With the Lord

As reported in the Nov/Dec 2018 issue.


Rev. Michael Edward Garrison

December 30, 1952–March 29, 2018

Michael was born in Greenfield, Ohio. On December 5, 1975, he married Sharon Redden. Michael served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, during which he earned an Air Force Commendation Medal, a Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, an Air Force Outstanding Unit Citation, the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, a Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, and an Overseas Service Medal. He retired in 1992 as a communications computer systems program technician.

Later, Michael was ordained with the C&MA. In 1995, he graduated from Toccoa Falls (Ga.) College with a bachelor’s in missions. During his 10 years of pastoral ministry, Michael served as an associate pastor and then lead pastor at Faith Alliance Church (Fairview Heights, Ill.). For 15 years, Michael was on special assignment as a chaplain for Heartland Hospice in Fairview Heights. He is remembered for the many lives he touched as a chaplain and the ministry he provided to families in need.

Michael is survived by his wife; daughters Amy, Sara, and Rachel; son David; and 6 grandchildren. He was predeceased by daughter Lisa Renee.

Rev. Orlando Rivera, PhD

August 3, 1965–May 28, 2018

Orlando was born in Bronx, N.Y. He received his BA from SUNY University (Albany, N.Y.), his MDiv from Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando, Fla.), an MBA from Crummer Graduate School (Winter Park, Fla.), and a PhD from Regent University (Virginia Beach, Va.). On December 23, 1989, he married Nancy Moore.

Orlando served in pastoral ministry in Orlando and Longwood, Fla.; and Mt. Vernon, N.Y. He taught at Rollins College (Winter Park, Fla.); Belhaven College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Asbury Theological Seminary (Orlando, Fla.); Nyack (N.Y.) College; Marist College (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.); and Bakke Graduate University (Seattle, Wash.). He also served in the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative (Grand Rapids, Mich.); the Voz que Clama Mission (Costa Rica); Restore Orlando, Fla.; the Sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery (St. Joseph, Minn.); the Antioch School (Ames, Iowa); and the Center for Transformative Work (Paterson, N.J.).

Orlando is survived by his wife; children Jaq, Meena, Ashley, Breshia, Jamie, James, David, Enoch, Ezra, and Joseph; and 4 grandchildren.

Rev. Donald (Don) E. Brown

August 30, 1933–June 8, 2018

Born in Hillman, Minn., Don majored in missions at St. Paul Bible Institute (now Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minn.). He received a BA in history from Seattle (Wash.) Pacific College. On June 30, 1956, Don married Beulah Shepard.

During more than 38 years of C&MA ministry, Don served churches in Helena, Mont. (1960–1969); Staples, Minn. (1969–1972); Superior, Wis. (1972–1988); Ronan, Mont. (1988–1999); and Onamia, Minn. (2001–2004). Before being ordained with the C&MA, he served in Priest River, Ida. After retirement, Don ministered in rural Milaca, Minn., for nine years. He was a man of prayer and loved the lost.

Don is survived by his wife; children Rodney, Rhoda, Randy, and Roxanne; 5 grandchildren; and 3 great grandchildren.

Rev. Ronald (Ron) George Israel

August 6, 1932–June 8, 2018

Born in Spokane, Wash., Ron attended Simpson Bible Institute (now Simpson University in Redding, Calif.), where he met Joan E. Johnston. They married June 20, 1953. 

After serving churches in Seattle and Redmond, Wash., Ron and Joan were appointed as C&MA missionaries to Africa. They were dorm parents in Guinea and in Gabon, where Ron was also the mission station manager. In their final three terms in Gabon, Ron served as the mission business agent in Libreville, the capital, and Joan was the guesthouse hostess among her many other responsibilities.

The couple retired in Dallas, Ore., in 1997 after 36 years of service in Africa. Ron then served in the Dallas Alliance Church as visitation pastor, on the board, and in many other capacities, including helping widows and others in need.

Ron is survived by his wife; children Dawn, Steven, Diane, and Doreen; 12 grandchildren; and 13 great grandchildren.

Rev. Jonathan Shuman Bailey

October 23, 1960–June 10, 2018

Jonathan was born in Brockton, Mass., to the late Rev. Richard and Helen Bailey. His father was vice president for the C&MA’s North American Ministries.

On August 24, 1985, Jonathan married Dawn Kahkonen in Watermill, N.Y. He was a 1982 graduate of Nyack (N.Y.) College and attended Alliance Theological Seminary, graduating in 1986.

During his 32 years of C&MA ministry, Jonathan served as pastor of Calvary Church of the C&MA (Milford, Conn.). He faithfully preached the gospel and was known for his compassionate heart. In his spare time, Jonathan enjoyed watching sports, playing basketball, gardening, and keeping the church looking beautiful.

Jonathan is survived by his wife; children Joshua, Anna, Stephen, Caleb, Esther, Isaac, and Sarah; and 3 grandchildren.

Rev. Chee Chung Ha

February 28, 1939–June 11, 2018

Born in Dae-Gu, Korea, Chee Chung received his BA in music from Han Yang University in Seoul. On March 9, 1968, he married Ae Nae Min, with whom he enjoyed 50 years of marriage.

