Obituary: Floredilia Graterol

Floredilia “Flor” Graterol, Covenant pastor and chaplain at Centro Hispano de Estudios Teológicos (CHET), died last week. She was 63.

She was found unresponsive at home by a friend on New Year’s Eve.  The official cause of death is yet to be determined.

Flor was born February 6, 1957, in Caracas, Venezuela. She developed a love of education early while attending a Catholic boarding school. The devotion of the nuns inspired her to live her life for God in a way that would benefit others. At the nuns’ urging, she earned her teaching credentials and taught in an elementary school before health issues forced her to leave that position.

Flor’s father encouraged her to travel to England where she could study English as well as graphic arts. She lived there for three years before moving to Paris to study French. She learned other languages as she traveled. During her time in Paris, she was befriended by a missionary couple whom she said re-ignited her faith.

At that time, the economy in Venezuela worsened, which meant she was unable to continue her education and she was forced to return home. Later, she was inspired to attend the Billy Graham/Luis Palau Hispanic Crusade in Los Angeles and stayed in the United States afterward.

She felt called to teach the Bible to others and started attending CHET after meeting then-president Jorge Maldonado. She completed the two-year, 30-unit basic program there, then began tutoring students in that program. She also completed CHET’s 90-unit ministerial program as well as a counseling program.

Flor was named the school’s chaplain in 2007 while she pursued her Bachelor of Ministry degree at CHET, which she received in 2009. Upon her installation, she said, “It’s like God is touching you on the shoulder and saying you are doing good.”

Flor was ordained in 2014. She went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2019.

She was a founding member of the church plant core group of El Encino Covenant Church, saying at the time, “I feel that there is no better place than the Evangelical Covenant Church to fill this call that is so deeply inside my heart.”

She had been serving as lead pastor at Emmanuel Covenant Church in Northridge, California, while continuing to serve as the CHET chaplain.

Services are pending.

 

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13 Comments

  1. Flor realmente representaba la sal y la luz en esta tierra con su paciencia y su gran amor para la gente. Conociendola primero como amiga y hermana en la fe, logré ver su rica personalidad y creatividad, y pasamos muchos lindos momentos. Ella era REAL. Genuina. Humilde. Amable. Fuerte en su fe. Inteligentisima y muy buena maestra. Comprometida. Dedicada. Y muchas cosas mas. Aun no puedo creer que no esta con nosotros, y la extrañaré muchisimo, pero se que su gozo ahora no se puede comparar con nada que este mundo pueda ofrecerle. Gracias por haber existido Flor….hicistes una diferencia en la vida de los que lograron conocerte, incluso en mi persona. Un fuerte abrazo desde aca, siempre te tendremos en nuestros corazones. ❤

  2. I remember the last time I talked to her (before a Sunday), she insisted on driving me home after helping clean the church. She was very tired but always had a smile on her face, her optimism and stories distracted us on our way to my house and after a few misunderstandings (because I forgot my keys) I apologized to her saying: “I’m so sorry for taking so long, thank you so much Pastora!!”, she then responded: “That’s okay, what’s important is that we could spend some time together and talk. God bless you, Stella.”
    Pastora Flor was an amazing woman who dedicated her life to serve the kingdom of God with a grateful heart. She had an angelical personality, loved all kinds of music, and was very humorous. Her kindness and humbleness impacted me very much, and I will never forget her advices and words of admiration. May our Lord God Most High bless you with his presence forever and reward you for every good deed you did here on earth. I will always hold onto the beautiful memories we had together. I will miss you very much, until the day comes when we will meet again. For now, farewell Pastora Flor. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”- 2 Timothy 4:7-8

  3. Mi Querida Pastora 🌹 como siempre la llame con respeto .la recordare siempre con esa Sonrisa que reflejaba Paz en Ella fue tan especial Haber convivido juntas momentos inolvidables ,y lo más importante en mi vida la motivación y invitación que recibí . Ese Día que tanto que le use esa llamada . La llevaré por siempre en mi corazón ♥️ mi mente . Gracias por ese legado que dejo en nosotros ,mi maestra mi amiga mi compañera en las salidas De la Iglesia le recordaré por siempre . Que Paz descanse y con la seguridad que un Día nos veremos . Hasta pronto..🙏

  4. Un Angelito enviado del Cielo a mi Vida cómo Amiga, Maestra, Confidente y por ultimo el Privilegio de tenerle cómo mi Pastora. Gracias a Dios por ese Ángelito. Siempre te llevare en mi Corazón!

