Elder Angel Abrea was the first General Authority called from Argentina. In fact he was the first called from South America. Elder Abrea joined the Church at the age of ten with his mother in 1943. In 1966, he was called by Elder Spencer W. Kimball to preside over Argentina's first stake, the Buenos Aires Stake. During that same year, he and his wife, Maria Victoria Chiapparino de Abrea, were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.
Elder Abrea is a graduate from the University of Buenos Aires. He is a certified public accountant and has worked as secretary of the treasury in San Miguel, Argentina. He was once offered a job in the Argentine government to help run the nation's economic policies, but he turned his position down to serve the Church.
He served as a successful mission president of the Argentina Rosario Mission. He led missionaries to new plateaus, convincing them that they should lead their investigators to baptism earlier than in the past. Toward the end of this mission, in 1981, President Spencer W. Kimball called him to be a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He was also called to be the Buenos Aires Temple President as soon as the temple was completed.
Elder Abrea spoke in the April, 1981 General Conference:
"A few days ago, when I received a phone call at the mission home in Rosario, Argentina, and President Kimball extended to me this calling, Sister Abrea and I were not only touched emotionally, but also overwhelmed by the tremendous responsibility. A feeling and a word immediately filled me. The feeling, gratitude; the word, gracias--thank you.
"Thank you to those two lady missionaries who, almost thirty-eight years ago, arrived at my door and brought the good news of the gospel. Thank you to my dear mother, who took me to Primary, to each meeting of the Church, with whom I read for the first time the Book of Mormon, and who even now, by means of her activity and faithful life in the Church, continues to set for me an example worth emulating.
"Thank you to my father, who I know has accepted the word of the gospel and baptism beyond the veil, who, when I was a youth of eleven years, sat with me at my bed one Sunday morning and said to me, "Angel, if you are going to be a member of the Church, you will always have to comply with everything that it asks of you. You have accepted a commitment, and you should honor it."
"Thank you to my beloved wife, who has helped and sustained me, always full of faith and love for the gospel, a constant inspiration in my life. Thank you for my three daughters, who, because of their love and dedication to the Church, are a pride, joy, and happiness in my life.
"Thank you to my leaders and teachers, who, many times under unfavorable circumstances, have done their part. Thank you to the hundreds of missionaries who have made possible the development of the Church in the countries of South America. And especially thank you to the parents of those missionaries who have sent their sons and daughters to unknown countries, perhaps with fear and anxiety, but with the surety that they would be doing what the Lord required at the time."
Political and war problems slowed the Buenos Aires Temple completion until 1986, but in the meantime Elder Abrea served in Latin America as a General Authority supervisor and in the Church's temple department. The Buenos Aires Temple was dedicated on January 17, 1986, by Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. Angel and Maria Victoria Chiapparino Abrea were the temple president and the matron. During his now lengthy General Authority career, Elder Abrea has served in numerous area presidencies in North America, Mexico, Central America, and South America and as an administrator in the missionary department. Most recently, he has served as a counselor in the North America Southwest Area.