By Baptist Message staff
BOSSIER CITY, La. (LBM) – Carlos Meza, a venerable Louisiana Baptist leader, died Tuesday, Sept. 29. He was 84.
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Meza accepted Christ when he was 43, after he met his wife Lupe, who introduced him to Jesus and shortly afterward married him.
He was ordained as a pastor in 2007 at Calvary Baptist Church in Shreveport and served the next 13 years as pastor of that congregation’s Hispanic mission church, Iglesia Bautista del Calvario. He also planted two Hispanic churches (with First Baptist Church, Haughton, and New Zion Baptist Church, Bossier City).
Meza participated in 17 mission trips to Brazil, as well as to Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua. He was well-known for being innovative in reaching the lost with the Gospel – leading a South American college student to the Lord using a mannequin and successfully sharing the Good News with a Brazilian businessman (whom no local pastor had been able to reach) by using an onion patch in the man’s backyard.
He was active in the LBC: making history in 2017 as the first Hispanic elected to office in the Louisiana Baptist Convention, serving as 2nd vice president; and, at the time of his death he was serving on the LBC Executive Board missions support committee.
Before pursuing a call to ministry, Meza served 38 years in the U.S. armed forces, as a member of the Army, Air Force and Air Force Reserves. He also was a translator for the Bossier Parish School District and Federal Courts, and a member of the clergy for Willis Knighton Hospitals.
“Carlos Meza was a good brother, a passionate soul winner, a caring pastor, a partner in ministry, but more than all of that he was my friend,” said Gevan Spinney, pastor of First Baptist Haughton, the sponsor church of the Hispanic mission Meza pastored until his death. “I rejoice in the Lord that his struggle is over and his faith has become sight. I am certain that he has heard our Lord Jesus say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Meza is survived by his wife, Lupe; children, Cynthia Ann Espinoza, Frances Espinoza Boggs (David), Samuel Federico Meza (Kristin), Cynthia Meza, and Carlos Meza, Jr.; 17 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Maurilio and Maria Meza; brothers, Felix Meza, and Rudolfo Meza; and sisters, Mona Casanova and Cruz Meza.
Family and friends gathered for a celebration of life service Saturday, Oct. 3, at First Baptist Haughton.
Anyone wishing to share their thoughts with the family is invited to sign the online guestbook at hillcrestmemorialfh.com.