A late, revered reverend was honored with a street co-naming last week.
On Saturday, September 14, the street naming ceremony was held at Randall and Soundview/Taylor avenues to honor and celebrate the life of the late Reverend Mario DeJesus, a Bronx pastor who passed away in 2017.
Mario was born in 1939 in Utuado, Puerto Rico and lived in Clason Point once he moved to the Bronx. He studied at the Bible Institute of Mizpa’s New York division on White Plains Road.
He lived in Clason Point and was the pastor at Second Penticostal Church - Casa De La Fe House of Faith Church for 48 years.
DeJesus’ impact was felt far beyond the borough. During his missionary work he built a church in Peru, an orphanage in El Salvador and assisted in building another church in the Dominican Republic.
He was also on the board of Radio Vision Chistiana, a Christian radio show based in New Jersey, in the early 1990s.
Attendees at the event, which was held by Councilman Ruben Diaz, Sr.’s office, included Diaz as well as family and friends of the late reverend.
“Reverend Mario DeJesus was my friend for many years,” said Councilman Ruben Diaz, Sr. “After his passing, I felt compelled to honor his name by (co-naming) Randall (and Taylor avenues) ‘Mario DeJesus Way.’ Today, we unveil the sign which will stand here forever.”
The street naming ceremony was sponsored by Councilman Diaz, Casa De La Fe House of Faith church, Community Board 9, Omnibuild, Vertical Commuity Development and LACA International.
“This street co-naming is the least we can do for an individual who did so much for the community for such a long time,” said CB 9 chairman William Rivera, who first met DeJesus in 2001 when he was being honored for being a rescue worker during 9/11.
“He was a man with a big vision and a great deal of faith,” said Desire DeJesus Aviles, his third daughter. “He was willing to help anyone - and he was incredibly giving to his church, his community and his family.”
Desire and her husband Luis are currently co-senior pastors at the Second Penticostal Church - Casa De La Fe House of Faith Church.
The naming ceremony also featured a block party which included music, food, games, bounce rides and live entertainment for children throughout the day.
DeJesus passed away on November 14, 2017. He was 77.
DeJesus’s visitation and service were held at Casa De La Fe House of Faith church, 1810 Randall Avenue, on November 19, 2017. He was buried at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, NY. He was the father of four daughters and one son.