Chee Chung served for 20 years in the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra as a trombonist, taught music, and conducted at numerous universities throughout his prolific musical career. On January 22, 1982, Chee Chung immigrated to the United States and left the music profession. But his musical gift continued to shine in churches he attended in New York.

In May 1992, Chee Chung received his master of divinity from New York Reformed Presbyterian Theological and California Graduate School of Theology. He was ordained with the C&MA and served for 23 years at the Immanuel Alliance Missionary Church in New Jersey (1998–2018). Chee Chung touched many hearts with his genuine warmth and honesty.

Chee Chung is survived by his wife; daughters Soogyung and Soojung; 3 grandsons; and 2 granddaughters.

Ralph Elroy Bressler

December 20, 1932–June 28, 2018

Ralph was born to C&MA missionaries and accepted Christ at age seven in the Philippines. Along with his sister and parents, he was captured by the Japanese during World War II and spent four years in a POW camp. 

Ralph attended Simpson Bible College (now Simpson University, Redding, Calif.) and received his master’s in education from Seattle (Wash.) Pacific University. On June 12, 1954, he married Dorothy Hazlett, a fellow MK (missionary kid) he had met at Simpson.

Ralph taught at King’s Garden Elementary School in Seattle and became its youngest-ever principal before he and Dorothy were appointed as C&MA missionaries. They ministered at Dalat School in South Vietnam for 15 years, during which Ralph served at various times as teacher, coach, choir director, and principal. He saw the school through its 1965 evacuation from Vietnam by the U.S. Air Force and its eventual relocation to Malaysia. In January 1975, the couple returned to Dalat, Vietnam. As the war escalated, they escaped just before the North Vietnamese Army marched into Dalat, leaving Saigon two weeks before the country fell to Communism.

Ralph then became principal of Seattle (Wash.) Christian School. Ten years later, the Bresslers returned to the mission field. For the next 30 years, they served in Haiti, Taiwan, and Kenya. They retired in 2009 and settled in Lewisville, Tex., where Ralph and Dorothy continued to be active in ministry.

Ralph is survived by his wife; children Sharon, Stephen, Timothy, and Lisa; and 7 grandchildren.

Doris Virginia Hoover Ritchey

January 20, 1930–July 3, 2018

Born in Lenox, Ga., Doris was raised in Daytona Beach, Fla., and attended the C&MA Church of Daytona Beach as a child. She met Joseph Clyde Ritchey, her husband of 66 years, at the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack [N.Y.] College). They graduated in 1951 and married in 1952.

After starting a church in Ormond Beach, Fla., Doris and Joseph served as C&MA missionaries in Ivory Coast, West Africa (1955–1992). Doris was known as a warm hostess and an excellent cook. She answered letters from radio listeners, served at the children’s school, and taught nationals. The Ritcheys retired to Toccoa, Ga., where they were members of First Alliance Church of Toccoa.

Doris is survived by her husband; children Brenda, Mary Kaye, Jonathan (a C&MA missionary), Judy, and Daniel; 9 grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren.

Rev. Jack Milburn Brown

December 7, 1931–July 18, 2018

Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., Jack served in the Army Reserves after graduating high school. He attended Asbury College, Asbury Theological Seminary, the Army Chaplain School (Ft. Slocum, N.Y.), and the Air Force Chaplain School at Lackland Air Force base in Texas. On July 8, 1955, he married Janet Joann Hazen.

Jack ministered with the C&MA for more than 37 years, pastoring churches in Kittanning, Pa. (1961–1964); Reynoldsville, Ohio (1972–1977); and Muskegon, Mich. (1977–1989). He also served in the U.S. Air Force as a C&MA chaplain and was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for his service in Japan during the Vietnam War. Jack completed his 21 years of military service in the Army National Guard out of Newark, Ohio; and Grand Rapids, Mich. In 1989, he became the associate pastor of Good Samaritan Community Church in Kissimmee, Fla., and then served as senior pastor (1993–1999). On July 8, 2018, he and Janet celebrated 63 years of marriage.

Jack is survived by his wife; children Stephen, Kathleen, David, and Lynn; 8 grandchildren; and 4 great grandchildren. He was predeceased by 1 great grandchild.

Rev. Grant R. Walborn

July 10, 1925–August 12, 2018

Born in Butler, Pa., Grant joined the Merchant Marine in 1942, serving on numerous ships and tours of duty during World War II. He worked briefly in the steel industry in Pennsylvania and California before receiving his call to ministry. On December 15, 1945, he married Madaline.

Grant attended Nyack (N.Y.) Missionary College, graduating second in his class with high honors. He was inducted into the Nyack Honor Society the day of his graduation.

During 40 years of pastoral ministry, Grant served churches in Cumberland, Md.; and Uniontown, Punxsutawney, Meadville, Chicora, and New Castle, Pa. His ministry touched countless people.

Grant was predeceased by his wife; he is survived by sons Gary, Donald, and Ronald; 9 grandchildren; and 13 great grandchildren.

1 response to With the Lord

  1. Strange, but the “With the Lord” section in your magazine becomes one of the article that I always look first and get encouragement from it. Once in a while I will see people that I knew, and that God brought to my life, and joyfully praise Him for their faithfulness in following His call and His ministry in my country, to introduce Him to my father who, in turn, led me to Christ and His ministry.
    Thanks for writing about those great warriors!!

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