Originally from Puerto Rico, Dr. Cecilio (Woody) Lajara, has been involved in the Presbyterian Church all his life, serving as a key leader in his local congregation and Presbytery. After he graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, he came to Atlanta, Georgia, where he studied at Columbia Theological Seminary and the Candler School of Theology (Emory).
Woody was ordained in the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in July of 1969. He served as the Organizing Pastor of the first Hispanic Presbyterian Church in Atlanta for six years and was then involved, with Dr. Aiken Taylor, Dr. Don Patterson, and other church hleaders, in the organization of the Presbyterian Church of America.
Woody served as a missionary in Mexiso, under the auspices of Mission to the World of the PCA, working as Professor of Theology at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Mexico City. Later on, he was a missionary in Guatemala for six years and served as the organizer and Director of the School of Theology at the Mariano Galvez University. He has served as Vice President for Latin America of Evangelism Explosion International, a position held for over 37 years.
Since September 1, 2009, Woody has started the program "ADVANCE STUDIES ON THE GREAT COMMISSION." At that time Woody was appointed by Evangelism Explosion as their Dean of Advanced Studies on the Great Commission with the responsibility to develop a theological study program for the EE staff and constituency around the world. Today Woody continues to be involved with the Advanced Studies on the Great Commission.
Woody, Dr. Paul Gilchrist, and Dr. Rick Perrin were the organizers of the first meeting of a group of Reformed Leaders from around the world, attending the WEF meeting in Manila Philippines, interested in the possible organization of what today is the WORLD REFORMED FELLOWSHIP. Woody currently serves as a Board member and Executive Committee member of the World Reformed Fellowship.
In 1966 graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with BA in History.
In 1969 graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary with MDiv.
In 1972 graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary with ThM.
In 1980 graduated from the Luther Rice Seminary with DMis.
Studies and candidate for the THD at Emory University (1970-72).