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Carn Catherwood

Over the years, we have prayed for Carn Catherwood, GCI board member and former pastor and administrator. Carn recently sent the following update concerning recent health challenges.

Joyce and Carn Catherwood

For the past four months, I’ve had a spate of serious health issues. But now I can report some very good news. Over three months ago, I was diagnosed with a large tumor in the upper colon. In mid-May my Gastro-Enterologist performed major abdominal surgery to remove it. The procedure required a re-sectioning of my colon. Thankfully, the tumor, though large, turned out to be benign. Because of the complexity of the surgery, I was in the hospital for 11 days.

Barely three weeks later, probably because of the shock caused by the surgery to my system, I had the worst Afib/Heart Flutter episode I’ve ever had (I’ve had them periodically for over 30 years). One night my heart-rate was so rapid and irregular that I fainted—my tail-bone was cracked when I hit the floor. My wife Joyce took me to the ER, and as soon as I sat down on a bed my heart rate plummeted to zero, which meant that I had no pulse and was only a few minutes away from dying. A little Asian nurse did CPR compressions on my chest for several minutes and managed to get my heart started again twice. But as soon as it began to beat, my heart rate shot up again. My Cardiologist ordered an emergency heart ablation which was performed the next day. During an ablation a catheter is used to burn away the tissues of the heart that contain defective nerve pathways that cause the heart circuits to misfire. It’s a procedure with some risk and isn’t always successful. But mine was. Praise God.

After eight days in the ICU, I was released, feeling pretty beat-up and shaky. Slowly, my strength has been coming back. Today, three months later, my heart is beating normally and my Electrophysiologist feels the procedure was a success. There appears to be no lasting damage to my heart and the Cardiologist states it should keep me going “until you’re at least 100” (his words).

I am grateful to God for his love, his amazing grace and his presence during those crazy, very scary moments. To him be all the honor and the glory. My sincerest thanks to all of you for your love and prayers.

Cards may be sent to:

Carn and Joyce Catherwood
3941 Andrew Avenue
Denton, TX 76210-3234

Death of James Jackson

We were saddened to learn of the recent death of James Jackson, GCI member, deacon and former Ambassador College employee.

James F. Jackson

James was born in 1925 in Arkansas. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1944 and served in the Central Pacific, Japan and then during the Korean War where he was wounded in combat and received the Purple Heart. He returned stateside in 1952 and married Esther Glover. In 1958 he was honorably discharged from the military and went to work for Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA. He and his family then moved to Big Sandy, TX, in 1964 and James worked at the newly opened Ambassador College campus. He retired in 1990 after 26 years of service. James also served for 55 years as a deacon in GCI’s Big Sandy, TX, congregation. He helped care for the widows and led the Silver Ambassadors.

That James also actively served the community is evidenced by twice receiving the Big Sandy Senior Citizen of the Year award, and once receiving the Christian Community Service Award. The Texas Highway Department also honored James for his work leading the Big Sandy congregation in picking up litter along local highways.

James is survived by his wife Esther Ann Jackson, a son, two daughters, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Always a kind and caring gentleman, he exemplified the Marine Corps motto: Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful).

Cards may be sent to:

Esther Jackson
654 N Pearl St.
Big Sandy, TX 75755

Death of Steve Burns

We were saddened to learn of the recent death of retired GCI pastor Steve Burns.

Steve Burns

Steve Wayne Burns of Fort Smith, AR, died Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 at age 71. Steve is survived by his wife, Silvia; a son, Ryan Burns; a stepson, Juan Bernal; two sisters; a brother; and four grandchildren.

Steve graduated from Ambassador College in 1970. He then served as an elder in west Texas, and later entered vocational ministry and pastored the GCI congregation in Harrisburg, PA.

Due to illnesses, Steve had to retire from employed ministry. He and his wife Silvia then moved to the Fort Smith, AR, area. After two serious falls he was hospitalized on September 10 and died on Sept 13.

Cards may be sent to:

Sylvia Burns
3305 S. 68th Circle
Fort Smith, AR 72903-6136

David Sheridan

David Sheridan, pastor of GCI’s congregation in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, had triple coronary artery bypass surgery on September 10. The Sheridan family reports that the surgery used two arteries to bypass 3 vessels, which is both amazing and uncommon.

The surgery was very successful, with no complications. David’s recovery is going well and he is in good spirits as attested by this picture of his ride home from the hospital:

Cards may be sent to:

David Sheridan
101 Cramond Close SE
Calgary, AB T3M 1C1

Jim Kissee

Here is an update concerning Pastor Jim Kissee who has been battling cancer for some time.

We are happy to report that Jim’s recent CT scan showed no change in his condition. He is at home and is doing fairly well. He will have another scan in three months.

