ORLANDO, Fla. -- One of Central Florida's largest churches is mourning the loss of a former pastor killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 4 on Monday.
- Orlando Rivera was a pastor at Northland Church in Longwood
- Rivera remembered as loving family man
- Police: Nelson-Enrique Molina was traveling wrong way on I-4
- RELATED: Pastor dies in suspected I-4 wrong-way crash
Tributes poured in on social media in remembrance of 52-year-old Orlando Rivera, who was once a pastor at Northland Church in Longwood.
From marriages to mission trips, Rivera meant so much to members at Northland Church. In addition to his time at Northland, he was a professor at Nyack College, a Christian seminary school in New York.
Rivera was killed in a wrong-way crash on eastbound I-4 in downtown Orlando at about 3 a.m. Monday. According to Orlando Police, 31-year-old Nelson-Enrique Molina was driving a black Mercedes four-door the wrong way on I-4 when his vehicle struck Rivera's.
Molina was hospitalized at Orlando Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
On Monday night, colleagues honored Rivera.
"He preached [at Northland]. He was our mission's pastor. An incredible man, he and Nancy are dear, dear people and have several children, adopted many children, and they have a house full. So I want to just acknowledge how difficult this is for us, and our community," said Urichko.
Urichko also saw Rivera as a mentor.
Thirty years ago, Urichko met Rivera while they were both in seminary. After graduation, Rivera went on to become a pastor at Northland Church, spearheading global outreach initiatives.
"I always looked to him for mentoring. A lot of people have been mentored by Orlando over the years, you hear that from so many folks," Urichko said. "He just had that ability to come up and engage you with something that was outside of what you were thinking."
Rivera stayed at the church for about a decade, leaving to start other faith-based projects and become a professor. Father to 10 children -- seven of whom were adopted -- the man also dedicated himself to his family and wife of almost 30 years.
Rivera was also known for his community outreach.
In 2012, Demetrius Summerville moved to Holden Heights to head up Kaley Square, the community center which provides after school programming in partnership with Parramore Kidz Zone and the City of Orlando.
"He was a leader, a compassionate leader in our community," said Demetrius Summerville. "He was definitely an inspiration to me and to others."
That's when Summerville met Rivera, who showed him the ropes, highlighting the needs of the community and its assets. Rivera had volunteered for years, advocating for better infrastructure, like roadways and wastewater.
"Orlando was on the forefront of lobbying and advocating for change in the community of Holden Heights," he said. "He was always looking for creative and innovative ways to bring about sustainable changes in communities like ours."
"The Orlando Riveras of the world are rare. And when you find them, you want to get to know them and spend as much time as you can with them," said Summerville.
Reporters Julie Gargotta and Jerry Hume contributed to this report.