Feature

With the Lord

As reported in the Nov/Dec 2017 issue.

By

Rev. Harold L. Matolka

November 28, 1933–October 24, 2016

Harold was born in Endicott, N.Y. He attended Practical Bible Training School in Endicott and Western Bible College (now Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, Colo.). On October 16, 1954, Harold married Edna Uhler.

Harold served with the C&MA for more than 30 years. He ministered in the Alliance Southeast District in California; he and Edna also were missionaries in Okinawa, Japan.

Harold is survived by his wife and children Leonard, Stephen, and Terry.

Rev. Richard E. Bartmas

July 2, 1925–December 6, 2016

Born in Butler, Pa., Richard attended the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack [N.Y.] College). He served in the U.S. Navy as a soundman during World War II. On September 21, 1946, he married Thelma B. Watkins.

Richard was a C&MA pastor for more than 36 years, having served churches in Portage, Cheswick, Harwick, Philipsburg, West Middlesex, Hesston, Allentown, and Titusville, Pa. He ministered in the Acmetonia Alliance Church in Cheswick three separate times, retiring from the congregation in 2008. Richard also was an accomplished musician who played the violin, mandolin, trombone, and saxophone.

Richard was predeceased by Thelma; he is survived by his second wife, Harriet Pierce Bartmas, whom he married October 2, 2004; sons Richard Jr. and Paul; stepson Donald; daughters Faith and Hope; 9 grandchildren; 3 step-grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; and 2 great–great grandchildren.

Timothy (Tim) Arend Greenfield

March 18, 1955–March 9, 2017

Born in Story City, Iowa, Tim received his bachelor’s in history from Crown College (St. Bonifacius, Minn.) and his master’s in cross-cultural studies from Wheaton (Ill.) Graduate School. On May 21, 1977, he married Janice Wiggins.

Tim began his 36 years of C&MA ministry in Lambert, Mont. (1979–1982), where he was a pastor. He and Janice then served as Alliance missionaries in Antofagasta (1985–1988) and Santiago, Chile (1989–2002), and in Guadalajara, Mexico (2003–2016), where they were involved in church planting and leadership development. During the 2016–2017 academic year, Tim was the international worker in residence at Toccoa Falls College, teaching spiritual formation and missions.

People of all ages were drawn to Tim because of his genuine interest in them. He was also known for his generosity, discernment, humility, and gracious spirit.

Tim is survived by his wife; daughter Amy; sons Nathan and Daniel; and 8 grandchildren.

Neal Carlyle Webber

June 11, 1926–April 22, 2016

Lois Jean (Showalter) Webber

November 17, 1927–June 20, 2017

Neal was born in Olney, Ill., and Lois was born in Dayton, Ohio. They met at a C&MA church in Dayton when Lois was 14 and had recently become the organist. Both attended the Missionary Institute (now Nyack [N.Y.] College). They married on August 30, 1946.

After serving a pastorate in Birmingham, Ala., the Webbers were C&MA missionaries to Thailand (1952–1968), where Neal was involved in church planting and ministry to leprosy patients. The Webbers also produced Thai Christian radio programs for the Far East Broadcasting Company. Mail was received from all over Asia in response to the recordings, including remote areas in China and Burma. Neal handled this correspondence, answering questions and sending encouragement and teaching materials. His passion was discipling and training new believers who would disciple others. Because of his one-on-one discipleship, today many church leaders in Thailand and the United States are serving the Lord through church planting and disciplemaking.

Later, Neal pastored churches in Lombard, Ill., and Longwood, Fla., while Lois served as organist. Before retiring, they returned to Thailand to teach at Bangkok Bible College.

Neal and Lois are survived by daughters Barb and Peggy; sons Jim, Tom, and Ron; 12 grandchildren; and 24 great grandchildren.

Elaine Carolyn Johnson

June 18, 1927–May 17, 2017

Born in Duluth, Minn., to Lutheran parents, Elaine occasionally attended a C&MA church her friend went to and received Christ at an Alliance Bible camp. She answered God’s call to missions and enrolled in St. Paul Bible Institute (now Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minn.). A gifted musician, Elaine was a soloist in the college’s Choral Club.

On September 1, 1951, Elaine married James Johnson. They were appointed as C&MA missionaries to the Philippines, where they served in the Sulu and Tawi Tawi provinces and later at the Ebenezer Bible Institute. Elaine directed the school’s choir, gave voice lessons, and taught English.

After 33 years of ministry, Elaine and James retired in 1990. They moved to Town & Country Manor, a C&MA retirement community, in 2005. There Elaine was in the choir and a women’s trio, the Harmonettes, and formed the Johnson Family Singers Trio with daughters Karen and Sharee; her daughter Marilyn was the pianist.

Elaine is survived by her husband; daughters Karen, Marilyn, and Sharee; son Keith; 12 grandchildren; and 5 great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her son James.

Robert C. Hollowell

April 8, 1945–May 20, 2017

Robert was born in Indianapolis, Ind., and attended Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bible College. On June 3, 1967, he married Martha Parker.

During 48 years of C&MA ministry, Robert pastored churches in Fort Wayne, Ind. (1966–1968); Brunswick, Neb. (1968–1977); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1977–1984); Dixon, Ill. (1984–1999); and Shelby, Ohio (1999–2004). He later was the pastor of a Nazarene church in Bradly, Ill. (2004–2014). Robert also was a substitute high school teacher.

Robert is survived by his wife; daughter Laurie; son Dan; and 5 grandchildren.

Patricia Eunice Durant

December 7, 1948–June 2, 2017

Born in Dayton, Ohio, Patricia received a BS in education from Toccoa Falls (Ga.) Bible College. On June 8, 1974, she married Rev. Dennis Daniel Durant.