Cards may be sent to:

Jim and Kaye Kissee
601 N. 36th St
Nixa, MO

Storm reports

We have been praying for the safety of GCI members and others affected by Hurricane Florence in the Eastern United States, and by Super Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines (now affecting China). We have not received a report from the Philippines, though we know of significant damage from flooding and wind. Concerning the impact of Florence, U.S. Regional Pastor Paul David Kurts sent this report:

Many of our GCI brothers and sisters have inquired about our safety here in the Carolinas, reassuring us that they are praying and stand ready to help in our recovery. It has warmed my heart to see the genuine love and concern for all who have been impacted by this catastrophic event. The current death toll in North and South Carolina now exceeds 30 people. This number will likely grow as flood waters recede and more bodies are recovered. The biggest challenge ahead will be dealing with flood damage and loss of electrical power. Hundreds of thousands of people are still without power and have been displaced from their homes. By God’s grace, GCI members here in Hickory, North Carolina dodged a bullet and didn’t get too much wind or rain. This enabled several in our congregation to offer their homes to GCI members displaced from their homes in other areas, though none of us were actually taken up on the offer. I’ve communicated with the pastors in this part of our region and I’m thankful to be able to report that none of our members were injured. Thank you for your prayers and offers of support.

Death of GCI elder

We were saddened to learn of the recent death of Karen (Jones) Quinn, who served as an assistant pastor in GCI’s Houston, TX, congregation.

Karen Quinn

Born in 1944, in Salem, OH, Karen grew up in the nearby town of Columbiana. Even from an early age she recognized the importance of community involvement, often leading clubs and activities. In high school, Karen was a majorette and enjoyed playing basketball. In her college years, she sang in the college chorale and enjoyed traveling for performances. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology from Ambassador College in 1966 and always valued the friendships she made in college.

It was during her college years that Karen met her future husband Terry Quinn at a summer camp in Orr, MN, where Karen was a counselor. Terry and Karen married on August 12, 1966. One year later, their daughter Susan was born.. In 1982 the family moved to the Houston area, where Karen quickly became a fixture in the community of Katy, TX. Karen loved travel and was a successful businesswoman. She founded Quinn Travel Services in 1990, and managed it for nearly 30 years.

Karen was ordained an Elder in Grace Communion International and served in ordained ministry in the Houston area for several years, giving sermons and leading Bible studies. She chaired the local church Advisory Council for more than 15 years. Her faith was one of her defining features. She loved God and put him first in her life.

Karen passed away on August 21, 2018 at home. She fought a brave battle against cancer during the last two years of her life. She is survived by her husband Terry, their daughter Susan, two grandchildren, and her brother Darryl. It was Karen’s desire to be laid to rest in the Quinn family plot in Leesport, PA. She will be greatly missed.

Cards may be sent to:

Terry Quinn
1503 Hannington Dr
Katy, TX 77450

Death of GCI pastor

We were saddened to learn of the recent death of Charles Akowuah, GCI pastor and church board member in Ghana, Africa.

Following a few years of ill health, Charles died at home on August 12 at age 77. He is survived by his wife Comfort, their son Richard and four grandchildren.

Charles was baptized in 1970, becoming the first GCI member in Ghana. He and his wife then served as the first administrators of GCI (then WCG) in Ghana. Charles pastored the congregation in Kusami and served on the Board of the church in Ghana for nearly 20 years. In recognition of this meritorious service, the church presented to Charles and his wife a citation in 2017 during the last church convention he attended.

Upon learning of Charles’ passing, David Bedford, one of the pastors who had served in Ghana, wrote this:

It is a sad day for the church in Ghana. Charles played such a large part in the early years of the church in Ghana and continued to do so for many years until his death. He is a great example for anyone who is serving God and his people. It is a great comfort to know about a future resurrection and what a wonderful reunion that will be for all of us. Charles was faithful and hopeful to the end of his life.

Charles’ funeral is scheduled for October 20, 2018.

Jim Kissee

We’ve been praying for GCI pastor Jim Kissee and his wife Kaye. Jim has been battling cancer for about 20 months—going through two major surgeries and two lengthy courses of radiation.

Jim Kissee

Just recently, a team of specialists reviewed Jim’s case. One oncologist thought he saw on a CT scan a type of tumor that is typically fast-growing, though he is not sure. Jim will have another scan on September 12 to confirm or disprove the observation. As Jim noted, “though this is a little disconcerting, I am thankful for the thorough review.” Jim also expressed his thanks for your prayers and encouragement.

Cards may be sent to:

Jim and Kaye Kissee
601 N. 36th St
Nixa, MO

GCI Burundi

Eugène Shibomana, GCI’s representative in the Central African nation of Burundi, requests prayer for the GCI congregation in Carama, Burundi. The President of Burundi recently issued a decree that churches in that nation will not be permitted to operate unless they have a modern church building (click here for a related news article). Unfortunately, the building our congregation recently built on the land it purchased does not meet the decree’s criteria and must be torn down. There is concern that this might lead to loss of attendance and other hardships.