  5. Hermana Flor, mi alma gemela, mi amiga, psicólogo, conocedora de mi vida. A pesar de no vivir en la misma casa mi hermana siempre cuidó y protegió como su hermano menor. Siempre hubo un lazo estrecho entre nosotros que ni siquiera la distancia podía con el. En Caracas aún viviendo lejos uno del otro siempre buscamos la oportunidad para encontrarnos y lo mismo ocurrió al mudarse a Inglaterra. Yo vivía en USA en Fort Lauderdale y en menos de seis meses ella viajó a visitarme. Fue una experiencia increíble. Ya habíamos crecido, tanto como nuestra conexión, una vez que regresó a Inglaterra comenzaron los planes para que yo la visitará. Esos planes se hicieron realidad y una vez más tuvimos la oportunidad de compartir. El tiempo siguió su curso y ambos tuvimos que regresar a nuestra tierra natal, desde ese momento Flor era otra, no físicamente, era otra en su corazón, es decir, mi hermana se había comprometido y yo estaba celoso de esa relación pero luego comprendí que ella había encontrado la felicidad que no era otra que su devoción por Jesús. Su decisión le costó muchísimos problemas debido a que sus más allegados éramos católicos y no aceptabamos su cambio, pero su dedicación y entrega fueron más allá, su relación con Jesús crecía cada día más entregándose totalmente a su vida religiosa participando en infinidad de eventos de su iglesia que la llevaron a Los Ángeles, interponiendo nuevamente la distancia física entre nosotros, pero nuevamente recibimos la bendición de volvernos a ver y disfrutar al máximo de esa indescriptible compañía. Unos años más tarde como si estuviese escrito me mudo con mi familia a Orlando, Florida acortando la inmensa distancia que siempre nos separó permitiendo tener otros encuentros y convirtiéndose en la guía espiritual de mi familia. Una vez más el destino me regresó a Venezuela pero mi conexión con Flor se hizo más indispensable y no dejamos de compartir hasta su último día. Debido a mis creencias, en un principio me llené de tristeza, pero hasta ahora siento su presencia que me pide calma, y olvide las preocupaciones porque ella está felíz y continúa su labor a un nivel superior. Te quiero Flor nuestra comunicación no ha terminado y así como siempre estoy seguro que el señor nos brindará la oportunidad de volvernos a ver.

  6. Flor and I had several classes together at Fuller, we had the opportunity to share life experiences between one class and another, always accompanied by a good coffee or meal, as well small trips and the intimacy of my home. These moments were enough to establish a strong and deep sisterhood. It will be difficult to accept that you are no longer around my dear Flor.

  7. Flor was a good friend. We met in Caracas while we were representing the book of Revelations together in a theater play. She later went on to become the voice of the first evangelical radio program to air in a secular radio station in Venezuela which my father in law produced. In Los Angeles, we reconnected after many years and shared many coffees dreaming about using our talents and creativity to spread the gospel. She was a creative soul, full of ideas wrapped in love. She spent her life serving others with care and teaching many to follow our Lord. Flor, I will miss you a thousand times over. Until we meet again…

  8. Amada Hermana y Amiga 💝Floredilia Estoy muy agradecída por haber conocido tu Caminar con Nuestro Padre Celestial, Dejaste un legado Maravilloso Té Extraño!!!

  9. Dear Flor: I just learned about this and my heart breaks…you were so full of life and love and passion for the Lord…may you be in His arms, looking at Him with your beautiful eyes..my He say to you softly: good job my dear servant! We love you and will miss you…see you some day…the Lord knows…

  10. Flor’s life and story will continue to inspire and impact us all. What a strong willed woman she was and I was one of the many lives she was able to bless with her spirit. She will be missed.

    La historia de Flor continuara inspirando e impactando a todo nosotros. Era una mujer con una voluntad fuerte y fui una de las muchas vidas que pudo compartir con ella. La extrañaremos.

  11. Oh my sister Flor! My life was enriched by you! What wonderful memories of conferences and women’s retreats! Always a smile and always a word of encouragement! See you in heaven!!! Love you always! Karen❤️

  12. Although words cannot express the depth of our loss, this obituary is beautifully written! Flor had a huge and broad impact on so many. We rejoice in her union with Christ and our reunion in glory.

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