Pastor Dr. Leslie Gonzales serves as Valley Praise’s Director of Pastoral Care & Prayer Ministries.
Leslie and Debbie came to VP in 2019 after serving in ministry together for almost 20 years. Raised in Harlingen, Pastor Leslie moved away when he graduated high school but returned after a 17-year absence to take over the family business and continue his work in ministry. He met and married the love of his life in Los Angeles, CA, where she was born and raised, and they’ve been married since 2003.
Before moving to Texas, Debbie worked in a medical group doing related administrative work, and she continues that work today as a Patient Access Representative at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen. Debbie grew up in a Christian home and knew that one day she would marry a pastor. She loves spending time with her three children, Richie, Jeremiah, and Noah, and she loves listening to worship music to soothe her busy soul.
Leslie and Debbie are passionate about talking to others about the goodness and mercy of God in their lives. They both use their platforms as opportunities to make Jesus famous. In addition to his ministry at Valley Praise, Pastor Leslie also leads an employee care service where he attends to the needs of employees going through the difficulties of life. He is also the owner of a glass & glazing business.
Pastor Leslie has a love of learning and collecting books (you should see his personal library). He holds three theological degrees, a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership from Regent University, a Master of Divinity from the King’s Seminary, and a Master of Arts in Recovery Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. In addition to his theological degrees, Pastor Leslie also holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a diploma in cultural studies that he gained as a student in central Mexico in the early 2000’s. As a supplement to his skill-set, Leslie also obtained a life coach certification in 2010 and is currently seeking board certification through the Association of Professional Chaplains.
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24