Meet the Pillars: Brother Rudy Meo
Today, we're bringing you the first posthumous Meet the Pillars interview, featuring Brother Rudy Meo, who passed away on June 7, 2010. Two of his children, Brother Craig Meo and Sister Debbie Kyriakakos, worked with Sister Zarella on this one. Enjoy!
Brother Rudy Meo, birth name was Rodolfo Pietro Meo, was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1928 and baptized in the Pacific Ocean along the Southern California coast in 1953 at the age of 25. He was ordained into the ministry at age 27, in 1955. He served in the ministry for 35 years. He was the oldest child of Rocco and Connie Meo, who moved to California in 1945. His father, Brother Rocco Meo, was the first minister of The Church of Jesus Christ in California. His brother, Brother Bill Meo, and sister, Sister Rachel Fallavolita, were both lifetime members of the Bell California Branch.
What Kind of Missionary Work Was He Involved With?
Brother Rudy was able to travel to and support the missionary works in San Carlos, Arizona, and Tijuana, Mexico. He took his young family to both locations on different occasions. Those visits left a lasting impression on them as to the importance of supporting the various works of The Church, and being involved in working with the seed of Joseph.
A need in the church arose, and Brother Rudy was blessed to serve as Presiding Elder in the Santa Ana Mission in California from 1993 to 1997; however, the majority of the members in Santa Ana at the time spoke only Spanish. Brother Rudy did not speak Spanish, but he did speak fluent Italian. The two languages were similar enough that Brother Rudy could effectively preach and teach in Italian, and the Spanish speaking brothers and sisters could understand! The Lord clearly had a way of working things out.
How the Lord Brought Him Through Turbulent Times
Brother Rudy faced various trials in life, both medical and spiritual. During one such spiritually challenging time, he was away from The Church and out of fellowship for 20 years. It was not planned, but on the day he asked to be reinstated into fellowship, it was exactly 20 years to the day from when he removed himself from fellowship. Perhaps this was just a coincidence, but it was a good reminder of the patience of the Lord. The date of his reinstatement into fellowship was February 20, 1993, and he was reinstated into the ministry in September of that same year.
Thoughts to Share with the Saints
Brother Rudy's family remembers him relating an incident that occurred when his uncle, Brother Joseph Capone, came to his parents' home in Detroit in 1932 to tell them about a Church he had been introduced to, The Church of Jesus Christ. Up to that time the Meo family was Catholic. The family was seated at the kitchen table as Joseph Capone began to tell of a Church where a real relationship with the Lord was possible. There was excitement in the air as he told them of what he had experienced. Brother Rudy was 4 years old at the time, and he sat at the table with his mother and father while his uncle spoke about The Church.
At one point, Brother Rudy looked into the doorway of the kitchen and saw a large, ugly beast standing there, occupying the entire doorway and watching the event occurring at the table. The family came to understand this to indicate Satan was not pleased that the Gospel of Jesus Christ had come to the Meo family. When this event was related to a family member many years later, it reminded them of the extreme importance of The Church of Jesus Christ, and how Satan has, and will continue to work against all efforts to spread the Gospel.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.