saw three, round, black clouds in the sky. They were lower in the sky than the other clouds and I stood staring, trying to figure out a way to explain them. Maybe they were from a fire? Maybe people are doing smoke signals somewhere in the mountains. Then I felt this deep impression that this was God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God was telling me, “Rodlie, you’re on the right track, just keep going.” I said, “Okay, God, I’m going to accept that as another sign, but, I’m sorry, that’s still not quite good enough.”
 
Later that week, I had a dream. In my dream I was walking into the lobby of a large church and people were greeting me—they knew my name and said, “Rodlie, we’re so glad that you’re here.” I thought to myself, who are these people? They said, “Rodlie, are you ready?” I said, “Ready for what?” They replied, “Well, Rodlie, you’re going to be the speaker today, so do what you’ve got to do, but in 15 minutes you need to get up there behind the pulpit.” I didn’t know what was happening, but I knew I needed to pray. So I found an empty room, got on my knees, and started to pray. I said, “Lord, I don’t have a Bible with me, I don’t have a sermon prepared; but beyond that, I don’t have anything good inside of me. If you want me to speak to these people, You’re going to have to give me the words because I’ve got nothing—in Jesus’ name, amen.”
 
The dream continued. I sat down at a desk in that room. I opened up the middle drawer and inside was a stack of white paper. I put the paper on top of the desk. I opened up the drawer to my right and it was full of pens. I grabbed one and as I put it on top of the paper, it just took off in my hands. I wasn’t even holding it right. In a matter of about three minutes, 11 pages were filled up. I wasn’t doing the writing, but it was as if this message from God was being downloaded into my mind—God was just giving me this message. I praised Him for it. At the end of the 15 minutes I made my way to the front of the church looked out over all the people—and right before I said my first word, I heard this sound— beep, beep beep! It was my alarm clock waking me up. I tried to go back into the dream but it was gone. “God, now I believe,” I whispered. So began my journey—my call to ministry.
 
A few months after that, I started to doubt my call to ministry. I saw all these other theology majors preaching, giving Bible studies, doing lots of great things, but I was still struggling with doubts. Two questions gnawed at me. The first one was—when is it that you want me to start? Second—what is it that you want me to do?
 
I heard there was going to be a special weekend event at the Spanish church in Collegedale. Angel Ogando was going to give his testimony. I decided to attend and I even got the opportunity to meet Angel briefly before he started his presentations.
 
After he spoke the Holy Spirit was poured out in a powerful way on that little church—so much so, that after he spoke nobody moved a muscle. Everybody sat waiting for something else to happen—expectantly waiting, crying, and humming hymns. I made my way up to the front and gave him, the bro hug. I said, “Angel, thank you so much for sharing your testimony.” He grabbed me by the shoulders and said, “Rodlie, it’s time to start!” I knew that God had spoken to me again. 
 
Everywhere around me people were making plans to go out,  but I said, “Guys, I can’t come with you tonight.” As soon as I left the church I just burst into tears because God was so good to me. I knew exactly where I needed to go. I made my way to the Garden of Prayer on campus. I prayed to myself, “God, I hope there’s nobody else praying there tonight. I need it all to myself tonight, Lord. If you could do that for me.” On one side of this garden there’s this quote posted from Steps of Christ. I sat there crying—I had this one other question left. I said, “God, what is it that you want me to do?”
 
My crying continued for about 15 minutes—emptying my tear ducts. Suddenly, I felt this deep sense of God’s presence. I felt as if angels were there. I felt as if Jesus had just walked into the garden. I felt Jesus telling me to look up and when I looked there was a triangle of light shining on some of the words that were in this inscription in front of me. At the end of a sentence, it said, “Testify to the living.” I just started crying all over again—but I certainly never doubted my call to ministry after that.
 
 
Pastoring is not without it’s challenges. What I have faced, I don’t think is uncommon to pastors. I thought I was pretty smart and I knew what to do in church when I graduated from seminary. I was really excited and trying to implement my vision for for these churches. Of course, the church also wanted to have a say so there was conflicts and difficulties at certain times in my ministry. But my call to ministry always anchored me. I never doubted my call because God had revealed Himself so clearly to me. I would say, “God, okay, this is fine. We’re having difficulties now and I think I need to be a little more humble and maybe I don’t have all the right answers and I accept that.” I said, “Lord, I’m just going to keep on serving, going to keep on ministering, because I know that You’ve called me.”
 
I feel like God calls every single one of us to be disciples and to follow Jesus. All of us are called to preach and to witness and to serve Him, but God calls some people to do it full time. I feel like God called me to full-time ministry and it was really clear in His revelation to me—“I want you to testify to the living.” So, I believe that for the rest of my life I’m going to be doing full time ministry, in some kind of capacity. I don’t know if it’s always going to be in pastoral ministry but I love pastoring. I derive so much joy from it.
 
 
 
Rodlie Ortiz - Short Interview
 
 

Rodlie Ortiz - Full Interview