The head of the Center for Transformative Work, a former pastor and father of 10, was killed early on Monday Morning in a head-on collision in Orlando, Florida, by a driver travelling in the wrong direction on I-4.
Dr. Orlando Rivera’s nonprofit organization worked with business leaders to put Christian principles into action through city-wide projects and initiatives. The group works primarily with disadvantaged people.
Dr. Rivera previously was a professor at Nyack College teaching master’s level business classes. Nyack also co-sponsored conferences with Dr. Rivera’s nonprofit. Nyack is affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary president, Dr. Michael G. Scales, commented, “Orlando Rivera was a creative, high-energy agent of change who was deeply passionate about developing leaders for the Kingdom of God. This passion motivated him to be both very tough with his coursework and very generous with his time and with the opportunities he created for students to serve. He challenged students because he believed in them and he mobilized them to become what he knew they could become. His life will continue to impact the Kingdom for generations.”
Angela Jacobs, a reporter for WFTV in Orlando, tweeted that Dr. Rivera’s wife went to hospital to pray with the driver who hit her husband.
On @WFTV “That’s what Orlando would have wanted,” @northlandchurch says wife of pastor killed in head on I4 collision went to hospital to pray with & for driver who hit her husband #WFTV Photo credit: Rivera family pic.twitter.com/NcCDWhMzp1
— Angela Jacobs WFTV (@AngelaJacobsTV) May 29, 2018
Police are still investigating how the driver of the wrong-way vehicle entered the highway in the wrong direction. His was reported in serious condition.
Rivera was previously a pastor at Northland Church in Longwood, Fla. He served as missions pastor in the 1990s.
“The look in his eyes was more about what could be, the possibilities,” Northland Executive Pastor Kevin Urichko told Rivera. Urichko attended seminary with Rivera and the two worked together for nearly a decade.
“He was always broadening my mind as to what could be and calling me to see things differently,” Urichko said.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help Rivera’s family, which includes 10 children, seven of whom are adopted.