Feature

With the Lord

As reported in the Sept/Oct 2018 issue.

By

Corrine Sylvia Sahlberg

September 1, 1921–April 5, 2018

Born in Chicago, Ill., Corrine accepted Jesus at a young age during a Salvation Army service. She attended the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack [N.Y.] College). There she met her husband, Elmer John Sahlberg, who had recently returned from serving in World War II.

The Sahlbergs began ministry in Prattville, Ala., and were then appointed as C&MA missionaries to Thailand, where they served for 35 years. They worked in an area along the Mekong River and later became involved in fieldwide evangelism, which included Bible conferences, working with Christian literature in Thai, tent campaigns, and women’s and children’s meetings. They also ministered to thousands of Lao, Cambodian, and Vietnamese refugees who had fled to Thailand.

At age 70, after retiring to Florida, Corrine wrote the book Please Leave Your Shoes at the Door. An avid photographer, she created numerous slides and video presentations of her life as a missionary and made them available on a Web site created by her son Dale.

Corrine was predeceased by her husband; she is survived by sons David and Dale; daughters Evelyn and Esther; and 7 grandchildren.

Rev. Philip Loh

October 20, 1927–April 13, 2018

Philip was born in China to an Alliance pastor. He was orphaned at the age of four and later adopted by Gretchen Webster, a missionary. On September 27, 1951, Philip married Dorcas in Hong Kong. He attended Alliance Bible College in Wu Chow, China, and San Francisco (Calif.) Baptist Theological Seminary.

After planting the Cholon C&MA Church in Vietnam, Philip immigrated to the United States in 1958 and pastored in Chicago until 1964. He then was a pastor in Oakland, Calif., and later started churches in East Bay, Hayward, Concord, and Oakland, Calif. Philip also was the field director for Chinese Ministries (1976–1985). He authored Send the Doves to the Dragon, a history of the C&MA in China, and other books.

Philip is survived by his wife; children Julian, Joanne, Joel, Jessica, and Jasmine; 12 grandchildren; and 3 great grandchildren.

Rev. Karl Wilhelm Westmeier

July 11, 1939–April 14, 2018

Karl was born in Flechtdorf, Germany, to the late Karl Luis and Emma (Pöttner) Westmeier at the beginning of World War II. After the war ended, his father was a prisoner of war until Karl was eight years old. Karl’s parents were sincere Christians and taught him the ways of God.

In 1965, Karl departed for the Spanish Language Institute in San Padro, Costa Rica, to prepare for missionary service with the C&MA. There he met Arline Maust; they married on January 9, 1967.

Karl held degrees from the Missionsseminar und Theologisches Seminar in Beatenberg, Switzerland, and the Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS) in Nyack, N.Y. He received his PhD in missions from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

During 39 years of C&MA ministry, Karl was a missionary and professor of missions. In Colombia, he served as a church planter and a professor at the Instituto Biblico de Colombia. Karl was later asked to join the staff at ATS, where he served until 1992. His students have said they made sure to be on time to hear him pray at the beginning of class. When ATS opened an extension site in Puerto Rico, Karl was chosen to teach the Spanish classes. He also had five books published on history and missions, including the book for the 100th anniversary of the C&MA in Puerto Rico.

Karl is survived by his wife; son David; daughter Ruthie; and 2 grandsons.

Rev. Gerald Matthew Myers

February 29, 1932–May 6, 2018

Gerald was born in Jay, N.Y. On October 27, 1951, he married Lois Jane Therrien. Gerald attended Nott Terrace High School (Schenectady, N.Y.) and completed the C&MA’s ministerial study program.

Gerald served in pastoral ministry with the C&MA for 36 years, having founded the Schoharie Valley Alliance Church in Middleburgh, N.Y. (1976–2006). He also was a certified EMT with the Middleburgh Volunteer Ambulance Corps. After he retired, Gerald served as pastor at Carman Road Alliance Church in Schenectady, N.Y. (2006–2012), until 2012, when his grandson took over the pastorate.

Gerald is survived by his wife and daughters Kathleen, Linda, and Mary; he was predeceased by daughter Diane.

Rev. William Francis Stiemann

October 22, 1929–May 9, 2018

William was born in Lombard, Ill., and married Shirley June Gustafson on June 22, 1956, in Glendale, Calif. He received a BA from Columbia (S.C.) Bible College in 1966.

During 26 years of C&MA ministry, William served as a senior pastor in Commack, N.Y. (1967–1974), and Randolph, N.J. (1974–1993). He also was the family pastor at a non-C&MA church in West Milford, N.J. (1993–1999). 

William is survived by his wife; sons Mark, Timothy, and Theodore; 7 grandchildren; and 1 great grandchild.

Rev. Royce Franklin Rexilius

October 31, 1925–May 10, 2018

Born in Ithaca, Neb., Royce received Christ as his Savior at age 12 in Lincoln (Havelock), Neb., after listening to Dr. Charles Fuller’s “Old Fashioned Revival Hour.” He joined the U.S. Army in 1944 and served in Europe with the 86th Infantry “Blackhawk” Division at the Battles of the Bulge, Rhine, Ruhr, and Bavaria until Germany surrendered. His unit returned to New York City on June 17, 1945, to prepare for the war effort in the Pacific. Royce served in the Philippines until the defeat of Japan.

Royce attended St. Paul Bible Institute (now Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minn.), the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, and Bethel Seminary in Minnesota. He married Betty Maxine Opal Spader on August 22, 1947.

After Royce served as an assistant pastor in Havelock and Ceresco, Neb., the couple departed for Paris in 1954 for language study in preparation for overseas missions. Their first son, Douglas Joel (March 24, 1955–April 13, 1955), was born and buried there. In 1955, they were appointed to South Vietnam, where they studied Vietnamese and served in the mission’s publication and accounting offices, church planting, and training Bible college students in Saigon and Nha Trang until 1975.

After a hasty evacuation from Vietnam, Royce and Betty served briefly in Laos before returning to the United States. Royce taught at St. Paul Bible College (now Crown College) as the missionary-in-residence (1975–1976). The couple then planted a church in Auckland, New Zealand. Beginning as a small group meeting in an Anglican church, over the next 12 years it grew into a vibrant 200+ member congregation. Royce also served as the mission’s chair until retiring from the mission field in 1989. During the next 15 years, he pastored in Lincoln and central Nebraska.

Royce was predeceased by his wife and son Douglas Joel; he is survived by children Debbie, Robb, and Ron; 8 grandchildren; and 22 great grandchildren.

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