With the Lord

Feature

With the Lord

As reported in the Nov/Dec 2020 issue.

By

Stephen (Steve) S. Walters

August 26, 1958–March 7, 2020

Born in Powell, Wyo., Steve attended St. Paul Bible College (now Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minn.), where he received a bachelor’s in history; he also earned a master’s in leadership development. During his college years, Steve was involved in several missions trips, which helped him sense God’s call to become a pastor who would support missionaries and develop a heart for missions in the churches he served.

On July 19, 1980, Steve married Terry Nemec. Upon graduation, he worked at World Wide Pictures, part of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. During 38 years of C&MA ministry, Steve served as a youth pastor in churches in Fremont, Neb. (1982–1987); and Monticello, Minn. (1987–1996); in Christ Community Church (CCC) in Omaha, Neb. (1996–2013); and as a lead pastor in Vermillion, S.Dak. (2013–2020). Steve’s gifts as a leader, mentor, and team builder were evident when he was asked to launch CCC’s first multisite campus in Bellevue, Neb.

Steve is survived by his wife; daughters Bethany and Brittany; son Tony; and 6 grandchildren.

Steve Meltzer

December 10, 1942–May 6, 2020

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Steve was a third-generation Alliance minister. His grandfather, Harry Franklin Meltzer, was a peer of A. B. Simpson during the C&MA’s founding days. On November 23, 1968, Steve married Ann Griffin. While working as a San Jose, Calif., police officer, he was called to full-time ministry. He graduated summa cum laude from Bethany Bible College (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and received his MDiv and ThD with honors from the International Bible Institute.

Steve was active in Youth With A Mission, with U.S. military troops in Germany, and in underground evangelism, working behind the Iron Curtain to bring physical supplies to believers in the underground church. He wrote an article for The Alliance Witness detailing an encounter with KGB police during one of those covert deliveries.

Steve pastored C&MA churches in Bigfork, Havre, and Missoula, Mont.; Winnipeg, MB, Canada; Piedmont, Calif.; and Murray, Utah. While pastoring in Piedmont and Murray, he returned to law enforcement as a chaplain. In 1993, Steve was named the Piedmont Police Officer of the Year while serving as a reserve officer and the department chaplain. Steve worked with the Sandy City, Utah, police chief to develop a core of biblically based chaplains. He was also a major in the Civil Air Patrol and while a chaplain for the Teen Unit in Draper, Utah.

Steve is survived by his wife; children Brent, Zachary, and Mandy; and10 grandchildren.

Roland Jennings

June 3, 1930–May 17, 2020

Born in Cork County, Ireland, Roland spent his childhood in numerous orphanages until the age of 10, when he was sent to live with a kind-hearted family. In 1948, he surrendered his life to Jesus. He was later called to missions and attended Lebanon Missionary Bible College in England.

Before joining the C&MA, Roland was a missionary with Worldwide Evangelism Crusade in Brazil (1958–1974), where he opened a Christian bookstore in Porto Alegre and delivered books to the remote interior. On November 16, 1963, he married fellow missionary Rachel Schrage in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Together they planted a church in the small village of Pequi.

In 1976, Roland moved his family to Minnesota and became a licensed minister with the C&MA. He served churches in Onamia (1978–1986), Swanville (1986–1985), and Little Falls, Minn. (1995–2006), where he was the visitation pastor until well into his eighties. Roland continued his lifelong devotion to prayer until his final days.

Roland is survived his wife; children Elizabeth, Daniel, and Samuel; and 8 grandchildren.

Esther Idora (Galbraith) Kroh

March 8, 1918–May 28, 2020

Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., Esther was called to be a missionary nurse at the age of 14. She became an RN with a midwifery certification and attended the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack College, N.Y.). Appointed to the Belgian Congo, Esther she served at the remote mission station of Kinkonzi, teaching young Congolese girls to become nurse’s aides and midwives and opening a medical clinic.

On September 2, 1949, Esther married Dean F. Kroh, MD, in Pittsburgh, Pa. Together they served in the Belgian Congo as the C&MA’s first medical team, establishing the Kinkonzi Evangelical Hospital and providing physical and spiritual care to thousands.

In 1972 the Krohs were appointed to war-torn Cambodia, working with the C&MA and World Vision to design and staff a children’s hospital in Phnom Penh and providing medical care in refugee camps. They were evacuated in 1975 and served the next nine years in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), Gabon, and Cambodia. In 1987 Esther retired from the C&MA after 42 years of service, and in 1999 she and Dean entered the Concordia Retirement Center (Cabot, Pa.).

Esther was predeceased by her husband, son Daniel, and grandchild Ryan; she is survived by daughter June; sons Dave and Dean; 7 grandchildren; and 3 great grandchildren.

Martha Jones

February 8, 1924–June 11, 2020

Born in West Brownsville, Pa., Martha graduated from the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack College, N.Y.). On August 30, 1948, she married David Jones. Together they served C&MA churches in Harrison Valley (1952–1955) and Scranton, Pa. (1955–1964); Milton, Del. (1964–1969); Turnersville, N.J. (1969–1975); and Colonie, N.Y. (1975–1989).

After serving with the C&MA for 37 years, the couple retired to Vicksburg, Miss., near their son Douglas and family. Later they moved to Watervliet, N.Y., to be near sons Russell and Gerald and their families and joined the Pineville Community Church (Albany, N.Y.). David died on February 28, 2005, after suffering many physical problems.

Martha is survived by children Russell, Gerald, and Douglas; 4 grandchildren; and 2 great grandchildren.

Franklin McGarvey (Lin) Ballard

June 26, 1936–June 12, 2020

Lin was born in West Africa and received a bachelor’s degree from Nyack (N.Y.) College. For 40 years he served as a C&MA missionary in West Africa, where he was involved in church planting, training church leaders, dorm parenting for missionary kids, and business administration.

After retirement Lin enjoyed working at the Georgia Baptist Assembly in Toccoa, Ga., traveling with his wife, and spending time with his friends and family, especially his grandchildren. He lived a life of gratitude and left a legacy of love and compassion.

Lin is survived by his wife, Carolyn Eckman Ballard; daughter Virginia; sons Jerry and Allan; stepson Jonathan; stepdaughters Susanna, Deborah, and Grace; 17 grandchildren; and 8 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Myrna Jones Ballard.

Frederick E. (Fred) Lantz

June 20, 1926–June 12, 2020

Born in Morgantown, W.Va., Fred was a WWII Army veteran and attended the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack College, N.Y.). On April 7, 1945, he married Betty McNemar. After Betty died in 1998, Fred married Dorothy (Kelly) Hosterman on July 8, 2000.

During 46 years of C&MA ministry, Fred pastored churches in Marion (1950–1953), Swanton (1955–1963), Youngstown (1963–1974), and Bryan, Ohio (1974–1985); and Danville, Ind. (1953–1955). He was also director of C&MA stewardship ministries in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain Districts. Fred’s life touched many people. He was a compassionate man who lovingly cared for his wife, Betty, during her many years of illness.

Fred was predeceased by Betty, his wife of 53 years, and Dorothy, his wife of 9 years; he is survived by daughters Sharon and Rebecca; son Gary; and 3 generations of grandchildren.

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