José (known as Pepe) was born into a nominal Roman Catholic family in the town of Alcázar de San Juan, in La Mancha, central Spain.
The region, some ninety miles south of Madrid, is famous for its association with Don Quixote. Virtudes grew up in Moral de Calatrava, also in central Spain. During Pepe’s teenage years, he met Demetrio Cánovas, an EMF missionary and town pastor, who encouraged him to read the Gospel of John: a first step in a process that resulted in his conversion. The couple married in 1989 and came to the UK to study with EMF. As they returned to Spain, Pepe was appointed pastor of his home church in Alcázar. The couple have two daughters, Gloria and Paula.