Ignite Life Center Head Pastor Travels to Barueri, Brazil For Evangelical Church Conference

Ignite Life Center Head Pastor Travels to Barueri, Brazil For Evangelical Church Conference
(Pictured on left) Ignite Life Center Head Pastor Mark Vega. (Pictured on right) Promotional image for church conference he is attending in Brazil

BRAZIL. On Friday, Ignite Life Center (ILC) head pastor Mark Vega posted on his Instagram story that he is traveling to Barueri, a municipality in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, for a church conference with the Convention of Evangelical Churches Assemblies of God in the State of São Paulo and Surrounding States (CIEADESPEL). 

The promotional image Vega posted is in Portuguese. The header, “União De Jovens Adolescentes” translates in English to the “Union of Young Teenagers.”

Three people from ILC have been arrested for committing sexual abuse against minors: (1) former employee and volunteer Gabriel Hemenez; (2) Vega’s son Christian Vargas; and (3) associate pastor Jose Cruz’s son Noel Cruz. 

Gabriel Hemenez

Hemenez has been sentenced to five years in prison for sexually abusing children at an Ignite Summer Internship in 2021. The pastor’s son’s cases are ongoing, and they are awaiting case management hearings.

(Pictured on left) Christian Vargas. (Pictured on right) Noel Cruz.

Between criminal and civil courts, ILC has been accused of trying to handle the sexual misconduct of all the arrestees internally. 

A Gainesville Police Department (GPD) Supplemental Report shows pastors Vega and Jose Cruz tried to handle the matter internally after receiving reports that their sons had repeatedly committed statutory rape on church grounds. 

The civil lawsuits accuse ILC officials of lying to the Plaintiffs, who were sexually abused by Hemenez. One of the suits details that the Plaintiff reported the abuse committed against him to ILC officials, and he was told it was reported to GPD and that they were conducting an investigation. When he learned that his friend had also been victimized by Hemenez, he called GPD to ask about the status of the investigation. The Plaintiff was told there wasn’t an investigation because GPD never received any reports. 

ILC is a church of the Assemblies of God, and both ILC and the Orlando District Council of the Assemblies of God have been named defendants in the civil lawsuits.

Vega posted pictures on his Instagram story indicating he is flying without familial company.

Mark Vega acknowledging his wife Lisa Vega on Instagram as he travels to Brazil

The promotional image Vega posted shows the conference will be held at Sports Gym Manoel Caetano da Silva in Barueri. 

Among the ministers speaking alongside Vega are CIEADESPEL’s President Pastor Moisés Rodrigues.

The speakers also include Brazilian Assemblies of God pastor Nerildo Accioly. His social media indicates he has a substantial following in his region, with 154,000 Instagram followers. He primarily focuses on selling Christian Pentecostal books.

The speakers go on to include Sérgio Kadosh, the senior pastor of a church in Praia Grande, Brazil, Kadosh Ministries of the Assemblies of God (ADKA).

This isn’t the first time Vega has made efforts to establish influence in Brazil. 

Last February, the Youth Department of Brazilian Assemblies of God Church Adna Central, located in Mato Grosso state capital Cuiabá, held a conference in collaboration with the Ignite School of Ministry.

The Ignite School of Ministry’s Instagram and Facebook accounts indicate they ran the Ignite Summer Internship which Hemenez took advantage of to commit sexual abuses against children.

The Ignite School of Ministry is one of numerous minor-involved programs promoted and ran by ILC. The original website was taken down, however, a new website for the Ignite School of Ministry is still up and running with Vega now trying to promote online- remote ministry learning.

The Ignite School of Ministry calls themselves a “radical institution” on their website.

The Ignite School of Ministry continued to post about the Summer Internship on their Facebook account in the Summer that Hemenez was arrested for sexual abuses he committed at the Summer Internship.

The last time the Ignite School of Ministry was active on their Facebook account was the same month they held the aforementioned collaborative event with Adna Central.

The event was titled “The Call Matters.” It hasn’t been independently verified if Vega attended the event in person, however, it appears he did, as he is on promotional materials. 

Vega promoted the event on his Instagram, alongside the Adna Central Youth Department’s Instagram. Vega captioned the post, “Ignite opens up in Brazil - A prophecy fulfilled after 16 years,” indicating the possibility that he began his pursuits in Brazil as early as 2008. 

A day after the event at Adna Central ended, video creator Elifaz Ismael De Souza posted a video on his Instagram in which he tagged ILC’s official Instagram account. The video is captioned “Future home of Ignite Brazil” and shows someone driving onto a piece of property with a wide building. 

Confirmation hasn’t been found regarding whether ILC's church in Brazil is still in development or currently active.

Last March, an anonymous whistleblower from ILC raised concerns about ILC building a presence in Brazil, stating, “I attempted to message a dozen people from Brazil and was only able to get into contact with one person. The person said that they would tell the pastor of their church, but I don’t know if they did or not.”

This page may be updated as more information about ILC’s connections in Brazil is uncovered and received.

Over a dozen articles pertaining to ILC from Gainesville Public Information Services can be accessed on the following page. 

Ignite Life Center Investigation - Gainesville Public Information Services
Jack Walden

Jack Walden

Jack Walden is the creator of Gnvinfo and a 2nd year journalism major at Santa Fe College. From general information, to exposing falsehoods and corruption, Jack seeks to deliver the truth.
Gainesville, FL