Congregation on Call
news around the world
IM serves churches, pastors, and people by helping them fulfill their role in establishing churches beyond North America
so unreached peoples can know the joy of a
relationship with the living God. To find out more about the ministry of IM, visit www.IMINC.org
Former Missionaries Finish the Race
Antioch, TN—“IM rests on the shoulders of pioneers who forged our Free Will Baptist footprint in the regions beyond. Two of those early giants, Joe Haas (France) and Fred Hersey (Japan) recently breathed their first breath of celestial air as they stepped through the portals of heaven,” stated Neil Gilliland, director of member care.
“We grieve our loss, but rejoice in their reward. I am confident a party of family and friends and believers from France and Japan embraced them. Thank you, Joe and Fred. We rest on your shoulders, and we promise to continue to take the gospel to the least reached.”
March 25, 2022, 91-year-old Joe Haas moved from this life to Heaven from his beloved country of France. Joe and his wife Barbara were appointed as career missionaries to France in 1967 and served there until 1983. The Haas family began their missionary appointment alongside Dan Merkh and immersed themselves in student ministry, literature distribution, Bible clubs, and church activities. They planted a church in Rennes. Joe once said of his ministry in France, “It was a wonderful privilege to give them the gospel, and the Lord gave me great liberty in preaching His Word. Many people heard it for the first time in their lives.”
Laid to rest in the French countryside on March 27, IM missionaries Dennis and Carol Teague, Matt Price, Jerry and Barb Gibbs, and Steve Riggs attended the funeral. Jonathan Merkh (son of former missionary Dan Merkh), Jerry Gibbs, and Steve Riggs spoke briefly of Reverend Haas’s influence on their lives.
The family encouraged those wishing to honor Joe’s memory to donate to Gideon Memorial Bibles to continue to spread the gospel in hotels, prisons, hospitals, schools, etc.
Fred Hersey entered life eternal March 28, 2022. The 91-year-old lived in Troy, Missouri. Appointed as career missionaries in 1955, Fred and Evelyn Hersey served together in Japan until Evelyn’s passing in 1993. Fred continued to minister to the Japanese. In 1995, he married June Wilkinson, a widowed former missionary to Brazil. Together, the couple worked in Japan for two years before retiring in 1998. Fred went on to pastor in Blakely, Georgia, for 12 years.
Fred Hersey was a husband, father, missionary, pastor, English teacher to the Japanese people, and church planter. He dedicated himself to raising national leaders and laborers in Japan.
A memorial service was held Saturday, April 2, at Stonebridge FWB Church in Troy, Missouri, followed by burial at Zion Cemetery in Ozark, Illinois, Sunday, April 3.
Those expressing sympathy may contribute to the parking lot fund at Stonebridge FWB Church (10 Sunrise Acres, Troy, MO 63379) or IM, Inc. (notate Japan Missions, PO Box 5002, Antioch, TN 37011).
McDonald's Change Roles
Antioch, TN—After 38 years as IM missionaries in Japan, Don and Ruth McDonald (below) will transition to stateside ministry November 1, 2022. Donnie, continuing as an IM missionary, will promote missions education in the States, visit churches, develop a teaching curriculum, and assist with Go Global events. (Read WNAC’s announcement concerning Ruth’s ministry.)
During their time in Japan, the McDonalds served as church planters, teachers, and evangelists in both Hokkaido and the greater Tokyo area. Currently, they provide leadership in the Good News Chapel in the greater Tokyo area. Donnie also serves as field leader for the Japan missionary team.
IM’s Director of Development Don Matchett states,
“I am excited about this move for several reasons. Donnie will play a strategic role in encouraging and educating churches from a Free Will Baptist missions perspective.”
The McDonalds will move to Nashville, Tennessee, in October to begin their new roles.
CMP Travels to Spain in 2022
Gallatin, TN—After Tim and Kristi Johnson led CMP Spain, Kristi enthused, “It’s evident the Lord worked in
many ways in the lives of these students—and their leaders!”
Three Welch College students—Jacob Edgmon, Lauren Strickland, and Heather Thomas—packed nine days with ministry at the Alpedrete Church and other locations, learning Spanish culture and the Free Will Baptist strategy for reaching Spain with the gospel, talking about Welch College life at a local school, touring potential church plant areas, and participating in a social outreach program.
The trip coincided with Welch College’s spring break,
March 9-20. Learn more about CMP at IMInc.org.