With the Lord

As reported in the Mar/Apr 2019 issue.


Viola (Vi) Lucille Beack

September 18, 1936–March 2, 2018

Vi was born in Delray Beach, Fla. By the age of five, due to her family’s influence, she wanted to be a missionary. In 1955, Vi enrolled in Toccoa Falls (Ga.) College, where she received her BA in missions.

After working in the Pacific District Office in California, Vi served as a missionary in Lima, Peru, for 43 years (1961–2004). She was involved in a variety of ministries, including administrative support for the field office through secretarial and accounting work, teaching children and youth, and training workers. Vi also taught at the Alliance Bible Seminary and served for more than 30 years as a tutor/guide for students enrolled in Theological Education by Extension courses. Her siblings, Hazel and David, were also C&MA missionaries for many years. 

During her retirement, Vi served in the Sarasota (Fla.) Alliance Church as a deaconess, on the money-counting team, and on the Missions Task Force Committee. She was also treasurer of the Alliance Women Ministries Committee of the Southeastern District for many years and volunteered at Bradenton (Fla.) Missionary Village, where she resided since 2004.

Vi is survived by her brother David; brother-in-law Mack; 7 nieces and nephews; and 10 great nieces and nephews.

Rev. Vernon Borchert

October 17, 1942–September 8, 2018

Vernon was born to Nelson and Clara Patzke Borchert in Lackawanna, N.Y., and raised in Buffalo. He graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) and earned a degree in biblical studies from Houghton (N.Y.) College. Vernon married Lorrie Keane, and they enjoyed 51 years of marriage.

During his 46 years of C&MA ministry, Vernon served as pastor at Tyrone (Pa.) Alliance Church (1969–1973), People’s Alliance Church in New Castle, Pa. (1973–1976), and Bakerstown Alliance Church in Gibsonia, Pa. (1977–1985). He was also the founder and former executive director of The Lighthouse Foundation, a Christian outreach whose mission is to encourage impoverished families in Western Pennsylvania to find hope in Christ while meeting their immediate needs and empowering them toward self-sufficiency. Vern devoted his life to others and saw people how Jesus saw them.

Vernon is survived by his wife; sons Philip and Daniel; and 3 grandchildren.

Rev. Anthony G. Bollback

August 27, 1922–October 6, 2018

Anthony was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and attended the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack [N.Y.] College). On August 14, 1943, he married Evelyn Watson in Newark, N.J.

During his nearly 50 years of C&MA ministry, Anthony served as a missionary in China (1946–1949), Japan (1952–1957), and Hong Kong (1958–1968). He also was a pastor in Coudersport, Pa. (1943–1946); Chatham, N.J. (1949–1952); Honolulu, Hawaii (1968–1976); and Silver Spring, Md. (1979–1985), and was superintendent of the MidAmerica District (1985–1993).

Anthony is survived by his wife; sons James and Jonathan; daughters Joy and Judith; 14 grandchildren; and 20 great grandchildren.

Elma Grace (EG) Long

December 22, 1933–October 9, 2018

EG was born on a farm in McDonald, N.C., to Charles and Elma Davis. She became a registered nurse to prepare for missionary service. While in nursing school, she met Charles (Charlie) Edward Long. They married August 18, 1955.

The couple enrolled in Toccoa Falls (Ga.) College, where EG earned a two-year certificate from the Bible Department. In 1958, they were sent to South Vietnam, where they served as C&MA missionaries to the Jarai people until 1975. With the country no longer open to missions, the couple settled in North Carolina. In 1978, they began a 26-year ministry at North Ridge Church (Raleigh, N.C.). EG blessed countless people with her quiet, practical, and faithful service. She also was Charlie’s caregiver as he suffered through dementia.

EG was predeceased by her husband and daughter, Susie. She is survived by children Nathan, Ed, and Joby; 12 grandchildren; and 1 great grandchild.

Rev. Hoai-Duc Nguyen

March 21, 1935–November 5, 2018

Hoai-Duc was born in North Vietnam. After enrolling in Da-Nang Bible College, he planted a church (1955–1957) and later pastored another congregation. On August 8, 1957, Hoai-Duc married Phan Thi Minh Kim, also a student at the Bible school. After a two-year internship, the couple returned to school and graduated in 1960.

