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Carol Lister

Teaching the Good News
"My love for Him has increased a hundredfold. I must help people to know the joy of serving Jesus."
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, 2010

Carol Lister’s remarkable missions career spanned four countries—Kenya, Barbados, the American Indian Field, and Uganda—where she served with her late husband, Ken. Carol was raised in New Jersey and did not grow up in a Christian home. It wasn’t until she was in her teens that her parents and sister came to know the Lord. When she was 14 years old, she felt God calling her to be a missionary in Kenya.

She attended Vennard College to earn a degree in theology and was determined not to be distracted from her goal of becoming a missionary. “I had this idea in my mind not to date anyone who was not called to Kenya,” she said. “But I was falling in love with this man. I knew I was in trouble! So I told Ken I was called to Kenya, and that’s when he told me that he was, too.” Carol and Ken were married in 1951 while they were students at Vennard.

After ministering in the Philadelphia area for several years, they applied for service with World Gospel Mission. In 1961, Ken and Carol arrived in Kenya with their two children. Their family would eventually grow to five children: Sharon, Linda, Steve, Lillian, and Sandra. While in Kenya, Carol was heavily involved in teaching, serving at Kenya Highlands Bible College, the government-run Kericho Teachers Training College, Tenwek Secondary School, and Cheptenye Intermediate School. She also served as a preacher and a translator and prepared teaching materials.

“I loved seeing souls won to the Lord,” said Carol in February 2010. “One day in Kenya when I was teaching a class, all 30 students came to know the Lord!”

 In 1986, Carol and Ken transferred to Barbados through a partnership with Churches of Christ in Christian Union. Carol served as a secretary, a teacher, a counselor, and a preacher. After serving in Barbados for eight years, they moved to the American Indian Field and spent two years on the Tohono O’odham reservation in Arizona. When they were about to retire, the Listers were asked to go to Uganda for a year to cover for another missionary couple who was going on furlough.

Ken and Carol retired from WGM in 1996 after 37 years of service. They moved to Washington Court House, Ohio, and soon were involved in ministry at their church. Sadly, on September 29, 1997, Ken passed away suddenly.

“I was amazed at the grace of God during these weeks without Ken,” Carol wrote to her supporters after Ken’s death. “My love for Him has increased a hundredfold. I must help people to know the joy of serving Jesus.”

Carol continued to be involved in her church, teaching Sunday School, serving as calling minister, and writing. She has written two books—Rainbows from Tears and Timely Words for a Troubled World.

Carol passed away on July 19, 2010. With deep appreciation, World Gospel Mission honors the memory of Carol Lister for selflessly giving of her gifts and talents to the Lord’s service. Her witness and testimony have touched countless lives around the world for Jesus Christ.

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