Get to Know Joel Ortiz
Joel Ortiz is a familiar face amongst our Multicultural believers.
But do you know who is, where he comes from and what makes him tick?
Where were you born and what was it like growing up there?
I was born in Zamboanga City, Mindanao, Southern Philippines, but did not reside there until I was enrolled at Ebenezer Bible College in 1971-1978. I returned there in 1993-2001 with Tracy where I served as President of Ebenezer Bible College and Seminary. We also started a family there.
When and why did you move to Tasmania
We moved to Hobart in 2011. There were three major reasons: My girls were finishing their high school; Tracy and I had completed our ten years of pastoral ministry; and Tracy is from Hobart. After careful considerations, prayer, and research, we felt convinced that it was time for us move.
What do you enjoy most about living here?
The total environment, where historic sites and modern structures are in the same city scape, and people are friendly. It's an island paradise with pure air, clean water, and natural landscape. And of course, Tracy's family is here, it's home for us.
Tell us about your family?
I am married to Tracy and we have two adult daughters, Ezzy (Ezarah) who lives in Hobart; and Kaya (Keziah) who lives in Perth, WA.
My parents were pastors. My dad came from north island of the Philippines, and my mum from the southern island. They met at Ebenezer Bible Institute and were taught by Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA), American Missionaries. So our first home language was English. I'm the eldest of three siblings; my sisters are Ruth and Miriam. As pastors' kids, we grew up in both rural and urban environments in Mindanao (the Philippines second-largest island), and learned 3-5 dialects.
How did you become a Christian?
I became a Christian through the ministry of a visiting revivalist in 1964 in a village church where my parents were serving as pastors. It happened after one of the evening services, where the minister, Rev. A. Bulnes, upon request of our parents, talked to us siblings about salvation in Jesus. I prayed accepted Jesus as my Saviour and Lord. I was baptised in water in 1972 at the Alliance Youth Camp in Zamboanga City.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
One important thing in life is to have a plan (by a mentor, Alliance Graduate School,1980).
When people ask you how you spend your time, what do you say?
I rest, read, study, pray, exercise, imagine, garden, connect via social media, serve, do housework.
What is your role in the Baptist Church?
I serve as Multicultural Pastor for Hobart Baptist Church, and the Multicultural Coordinator for Tasmanian Baptists.
What other official roles do you have in the broader community?
I'm serving as the co-pastor at the Glenorchy Community Care; I'm currently with the Board of the Multicultural Council of Tasmania (MCOT), and President of the Philippines-Australia Community of Tasmania Inc (PACT). I also served as a volunteer at the Fellowship of Christian University Students (FOCUS), and at TasTAFE for three years.
I was elected president of PACT in November 2020 during its Annual General Meeting with a dynamic team of professionals, for a term of two years.
We are working towards a more cohesive community, that is hospitable and intergenerational, where everyone belongs; where Filipino culture and Christian values are nurtured, as we support each in becoming Filipino-Australians, that connects, engages, and contributes to the multicultural diversity and progress of Tasmania.
Pictured from far left:
Elected Officers of PACT, Inc. with Honorary Philippine Consul, and Chair of MCOT, and two former PACT presidents, Montrose Bay Yacht Club, Nov 2020
PACT Officers at the Bowling Tournament, Moonah, 13 March 2021
Joel is on the right
Multicultural Tas Board Oct 2020, Joel Ortiz at far right
What excites you most about what you do?
It's missional with a kingdom of God orientation.
What challenges do you have as you do this work?
Connecting with people of diverse cultures, social status, and religious backgrounds.
How can we pray for you and your work?
That I'll press on in knowing Christ, to love and serve Him in the fellowship of the church in our city.
Short and Sweet
I am looking forward to ... a new season.
I am worried about ... the safety of my relatives.
I am confident that ... our mission will succeed.
I am joyful about ... being with family.
I would like to ... form new habits.
I am at my best ... when I'm prepared.