Lee News

Pérez and Zabala to Visit Lee

Lee University’s Department of Language and Literature will welcome Colombian guest speakers Father Simón Pérez and Presbyter Gina Zabala to present “Faith-in-Action in Latin America.” The event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. in Jones Lecture Hall, located in Lee’s School of Religion.

“Their presence at Lee University will be a good example of combining academia, practical vocation, and ethical action,” said Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. Alexander Steffanell.

Pérez and Zabala will also share in various classes throughout the week of October 1-6.

“Their talks will connect our foreign language students and students from other departments with hands-on events on faith, education, and mission work once they graduate, as well as encourage them to think critically,” said Steffanell. “This will be a learning and cultural experience and create faith-integration across the curriculum and interdisciplinary conversations among our students and faculty.”

Father Simón Pérez

Pérez is a Eudist Catholic Priest and a member of the Archdioceses of Barranquilla, Colombia. He has an extensive career in philosophy, theology, educational management, community leadership, and political science.

He has taught at Jesuit Javeriana University, John XXIII Catholic Seminary, Saint Carlos Seminary, Catholic University "Minuto de Dios,” and Maria La Antigua University. In addition to teaching, he has served as director of several community service projects related to displaced families from violence, at-risk children, and an AIDs community center.

Pérez holds a Doctor of Philosophy in education with emphases in Latin American colonial history and the Jesuit educational system in Colombia during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Gina Zabala
Presbyter Gina Zabala

Zabala has served in the Presbyterian Church for over 39 years, while also being an active participant in local projects in Barranquilla. She has been a moderator for the North Coast Presbytery, president of the Colegio Americano School Board (Barranquilla), and a member of the Synod of Colombia Council.

She has been a church representative locally, nationally, and internationally in Taiwan, the United States, England, Cuba, and Peru, among others. Her lectures have taken her across the globe discussing topics including violence, education, missions, and rereading the Bible from a feminine perspective.

Zabala currently serves as an administrative director at the Presbyterian Ministry comprised of Colegio Nazareth Olaya, the 7th Presbyterian Church, and the Bethesda Community Center, as well as the president of Agape International Opportunity, a world-renowned organization that sponsors low-income families in Colombia.

Pérez and Zabala will present in Spanish, but an English translation will be provided.

The lecture is free, non-ticketed, and open to the public.

For more information about the lecture or other presentations, contact Dr. Steffanell.
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