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Loren Clark

Planting the Word in Keyna
"" of prayer, loving soul, and passionate preacher.""
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, 2009

This tribute was presented by President Hubert Harriman at Loren’s funeral on November 10, 2007.

The World Gospel Mission family joins the company of family and friends around the world who remember and honor the life of Loren D. Clark. We extend our sympathy to Lois, Louise, and your family as we celebrate with you the life of this one who served so faithfully. Those who served with Loren consistently use three phrases in describing him: man of prayer, loving soul, and passionate preacher.

Who would have guessed that a young farm boy from Sunnyside, Washington, would spend 40 years planting the seed of the Word of God in rural Kenya? Loren’s teachers recognized his gifts and encouraged him to train as a radio announcer. However, God had other plans for those gifts. Loren’s parents suggested that he attend Cascade College for at least a year. It was during this time that he surrendered completely to the Lord and received his call to missionary service. He also met and married his lifelong love, Lois Starkey.

The young couple applied to WGM and received an appointment to China in 1947. By the time they had raised their support and arranged travel, it had become evident that China was no longer open to missionaries. After much prayer, the Clarks felt that God made it clear that they were to serve in Kenya. They arrived there on October 8, 1949, and they raised their two children—Louise and Johnny—in Kenya.

Evangelism and church planting occupied their first term of service. Their second term focused on a rugged pioneer ministry to the Chebolungu area. They opened the station at Kaboson, the center from which they worked for many of their years in Kenya. Loren often traveled throughout the field with a “gospel tent,” holding meetings in remote villages. During their third term, a lay-training program and a short-term Bible school began under Loren’s direction. Later, they worked with Africa Gospel Church in the “church advance” campaign. Through this campaign, existing churches grew and new ones were established.

But it was the Theological Education by Extension (TEE) program that engaged most of Loren’s efforts for the remainder of their years of service. Loren was the director of TEE, which began in 1972 with 150 students. By the time the Clarks officially retired in 1989, 800 students were enrolled.

Today, church buildings dot the countryside of Kenya—one of them in Kaboson stands as a memorial to the Clarks’ son, Johnny, who drowned in a Kenya river in 1957. Today, 1,300 Kenyans are studying in the TEE program and countless more have completed the training. Today, Loren Clark is in the presence of the Lord and with many whom his life—a life lived for Christ—touched.

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