Born in 1968 and raised earlier in his life in Puerto Rico, Pastor Santos moved to Perth Amboy, NJ with his family when he was 15 years old. It was that move to Perth Amboy where he began to experiment with drugs. Becoming so involved with the drug scene, he became a high school dropout and began to deal drugs on the streets of Perth Amboy where he continually came in contact with law enforcement and arrested for his substance abuse.
Disgusted with how his life was turning out, Pastor Santos turned to “religion” by visiting all kinds of Christian and non-Christian denominations hoping that “religion” would change his life around. What he found was a continued emptiness that didn’t change his situation; and he found himself going right back into drug dealing.
In 1996, after hearing a sermon on television regarding Jesus Christ able to bring forgiveness and salvation, Pastor Santos looked up in the phone book the name of the church that resembled the message he had heard on television. That search led him to the First Baptist Church in Perth Amboy, NJ under the direction of Pastor William A. Gerak. Soon after attending the services at First Baptist Church, he saw his lost condition and asked Christ to save him. Shortly thereafter, he felt God’s call to preach while attending a Pastor’s Conference in Hammond, Indiana.
He attended Hyles-Anderson College in 1998 enrolling in their “Five Year Program” which allowed students without a high school diploma to obtain their diploma and college degree through the fulfilment of 160 semester hours. With three children, a wife, and a full-time job, Pastor Santos graduated from Hyles-Anderson College in 2004 with a earned Bachelor of Science degree, with honors, in Pastoral Theology.
After graduation, he served in his home church, First Baptist Church in Perth Amboy, NJ, as an Assistant Pastor in charge of the bus ministry. He served faithfully in that ministry from 2004 to 2009 until God called him to a new ministry. In 2009, Pastor Santos joined the pastoral staff at Somerset Bible Baptist Church as Spanish Pastor. During this time, God continued to keep the burden of church planting on his heart, and in January 2015, he started Christ Centered Baptist Church in Plainfield, NJ.
Pastor Santos resides in Perth Amboy, NJ with his wife, Marisol. They have three children and one grandaughter. Their oldest child, Cynthia, along with her husband Angel, is currently serving the Lord at Stedfast Baptist Church in Groton, Connecticut. Their oldest son, Anthony, is also residing in Connecticut. Brandon, their youngest, is currently training for the ministry at Vision Baptist College in Berlin, NJ. In addition, Brandon also serves as Jr. Church Leader on weekends at Christ Centered Baptist Church. Pastor Santos’ life verse is 2 Timothy 4:6-7 which says, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
David J. Gerak serves as Pastoral Assistant at Christ Centered Baptist Church. David has been with Pastor Santos since the start of CCBC and worked with him in the planning stages of the church founding. Originally serving in the ministry at First Baptist Church in Perth Amboy, NJ, David taught an adult Sunday school class in the Book of Ephesians and also served as Music and Choir Director.
Mr. Gerak graduated high school from Carroll Christian Schools in Westminster, Maryland under the ministry of Pastor Norris Belcher. He went on to attend Pensacola Christian College where he subsequently met his wife, Sharah. He took additional coursework from International Bible College (now defunct) in Stony Brook, New York and also the School of Biblical and Theological Studies which is an online educational institution based in Louisiana. David graduated from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting and interned as an Associate Producer at News 12 Networks in Edison, NJ.
David has a passion for education and currently teaches the adult Sunday school class at Christ Centered Baptist Church. As part of the visitation efforts in Plainfield, David serves in the follow-up discipleship program of the church by visiting those who made previous professions of faith. In addition to his teaching, he is also in charge of the music program as well as any media related projects including the church website. Mr. Gerak also serves as the Minister of Finance & Records for the church. His life verse is found in II Chronicles 7:14, which says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” David and his wife Sharah reside in Piscataway, NJ.