Congratulations on the Centennial Anniversary of Baptists work in Israel. Kentucky Baptists have had a long historic connection with Baptist work in the Holy Land. We are grateful for the great work that God has done among your believers and churches.
Dr. Leo Eddleman and his wife, Sarah, were the first missionaries with Kentucky connections to serve in Palestine in the late 1930’s until the outbreak of WWII. Dr. Eddleman became president of Georgetown College where he envisioned graduates serving as volunteers with the Israel mission, accompanied with the opportunity to study Hebrew. Bill and Alice Marshall and Norman and Martha Lytle were among the first graduates to serve in 1957. Later the Foreign Mission Board (now IMB) developed the Journeyman Program with similar goals when Bill Marshall was on staff. Dr. Marshall served as Executive Director-Treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention 1983 until his retirement in 1997. His passion was missions.
Others from Kentucky who have served in Israel include Bob and Eddie Fields, Milton and Martha Murphey, Ray and Bev Hicks, Lee and Sarah Bivens, and David and Marsha Smith who currently serve with you.
We rejoice with you in this significant celebration of God’s grace and we look forward to what God has planned for you in future years and with future generations.
May the prayer of the Apostle Paul continue to be yours, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved,” Romans 10:1.
Bill F. Mackey
Kentucky Baptist Convention