The Impact of One Life - Ed Stevens

One Life Matters – Ed Stevens

by Mark Powell, Director of General Baptist International Missions

For many years, General Baptists have celebrated the life of Rev. Ed Stevens. Ed Stevens was a missionary who served on Guam, Saipan, Tinian, and Chi Chi Jima. He died at an early age while en route to Guam to receive medical treatment. As is often stated, we honor his sacrifice each year through an annual international missions’ offering on the Sunday closest to September 22 in honor of his passing. But is that the only reason we honor this singular life? Not at all.

Ed Stevens accomplished an unbelievable amount of good in a few very short years. In doing so his life reminds all of us how one single life, consecrated to God, can have an eternal impact on thousands.

The length of Ed Stevens’ ministry as a missionary was from 1946-1952. Following his ordination in 1945, Ed was on his way to Guam less than one year later. He served briefly on Guam from 1946 – 1947 where General Baptists are the oldest Protestant denomination. He then pioneered a new work on Saipan when General Baptists became the first protestant denomination on that island – making him not only a missionary but a church planter. The next two years were miraculous as Ed Stevens began a new outreach on the nearby island of Tinian to a leper colony, led Vincente Silencino to the Lord and baptized him, and laid the foundation for a new work on the island of Chi Chi Jima as the result of a hospital visit to a man from that island.

Ed Stevens in two short years accomplished more than many would in a lifetime! As a missionary, he pioneered Saipan, Tinian, and Chi Chi Jima. As a church planter, he started the Saipan Community Church which has literally touched thousands of lives. As a pastor/missionary, he ministered to the hurting in the leper colony on Tinian. As a personal evangelist, he led many to the Lord, among whom was a “Filipino boy” who would later become our first General Baptist missionary to the Philippines impacting thousands of lives and producing over 300 churches to date! As a pastor/evangelist he would make a hospital visit to a man from Chi Chi Jima resulting in a new work for General Baptists on that island.

The product of these two years has made an eternal impact on so many that only heaven knows the singular value of this one man’s life! The ministries on Guam, Saipan, and the Philippines continue to change lives to the present day.

Ed Stevens spent two years back in the States from 1949 – 1951 where he finished his degree program at Oakland City University, served as pastor, and tragically lost a son in an accident. Despite the pain of that loss, Ed, his wife Gertie, and son David would return to Chi Chi Jima in the fall of 1951 to continue the work he had pioneered three years earlier. In September 1952 Ed Stevens would fall ill and seek medical attention on Guam. His ship was in sight of Guam and ready to enter the harbor when God called this faithful servant home.

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A Calling to Go - Launch GO

A Calling to Go – Launch GO

by Kaebra LaGrange, LAUNCH GO Intern

Finding your purpose, or calling, in life is a difficult task. Many of us go through life searching for it. What is our purpose, and how are we as individuals best able to serve God? That was a question I had been dealing with until recently. It was not until I went on a life-changing trip that I truly found my calling and what I wanted to do with my life. I went to Saipan on a missionary internship opportunity and left changed.

For most of my life I had sort of just glided through. I went to school and decided to settle with an easy major. I felt no calling toward the degree I was pursuing. I was simply doing it to finish school and to be done. I knew it was a fast track way to a decent and easy life. I wouldn’t venture out of my comfort zone. I had everything planned out. That was until God threw me a curveball and my plan crumbled. It felt as though my whole life had crumbled. I now had no idea what I wanted to do with my life or how I was going to do it. I was searching for God, for answers, and for my purpose.

God then proceeded to open doors for me and He led me to General Baptist International Ministries. I applied for a missions internship and was thrilled when I got accepted. I was going to go overseas and serve somewhere. It was scary. I had no idea what to expect. I was sent to a school in Saipan. I had no idea where Saipan even was, but I was excited to go. I knew this was God’s plan for me and I was eager to go where He led me.

God orchestrates trials and tribulations in life to grow us, deepen our faith, and to push us where He wants us to be. If it wasn’t for my trials I wouldn’t have ended up in Saipan and I wouldn’t have found my calling and love for teaching. In Saipan I felt God truly speaking to me and showing me what He wants for my life. Continue reading