Remember your leaders who taught you the Word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives and follow the example of their faith (Hebrews 13:7 NLT).
Each year the general church through Spirit Care sets aside a special Appreciation Sunday to honor an elite group of individuals—the retired ministers and widows. World Missions wants to recognize its retired missionary ministers and widows.
The retired missionary ministers and widows of World Missions have proven records of years of dedication and faithfulness to the evangelization of the world. Their lives have been consumed with the message of Christ on foreign soil. The retired missionary ministers and widows have experienced untold miracles and manifestations throughout their ministries in serving God.
To begin to list all of them here would be insurmountable, but there are a few whose stories can be told …
Lloyd and Edna Frazier—While serving in Panama, Lloyd and Overseer C.C. Hargrave attended a great convention in El Jacinto. The Church of God in Panama had provided horses for them to use, as that was a common mode of travel then. When they were ready to leave, the horses decided they weren’t ready, so the district pastor said they would catch up to them. They began walking, traveling all night and finally arrived at their car around 9 a.m. the next morning. The blisters on Frazier’s feet were proof for several days that they had spent many hours on the mountain trail.
S.E. and Joyce Arnold—Although he was born in Trinidad, S.E. and Joyce served in Ghana, Nigeria, England, and as state overseer of New Jersey. Every country where they ministered, God’s hand of blessing was upon whatever their hands set to do, with signs and wonders accompanying their ministry. Yet, one thing was lacking, and that was a child. Nigerians were concerned about married couples who did not have children, and that could affect their effectiveness in that country. Not long after S.E. prayed an earnest prayer, Joyce became pregnant and they were blessed with the birth of a son, Selwyn Edmond, Jr.
Lorraine Alton—Widow of William (Bill) Alton, Lorraine continues to amaze everyone who meets her or knows her with her unusual zeal and mental acuity—she is 90 years old and still as active as ever. Serving multiple countries during their missionary journey, Lorraine can attest to God’s watchful care, and she shares her stories countless times through speaking engagements, particularly those involving Lee University. She is influencing the generations of youth to come who will step out in faith to witness for God around the world.
Robert and Jeanette Cary—Appointed as overseer of the Virgin and Leeward Islands in 1978, Bob used his construction skills to build a church in St. Thomas that still remains today as a testimony of his desire to fulfill his missionary calling. He holds an honorary doctorate from the Church of God Korean Seminary in Seoul, Korea, and another from the Asian Seminary of Christian Ministries in Manila, Philippines. The Carys sponsor feeding programs in Guatemala, sponsor an underground work in China that distributes Bibles, and support 15 orphanages. They do more in their retirement than some Christians ever do in a lifetime.
The Church of God and World Missions owe all its retired missionaries and widows a debt of gratitude for their sacrificial lives. We know, however, that there is no such thing as a “retired” minister, widow, or missionary … they continue to do as much as they can while they live, and their legacies stand throughout the years as examples to attain.