His health had been deteriorating steadily in recent years due to Parkinson’s disease.
Lara-Braud, who was born and raised in Mexico City, came to the United States to attend high school at Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-related Presbyterian Pan-American School in Kingsville, Texas. It was there that he converted from Catholicism and embarked on a career in the church.
In the mid-60s, Lara-Braud founded the Hispanic-American Institute at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He later served as the dean of the Presbyterian Seminary of Mexico, taught theology and culture at San Francisco
Theological Seminary and served as the director of faith and order for the National Council of Churches.
But his heart was always with the poor and in the communities in which they lived and struggled. For many years he was best known and loved as lay pastor of El Buen Pastor Presbyterian Church in Austin.
Clarence Bassett, a former pastor of the church, said Lara-Braud coined a Spanish phrase for the corner on which sits the little church, built by German American Presbyterians at the turn of the 20th century. “He called it ‘Compassion Corner,’” Bassett told the Austin American-Statesman. “That said a lot. Jorge was always very interested in social action on behalf of the poor, the
Lara-Braud is survived by his wife, Gretchen Lara Shartle, and a son, Jorge Lara-Marroquin.
A memorial service was held June 25 at El Buen Pastor Church in Austin.