Rev. (Dr.) Pablo J. Rivera Madera was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He became the first military officer and the first minister in his family. He is Presbyterian Church, USA ordained minister and member of the Presbytery of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started his military career as Private First Class with the Puerto Rico National Guard and entered active duty while serving as a Pastor in First Presbyterian Church, Country Club, Puerto Rico.
Reverend Rivera worked in the public and private sector as: Deputy Secretary for the Housing Department in Puerto Rico, Vice President of the Social Work College, University Professor of Social Work, Professor of Administration and Director of the Drug Prevention Program, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church, and Director of Development of the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico. Reverend Rivera received the Manuel A. Perez Award from the Government of Puerto Rico, the highest award for excellence in the Public Service.
His civilian education includes: Bachelor in Theology from Defenders Theological Seminary, Bachelor in Social Science from the University of Puerto Rico, Master Degree in Social Work from The University of Puerto Rico, Master Degree in Public Administration from the University of Puerto Rico, Master Degree in Divinity from the Evangelical Seminary in Puerto Rico and Master Degree in International Management from Troy State University. He holds a Doctor of Ministry from the Reformed Erskine Theological Seminary, SC. He graduated from Oracle University on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Rights.
CH (LTC-R) Rivera military education includes: Basic Training and Advance Individual Training, Chaplain Officer Basic Course, Chaplain’s Officer Advanced Course, Fund Manager Course, Chaplain’s Resource Manager Course, Safety Officer Course, Army Instructor Training Course, Family Advocacy Training, Army Planning, Budgeting and Execution Course, Suicide Intervention Training Course, and Residence Command General Staff College.
Reverend Rivera has been Pastor and promoter of new churches in Puerto Rico, United States and in the Republic of South Korea. In 2010, Dr. Rivera was invited to preach for the 210th General Assembly in North Carolina. After retired from the Army, Rev. Rivera planted the first Presbyterian Church in the East side of Puerto Rico. Dr. Pablo Rivera Madera is a Consulting Trainer on Suicide Intervention Skills, certified by LivingWorks. He is President of Life Assisting Fellowship Corporation, a non-profit organization that conducts ministry and training in different countries.
During his time in the U.S. Army, Reverend Rivera served as Battalion Chaplain, 101st Forward Support Battalion, Fort Riley, Installation Chaplain and Chaplain Management Control Administrator, Fort Buchanan, Battalion Chaplain, 3/6 Field Artillery, Fort Drum, Deputy Command Chaplain and MACOM Chaplain Resource Manager, U.S. Army South, and Brigade Chaplain and Brigade Management Control Administrator, Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Korea, Brigade Chaplain in the 15th Signal Brigade, Fort Gordon, GA. Deputy Command Chaplain in JRTC & Fort Polk, Louisiana and Command Chaplain for Life Cycle and Management Command in Michigan.
Chaplain Rivera awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal 6th Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Reserve Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and National Defense Ribbon with Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism, Armed Forces Service Medal, and Overseas Service Ribbon (3), Korean Defense Service Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon and Air Assault Badge. He received recognition from the Minister of Defense of Republic of Guatemala, for his support establishing the first Military Chaplaincy in the country. He was declared Honorary Citizen by the Mayor of the City of Columbus, Georgia. Chaplain Rivera received recognition from the Republic of Korea Army. He was recognized by the National Assembly Man (Congress) of the Republic of Korea for international humanitarian friendship.
Among his publication are: Proclamando en Tierra Extrana: (Proclaiming in the Land of Strangers); Esgrimiendo la Palabra (Wielding the Word); Manantial de Esperanza (Spring of Hope) and Preaching to Hispanic Immigrants: Practical Advice for Effectiveness.
The family of Dr. Rivera is constituted by his wife Nimia, working for the Department of Defense, Xiomara, Chaplain (Captain) in the U.S. Air Force, Eva, PhD in Mathematics, Professor in New Mexico University, Pablo R., Social Worker (Captain) U.S. Air Force, and Pablo M., U.S. Army (Captain), Special Forces, in Fort Bragg. Reverend Rivera’s grandchildren are: Juampablo, Drelyn, Paula, Zoe, Ariel Alexandria and Elisha.