Contact Info Subscribe Links


March 2023

Servant's Heart


Online Edition

Download PDF

Screen Edition




History Resources



Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email


A Soul Winner's Heart

By Clint Morgan


I don’t recall the first time I heard about Joe and Barbara Haas. I do remember, quite clearly, my first in-depth conversation with them. I met the Haases at a missions retreat for all Free Will Baptist missionaries on “furlough.” Lynette and I were in our final months of preparation before going to Africa as missionaries.

Brother Joe was an imposing figure with a strong voice unfamiliar with whispering. Lynette, the daughter of missionary pioneers Dr. and Mrs. LaVerne Miley, spent eight years of her life overseas, most of that time in Africa. I, on the other hand, had not been out of the United States in my 27 years. Knowing we would face challenges with Lynette having cross-cultural experience and me having none, I sought all the advice I could get.

I asked Brother Joe for advice on the “how tos” of ministry and marriage. Pausing a second, he gave his special chuckle, and then delivered clear advice I’ve never forgotten and have since found accurate. “Clint, after a while, you will discover four or five things you can say that will stir up the fire in your wife. Learn those things and then commit to never saying them.”

He grinned—a crooked, dimpled smile under his well-groomed mustache—chuckled lightly, and moved on to the next question.

Joe and Barbara answered the call to missions later in life. In 1967, they began their cross-cultural ministry journey to France. Packing their suitcases, they headed out with five kids to continue their obedient walk with Christ.

While serving, and even while at language school, they exercised their gift of hospitality. When believers were the guests, it was a time of rejoicing in the goodness of God. If unbelievers sat at their table, it was an opportunity to build relationships and share the gospel as God’s Spirit opened the door.

Only eternity will reveal the number of people who sat around the Haases’ dinner table and either were introduced to Jesus as Savior, accepted Him as Savior, or were discipled as followers of Christ.

As rookie missionaries learning French, Lynette, our two boys, and I were far from our parents and family. We knew Christmas would be a lonely time. The Haases understood that sentiment well. In their kindness, and exercising their spiritual giftedness, they invited us into their home for the week of Christmas break. We enjoyed plenty of fun, food, and “family” festivities. Although it was not our home, I can say without hesitation they made us feel at home. I told them many times just how special that Christmas season was for us.

A gentle man with a humble spirit, Brother Joe made people feel at ease. Always one for pranks, jokes, and the joy of living, he found much to smile and laugh about in his day-to-day life. During our week with them, he kept us laughing with his jokes and stories.

I recall one humorous story he shared about language learning. Early in language school, he learned how much smarter animals are than people. A neighborhood dog settled on the sidewalk in front of their house and barked continuously. Brother Joe made several trips to the steps, scolding the dog in an attempt to stop its irritating noise. He tried such common-sense commands as “shut up,” “stop it,” and “go away”—all to no avail. Eventually, a French neighbor lady opened her front door and yelled at the dog. Immediately, the dog stopped barking and went on its way. Brother Joe said he felt really dumb at that point because the dog understood French better than he did. He chuckled and went on to another story. Brother Joe was a man with a million stories wrapped around his love for life itself and a heart-felt passion for winning souls for Christ. A good storyteller, he always left us laughing, crying, or pondering.

He never wavered from his passion to follow Christ and lead others to do the same. Throughout his 15 years in the pastorate, 20 years as a missionary in France, 15 years at Southeastern FWB College (as missions department chair and promotional director), and into retirement, he believed and lived “to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22b).

If I’ve ever seen a soul-winner’s heart, it was in the life and ministry of Joe Haas. He was a faithful servant until his last breath when God called him home. Now, he sees and knows even more clearly the Christ he loved, lived for, and gave his life to serve.


About the Author: Clint Morgan is director of IM, Inc. Learn more:


©2023 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists