I was born in Eastern Washington but raised in the Puget Sound area of Western Washington, in and around Seattle. My father kept a Mexican band going from long before I was born and continues to this day. There was always music playing in the Vijarro household. Even so, I did not discover my own gifting and love for music until into my high school years. It was there in the high school choir that I began my career as a vocalist and songwriter.
My first religious training was in the Catholic Church, from birth until I graduated high school. This was relatively ineffective for me, in terms of making any real difference or transformation of my character. It did, however, lay an extremely important foundation in the grand scheme of my life.
After high school, I began to pursue and expand my musical horizons, attending Green River Community College. There I began a move into the secular music field. For several years I worked in secular music, as was appropriate to my upbringing and home/family environment.
During those years, I began to see my need for, and pursue, the Lord as best I knew how to do. I had some really good friends in my life who were Mormons. They lovingly pursued me and, eventually, I engaged Mormonism. There I remained for several years until some good, Biblically-sound people in my world began to question my faith. I was open to this conversation, and there began an amazing new chapter in my journey.
Eventually, I went back to college as an older student to broaden my musical depth. I attended Pacific Lutheran University, where I majored in Music – Composition. Right about the time I was finishing at PLU, I found myself in a place in which I was recognizing a real theological crisis in my life. This did not come to me suddenly but came after years of researching and soul searching. Finally, I left Mormonism in favor of the Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Also during that era, I began to date my wife Bonnie and to attend the church where she grew up. There I had my first experiences in Christian ministry. Thereafter, I began to work myself out of the secular music field and into the life to which God had called me. After my wife and I married, we began to work with the youth at our church, which we did for five years. During that time, I learned so much about a life of service, which prepared me for the subsequent years of involvement in music ministry.
Pastor Ken Hutcherson (“Hutch”) brought me into the Worship Arts Ministry at Antioch Bible Church in late 2012. There, I gained invaluable experience in cross-cultural worship ministry that I bring into this new adventure of ministry with Montage.
When I am not ministering in worship, I can be found on the racquetball court or in an antique store, book store, or thrift store looking for “treasures”. Unlike Pastor James, I have no theological poetry to offer about this except that I do not hold too tightly to the treasures I find, lest I miss the Heavenly treasures I truly covet…Lol. I love movies, camping, karaoke, Spanish, reading, children/young people, and spending time with my wife, my good friends, and my relatives.