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Jerry and Carol Pinkerton


Retired missionaries explain how their ministry continues...


From Missionary to Ambassador

by Jerry and Carol Pinkerton


We arrived in Côte d'Ivoire in January 1974. Our three sons accompanied us to the mission field. We knew they would return to the States to finish their education after high school, living out their lives in God's plan. But, what about us? We had signed on as career missionaries, and we thought that meant the rest of our lives. But the Great God who directs our lives had other plans for us.

What a joy it was to see the infant church become a teenager and then mature into early adulthood. During our last 10 years on the field, in the city of Abidjan, God brought into being three organized Free Will Baptist churches led by African pastors. The leadership from these churches came together to start a fourth church in another part of the city. This occurred without our participation in any way. It was very clear that God was saying to us, "It is time to move on to the next adventure in faith."

The next adventure was located in our homeland. God lead us to First Free Will Baptist Church in Mountain Grove, Missouri. Many exciting things were happening. Monday night brought evangelism training and visitation in the community. Wednesday night featured Faith Weaver Friends with 120 kids bussed in from around town. It our joy and privilege to serve the Golden Eagles, a group comprised of more than 60 seniors in our church.

Shortly after our return to the United States, we were invited to join another group known as Ambassadors. The Ambassadors are former missionaries and other church leaders who promote the World Missions Offering held each April. We write letters, visit churches, and contact pastors with the hope and prayer that they will support worldwide evangelism in addition to the needs in their communities. We encourage local churches to give significantly so missionaries can give themselves to the work to which God has called—keeping them on the field rather than back home raising money.

Missionaries are sent out to establish churches and train leaders so the Church of Jesus Christ might be extended into the entire world. Souls are being won. Churches are being established. Leaders are being prepared through training and Bible institute programs. We cannot quit or let up in our efforts to see the Kingdom of God permeate the nations, tribes, and cultures of our world.


About the Writer: Jerry and Carol Pinkerton served God in Ivory Coast, West Africa, for 36 years. Learn more about the World Mission Offering at




©2010 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists