Jurgen and Ulrike Rudolph Missionary with Church of God Germany, and Church of God World Missions appointment as Church of God Christian Education Coordinator for Africa – area of responsibility: coordination of all theological educational ministries for the Church of God in Africa (Central, Eastern, Southern & Western Africa).
Peter and Debbie Thomas Peter A. Thomas has served as C.E. - Coordinator for the Church of God in Africa, West, and Central and Eastern Africa for 22 years and in addition as the Regional Superintendent for Central Africa. A native of Germany, he experienced Christ as his Savior at the age of 19 and received a call to Ministry and Missions while attending EBS in Rudersberg. Since 1979 Peter and his wife, Debbie are Church of God Missionaries in Africa. They arrived in Ghana, West Africa in April 1979 teaching at Ghana Bible Institute and pastoring the City Church in Kumasi. In 1986, after studies at Church of God Seminary in Cleveland, TN, he and his family moved to Zimbabwe, where he was appointed to serve as C.E. – Coordinator for Africa. In 1995, the family moved to Nairobi, Kenya and stayed until 1997. He served as the C.E. – Coordinator up to his current appointment. In 2008 Peter was appointed as the Field Director for Africa; East, Central, Southern and Western Africa.
Debbie Thomas: After having been trained as a SR – Nurse and a SR - Midwife Debbie Thomas attended the European Bible Seminary in Rudersberg, Germany. Born to Church of God pastors she gave her life to Christ at a young age and was called into missions at the age of 10 yrs. Since 1979 Debbie alongside with her husband, Peter Thomas are Church of God Missionaries in Africa. In April 1979, they arrived in Ghana, West Africa. During the time in Ghana Debbie was in charge of the Church of God Clinic in Essiempong. After her husband had completed studies in the US, the family moved to Zimbabwe in 1986, where Debbie was involved in a Mobile Clinic Outreach. At the same time, she was serving in the National Women’s Council of the church, organizing, and speaking at National Women’s Conferences and seminars. In 1995, the family had to relocate to Nairobi, Kenya and stayed there until 1997. Since the appointment of her husband as the Field Director of Africa in 2008, Debbie serves as the Church of God Women’s Discipleship Ministry Chairlady for Africa.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Sharise Reither When she was twelve years old, she felt God call her to be a missionary to Africa. Later, that calling was defined to working with orphans and poverty-stricken children. She has always felt drawn to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since she was in high school, but it is very difficult to live and minister there. In 2014, she decided to go to Africa and make sure God was really calling her to be a missionary. She went to Uganda and South Africa for a total of nine months and loved it. She still felt this call to go to the DRC and prayed about how to get there. Every Child Ministries works with children in Ghana, Uganda and the DRC. In the DRC, they have a program that works with street children and applied to work with that program. The street children program is designed to start the process of getting children off the street. One way they do this is through reunification. Most of these children have families, but the families won’t accept them due to many different reasons. Every Child Ministries goes and speaks to the families to understand why. Often times, they can try to convince the family that their child is precious and not to be thrown away. If it is due to financial difficulties, they try to help the family earn a larger income, so that they can provide for another child. If there is no family or the family will not take them, they try to find a way for the children to earn money. The long-term goal is to get them into a trade school, which would provide a steady income and get them permanently off the street.
Richard and Amanda Coleman The Coleman family has been involved in cross-cultural missions for many years. Richard’s first short-term opportunity was a 7-week trip to Uganda back in 1998. On this trip he was surprised at how God used him and had a deep sense of peace that living in Africa might be somewhere in his future. After several more trips over the next 5 years, he finished his B.A. (New Testament) and Masters of Divinity from Oral Roberts University (ORU). Prior to his last year at ORU, friends introduced Richard to Amanda, a woman with a creative bent and a heart for the nations. Amanda transferred to ORU, where she later graduated with a degree in missions. After graduation Richard served for three years as the missions director of a mega church in metro-Atlanta. There he taught classes, led short-term trips, created missions awareness, and managed relationships with the 40 or so missionaries/organizations supported by the church. From there Richard and Amanda joined the staff of TMS Global. Amanda served as the field ministries assistant for a little over two years. In this role she supported over 150 missionaries serving abroad. Richard worked as the senior director of mobilization and candidacy for more than ten years. In this role, he recruited, advised, and screened missionary candidates. Also, as one of a few African-Americans in his field, he has spent a considerable amount of time encouraging and training African-Americans to get engaged in cross-cultural ministry. In addition to his work with TMS Global, Richard taught Perspectives classes, served as a leader within the Lausanne Movement, and advised churches as it relates to cross-cultural outreach. Avid learners of culture, the Colemans have traveled to a combined 30+ countries and have a wide diversity of friendships. They love to try new foods, make new friends, and travel together. In March 2018, Richard and his family hope to move to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to become a part of what the Church there is already doing to live out its faith. After their initial year of language and cultural preparation, they hope to partner with an Ethiopian ministry and play roles that have been strategically assigned to them. Their heart is to go as learners and co-laborers eager to participate in what God is already doing through the Ethiopian believers. As of now, it looks like these roles will be related to training, mentoring, team building, and mobilization.
