Rev. Guillermo Escalona, M.Div.
Director of Pastoral Education, Baptist Health South Florida
Rev. Escalona provides training for the five BHSF hospitals, its clinics, corporate staff and the community in the areas of pastoral care, spirituality, religion and health, end of life care and bereavement. He has also pastored the Coral Villa Baptist Church in Miami since 1991; the longest pastorate in the church’s 55 year history.
Over the past 26 years in the ministry, he has also served as a hospice chaplain and psychosocial supervisor, as director of pastoral care for a state prison and a community treatment center, and as pastor to congregations in Florida and Texas. Endorsed by the Chaplains Commission, North American Mission Board of the SBC; he is Board Certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains, and he is also Certified in Thanatology by the Association for Death Education and Counseling.
He holds degrees in fine arts, public administration and divinity. He has been honored as the chaplain of the year by VITAS Healthcare Corporation and as career chaplain of the year by the Florida Baptist Convention in 1999 and 2003 respectively. The City of Hialeah has awarded him commendations for his work on the Mayor’s Ecclesiastical Board, and the Miami-Dade County Commission has also recognized him for his community service. The City of West Miami has also commended the work of the Coral Villa Christian Academy under his leadership. On radio, television and in various religious, educational and healthcare venues he has presented on subjects dealing with spirituality, pastoral care, religion, health, end of life care, correctional ministry and community affairs.
Coral Villa Baptist Church was established in 1953 as a mission of the Central Baptist Church in Miami. From the beginning it has been a mission mined member of the Miami Baptist Association, the Florida and Southern Baptist Convention.