Hoai-Duc continued his pastoral ministry and served as secretary, vice president, and president of the North Central Christian Youth League. He also was vice president of the National Christian Youth Chapter for one term, served on the governing board of the North Central District of the Evangelical Church, and was a chief chaplain in the army and navy. He was pastor of the Vietnamese Evangelical Church in Saigon until 1975, when, along with numerous evacuees, the Nguyens came to the United States. They settled in Orlando, Fla., where they founded the Vietnamese Alliance Church. The couple also planted congregations in Winter Haven (1976), Miami (1977), St. Petersburg (1984), and Jacksonville (1988).

Hoai-Duc served on the Vietnamese District Executive Committee (1975–2006) in all positions of the District Executive Board, including acting district superintendent when Rev. Nguyen Ba Quang passed away. Most recently, Hoai-Duc was the Vietnamese District’s assistant superintendent.

Hoai-Duc was predeceased by his wife; he is survived by children Minh, Phien Thanh, Hoai-Nhon, Minh-Thanh, Hoai-Nghia, Hoai-Le, Tri H; and his grandchildren.

Ruth Ellen Kroon

October 28, 1919–November 28, 2018

Ruth was born in Malta, Mont. Her mother was a nurse who served as a midwife and treated injuries and illnesses. This impressed Ruth, and in 1940 she enrolled in Seattle (Wash.) Pacific College’s pre-nursing program. She received her nursing degree in 1944 from Swedish Hospital, where she worked for four years, becoming the fifth floor’s head nurse.

Sensing God’s call to attend Bible school, Ruth resigned from her nursing position and enrolled in Simpson Bible College (now Simpson University, Redding, Calif.). While there, she sang in the concert choir and was involved in prayer groups. Encouraged by the dean of women, Ruth applied to serve with the C&MA as a nurse. In 1951, she was appointed to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she ministered nearly 34 years, helping in hospitals, running a dispensary, teaching nursing students, conducting village medical clinics, and teaching the Bible.

When she retired from missionary work, Ruth was thankful that Congolese nationals were leading the C&MA, and many of her nursing students were serving in area hospitals. Upon retirement, she served at North Seattle Church’s library and on their Mission Board.

Ruth is survived by 13 nieces and nephews; and numerous grand- and great-grand nieces and nephews.

Rev. Joseph Clyde Ritchey Jr.

November 30, 1927–December 12, 2018

Born in Portage, Pa., Clyde received Christ at the age of 19. He attended the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack [N.Y.] College), where he met Doris Hoover. After graduation, they both worked in the C&MA’s Southeastern District and married in 1952.

After planting a church in Ormond Beach, Fla., the Ritcheys were missionaries in Côte d’Ivoire (1956–1992). They were involved in district ministries, Bible schools, building and construction, and serving in a bookstore. Clyde and Doris were also dorm parents at the Ivory Coast Academy, and Clyde was field director at various times. He traveled throughout district villages, preaching, teaching, evangelizing and discipling, and training leaders. Clyde also had a radio ministry and built a recording studio for Baoule language programs that were broadcast throughout the country; many churches resulted from this outreach.

Upon retiring, Clyde received the “Knight of Meritorious Service” award from the Ivorian government—the highest medal of honor given to expatriates—for his many years of service to the people of Côte d’Ivoire. The couple then settled in Toccoa, Ga. Clyde continued to preach upon invitation and was interim pastor in several churches.

Clyde was predeceased by his wife; he is survived by children Brenda, Mary Kaye, Jonathan, Judy, and Daniel; 11 grandchildren; and 8 great grandchildren.

Rev. Albert Bradley (Brad) Wycoff Jr.

July 28, 1947–December 16, 2018

Brad was born in Phoenix, Ariz. A gifted athlete, he excelled in baseball and football and was an outstanding pitcher and quarterback. He received Christ in his late teens and enrolled in Northern Arizona University. On August 30, 1968, he married Kathy Grosse in Flagstaff. After graduation, the couple moved to Denver, Colo., where Brad enrolled in Denver Seminary. He was ordained a C&MA minister in 1987.

During his more than 21 years of C&MA ministry, Brad and Kathy planted Christ Fellowship in Arvada, Colo., where he served as pastor (1987–1993); and he was pastor of Christ Alliance in Mariana, Fla. (2003–2007). The former was started as part of the C&MA’s “Easter 100” initiative in 1987 and met in schools or theaters. A devoted evangelist, Brad consistently shared the gospel with everyone he met.

Brad was predeceased by his wife and son Stephen; he is survived by sons Bert and Tim; daughters Marissa and Katey; and 19 grandchildren.

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