Gordon and Glenda Bloodworth Gordon and Glenda Bloodworth have been ministering to the people of Africa for 40 years. Serving as teachers at Discipleship College in Eldoret, Kenya, the Bloodworths have a passion to equip students so they can reach the entire continent with God’s love. Gordon served as director of the college, which he established in February 1999, for over 11 years. Discipleship College is the primary Bible training school for the Church of God in East Africa, offering certificates and diplomas in Christian Education to students from nine African countries. Graduates are ministering not only in Kenya, but also in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Burundi, Uganda, and South Sudan. Graduates are also in ministry in Europe and the U.S. A. A number of graduates have gone on for further studies for Master’s degrees and one has obtained his Ph.D.
Neil and Jennifer Lawrence Neil and Jennifer Lawrence are missionary educators/evangelists in Kenya, East Africa, where they have been serving since 1993. Neil’s primary ministry is to teach at Discipleship College, a 17-acre campus located in Eldoret, Kenya. Though most are Kenyan, ministers from other African countries where the Church of God is located are attending (Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana). The opportunity to spend quality time helping form the students’ “theological/ministry world-view” is Neil’s greatest joy and definitely the focus of his calling. In addition to teaching, the Lawrences are involved in Evangelism and Worship. They started singing songs in Swahili during District Seminars and began leading worship in English and Swahili in church while they lived in Nairobi. Developing into a ministry team called Eagle’s Wings Gospel Team in 1999, this ministry works with a local Church of God congregation. Students and graduates of Discipleship University are involved in traveling all over Kenya holding morning Seminars, afternoon Crusades, and evening Christian films. These crusades (3 to 7 days long) have been held in market places, town centers, road-side centers, slums, and villages; in other words, “where the people are.” Neil was born 23 March 1964 in Miami, Florida and Jennifer was born 2 May 1965 in Dayton, Ohio, but raised in Atlanta, Georgia. They met at Florida State University and married (December 1986) just before graduation (May 1987). Only nine months after joining the Church of God, Neil began his studies at the Church of God Theological Seminary (earning a Masters of Divinity in 1991), while Jennifer worked at Church of God World Missions. Living in Kenya, East Africa since October 1993, the Lawrence family are involved in education and evangelism in order to strengthen the Church of God. They feel that Kenya is their home and plan to minister there for many more years. Their son, Joshua, was adopted as an infant in 2003. Neil and Jennifer want to share the love of God with the people they meet and obey Christ’s command to go and make disciples.
Paul and Rhonda Stockard have worked for over 17 years in the country of Paraguay, South America. They have served as church planters and pastors, but have been especially focused on poor children and others whose lives have been turned upside down by one crisis or another. Their work with children has been through a school and feeding program dedicated to the “Children of the Dump”; children who live in and around the garbage dump of the capitol city of Asuncion. The Stockards have also been involved in the planting of seven churches inside seven prisons in the country of Paraguay (one of them a prison for minors aged 14 to 18 years old), which has resulted in many prisoners leaving the penal system as strong Christians. Paul served for several years as a member of the national council of Paraguay until he was elected by the ministers of Paraguay to serve a term as national overseer. Having finished the mission that God gave him to do in this office, he stepped down and turned the work back over to qualified national leadership in order to follow God’s leading into new areas and through new doors the Lord was opening. God was leading them into areas of ministry where they had never thought of going, and where only God could have placed them. While still maintaining their important ministry to the Children of the Dump in Paraguay, the Stockards now also serve as missionaries at large in all of Latin America—from Mexico to the southern tip of South America—as well as in Africa. The focus of ministry in these areas is training leaders and ministers in helping people in crisis. Times of crisis are dangerous, but also provide opportunities for ministry, and to show the love and power of Christ. As we see more and more people suffering from devastation such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and wars, we also see Jesus wanting to reach out to those who suffer because of these crises. Paul recently stated, “Working in the area of specialized outreach has allowed us to train leaders in how to enter into the suffering of others as Jesus did, bringing His message of healing, love, and forgiveness.”