Patricia worked at C&MA headquarters (1971–1975) and then was a legal secretary in New York City for 14 years. She also served for 27 years as an executive secretary and in other roles at the University of Florida while she and Dennis lived in Gainesville. Patricia enjoyed singing with the Gainesville Civic Chorus and the Parkview Baptist Church Choir, where the couple co-taught an adult Bible class.

Patricia’s passions included praying, giving to foreign missions, and supporting more than 40 charities annually. She died after a battle with endometrial cancer; her last audible word was “Jesus.”
Patricia is survived by her husband; 9 godchildren; and 2 grand godchildren.

Dorothy Louise (Hazlett) Bressler

November 24, 1930–June 6, 2017

Dorothy grew up in Vietnam (then French Indo-China), where her parents were C&MA missionaries. After World War II began, the family was evacuated and settled in Seattle, Wash. Dorothy attended Simpson Bible Institute (now Simpson University, Redding, Calif.). On June 12, 1954, she married Ralph Bressler, a fellow missionary kid (MK).

During 56 years of C&MA ministry, the Bresslers taught MKs in Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia; worked at Seattle Christian School; ministered in Haiti, where Ralph worked at a Christian school and Dorothy was secretary for the international church; and served at Morrison Academy in Taiwan, where Dorothy also was a church and mission secretary. By God’s grace, she overcame breast cancer during their time in Taiwan. In 2002, the Bresslers moved to Nairobi, Kenya, and served at Rosslyn Academy (2002–2009).

After they retired to Lewisville, Tex., Dorothy was involved in their local church and hosted traveling friends and missionaries. She enjoyed connecting with and praying for people around the world through Facebook, Skype, and e-mail. In December 2016, Dorothy’s breast cancer returned; she died peacefully with Ralph at her side.

Dorothy is survived by her husband; daughters Sharon and Lisa; sons Stephen and Timothy; and 7 grandchildren.

Rev. John Harms

April 21, 1934–June 13, 2017

John was born in Crookshank, Sask., Canada. He received his doctor of divinity from Canadian Bible College in Regina, Sask. (now Ambrose University, Calgary, Alta.). On May 18, 1956, he married Margaret Young.

John was a full-time pastor for more than 52 years, having served C&MA churches in Ashcamp (1960–1968), Fogertown (1968–1991), and Jenkins, Ky. (1991–2010). He was also among the Honorable Order of the Kentucky Colonels.

John is survived by his wife; children Larry, Lynn, Lorne, and Layne; 5 grandchildren; 5 great grandchildren; and 1 great–great grandchild.

Rev. Howell Russell (Russ) Graf

October 17, 1929–June 18, 2017

Born in Tarrytown, N.Y., Russ surrendered his life to Jesus at a revival meeting and was called to pastoral ministry. He received his BA from the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack [N.Y.] College). On February 5, 1955, he married Doris Jean Jones, whom he had met at Nyack.

During 40 years of C&MA ministry, Russ served churches in Erie, Pa. (1954–1955); and Southampton (1955–1960), Arcade (1960–1965), Watertown (1965–1969), Sidney (1974–1979), Kenmore (1980–1986), Wellsville (1986–1988), South Glens Falls (1988–1994), and Lockport, N.Y. (1994–1997).

Russ also was a representative of Bible Literature International and later received training in Evangelism Explosion (EE). He and the teams he trained in this evangelistic method led hundreds of people to faith. In one year alone, the church in Kenmore saw 103 decisions for Christ through these teams’ ministries.

After the Grafs moved to Indiana to be near their son Jonathan and his family, Russ became involved in World Gospel, where he was active in assisting and sometimes preaching in the organization’s nursing home ministry.

Russ was predeceased by his wife; he is survived by sons James, David, and Jonathan; 5 grandchildren; and 3 great grandchildren.

Rev. Carlos José Lahoz Rojas

January 27, 1958–June 28, 2017

Carlos was born in Santo Domingo, D.R. He accepted Christ at the age of 19 and was called to pastoral ministry. Four years later, he married Gertrudis Ogando.

Carlos received an education degree and a specialization in social sciences from the University of Santiago UTESA. For 15 years, he taught middle school and was a principal at the Evangélico Alianza School in Santiago (D.R.).

After graduating from the Alliance Seminary in the Dominican Republic, Carlos became a co-pastor at the C&MA El Ensueño (D.R.) church. He also founded the C&MA’s Church Shalom Adonai in Barrio Lindo, Santiago, where he pastored for 19 years.

In 2004, Carlos and his family moved to New York City. There he worked as an administrative pastor at the C&MA Church in Manhattan (now Oasis Church). He later pastored in Harlingen, Tex. (2010–2016); and White Plains, N.Y. (2017), where he spent the last of his 36 years of ministry.

Carlos is survived by his wife; daughters Carlina, Ruth, Sarah, and Keyla; and 3 grandchildren.

Georgia Jean (Greiner) Williams

February 11, 1939–July 13, 2017

Born in Lyle, Minn., Georgia received Jesus during her childhood. She attended St. Paul Bible Institute (now Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minn.). On October 24, 1959, she married Hilmore Nelson Williams.

During more than 23 years of C&MA ministry, Georgia ministered as a pastor’s wife in Hawley, Minn. (1976–1979); Highmore, SDak. (1979–1985); and Remer (1985–1994), Echo, (1994–1997), and Austin, Minn. (2005–2014). She was interviewed on an Iowa Christian radio station in September 2016 during her remission and healing following chemotherapy treatment in 2015. Georgia was known for her generosity, kindness, and fervent prayer.

Georgia is survived by her husband; daughters Julie and Kimberly; son Darwin; 5 grandchildren; and 1 great grandchild. She was predeceased by grandsons Ian and Daniel.

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