Discipleship College Scholarship A long-term successful educational institution of Church of God World Missions is the Discipleship College in Eldoret, Kenya. Formerly overseen by Gordon and Glenda Bloodworth, the college is currently administered by the interim director, Benea Alukwa, who is in England finishing research for his Ph.D. dissertation. Discipleship College is now entirely under the administration of its graduates. The Commission on University Education is at work on their curriculum for degree status as a constituent college under the Asian Seminary of Christian Ministries (ASCM)! Your prayers are an integral part of the process, as they need favor with the Kenyan government to once again grant degrees. In the meantime, Church of God World Missions has designated Discipleship College as an official diploma-granting institution, intensifying the need to become accredited under the Association for Christian Education in Africa. The program is modeled after Training of Teachers (TOT), which the European Theological Seminary sponsored at Discipleship for seven years with World Missions funding, allowing 37 students to receive diplomas. Students are not just from Kenya; also studying are students from Angola, Nigeria, Burundi, Congo, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and South Sudan. A donation of only $30 a month can make higher education a reality for these students. Interestingly, the TOT was the vision for Africa of veteran Missionary Philip Morris who recently went to be with the Lord. His vision lives on. To God be the glory!
Alex and Leah Abiola Alex and Leah Abiola have been called to serve as missionaries and overseers to Nigeria, Africa, with a ministry that includes ministerial education, medical missions, family and marital counseling, substance abuse counseling, and outreach to children and the poor. The Abiolas also seek to unite the Nigerian churches in reaching the nation. Living in the capital city of Abuja, the Abiolas are centrally located to minister around the entire country. One of their projects is providing shoes and clothes for the needy, as well as medical supplies such as crutches and wheelchairs. Alex and Leah coordinate short-term mission trips to Nigeria in the area of medical assistance and ministerial training. Alex and Leah Abiola served as missionaries to the Republic of Ireland from December 2004 to July 2010. They assisted the overseer of Ireland in church planting, ministerial training, and counseling. Alex helped pastors with themed Bible classes, ministry training courses, outreach ministries, and wedding ceremonies. Current projects in their new home of Nigeria include the building of a hospital and orphanage located outside the town of Abeokuta in Ogun State. Land has already been purchased for these structures, which will serve Nigeria’s southwest region.
Alejandra Zamudio is a missionary sent from the Church of God in Argentina and an active member. She lived in Resistencia, a small city in the Northeast of the country. She was sent by the church and the missionary agency to work with the team from Central America in Dakar and Thies, Senegal. She is also recognized as a South American missionary within Church of God World Missions. Since the beginning of 2009, she has worked in the Amazon Jungle, in the Indian villages, with the Project “Integral Human Development.” This program includes Education, Health, Prevention, Social Assistance and Ecologist Care. She has been working with urban missions too, including: home visitation, track distribution, open air services, preaching, teaching, sports, cell groups, personal evangelism, creative ministry (dance, drama, aerobics, arts and crafts), and ministry with children, youth, and adults. Between January and March of 2014 she was in Brazil working as a teacher at the CTM (Missionary Training Center) Between April and September of 2014, I had an amazing experience as a missionary in South Africa and Mozambique working with children, youth, and adults as well. God gave her the chance to meet many people in need and help them in any way she can. In 2016, between January and March, she was in Brazil again working as a coordinator at the CTM (Missionary Training Center) and then she went on a few trips to work in the Amazon Region to help another missionary ́s ministry (April - July). Since February 2017, she is serving as missionary in the city of Thies, Senegal.
Teresa Kimbrell has felt the call of God since committing her life to Him in 1984. She has been active in her local home churches in Florida and Tennessee, serving in various capacities. She also taught in three different Christian preschools for over 12 years. In 1990, God opened the door for Teresa to attend Southeastern College in Lakeland, Fla., where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in church ministries with a concentration in missions. In 2002, God once again opened the door for Teresa to attain further training, this time at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tenn., where she graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. She has also completed various courses in the area of childcare, including the CCDE (Child Development Associate degree equivalency). God has placed a burden on Teresa’s heart for the people of Africa. Since 1991, she has served on three short-term missions trips, which have taken her to Sydney, Australia; Zimbabwe, Africa; and Botswana, Africa. In 2001, Teresa completed a one-year internship in Zambia, Africa, where she worked with Emma’s Kids ministries and taught at the Bethel Bible College. As an appointed missionary to Zambia, Teresa moved to Lusaka and helped establish the Nyamphande Orphanage/Community School. Active in preaching, chaplaincy, orphan’s ministry, and recently, pastoral family care and encouragement, Teresa teaches and trains leaders in various areas of ministry and serves on the board of Berea Theological University College. She is also a team member in a Lusaka church plant that started in her home. Along with serving as a team member in a church plant, Teresa is now serving as manager of the World Wide Help Africa Retreat Centre.