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Dennis Probst

Preaching to the hearts of Japan
"Come and share your master’s happiness!"
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, 2016

Dennis came to know the Lord as a young child, and after graduating from high school, he rededicated his life to Christian service. While attending Kentucky Mountain Bible College, he was called to be a missionary to Japan. He met Priscilla, who had also been called to be a missionary. After they were married, they pastored a Wesleyan church in Kentucky for three years.

After being told by The Wesleyan Church, then based in Marion, Indiana, that it was not possible for them to work in Japan, the Probsts traveled across town to the WGM office. President Hollis Abbott said the Mission had been praying for 10 years for two couples to serve in Japan and welcomed them on board. The Lord used Dennis and Priscilla as answers to prayer. They arrived in Japan in 1974 and raised their four children there: Rebecca, Mark, Debby, and Susanna.

During his many years in Japan, Dennis was involved in evangelism, teaching, preaching, and administration. In everything he did, Dennis gave 110 percent. A gifted preacher, he cared deeply for the hearts of the Japanese people. His ability to fluently speak Japanese opened doors for him to speak at evangelistic campaigns around the country.

He loved working with young people and equipping them to reach their nation for Christ. Dennis taught for many years at Immanuel Bible Training College and led Bible studies at the Kuba Student Center.

“The Probsts developed relationships with many Japanese over their years in Japan,” shared Kevin and Becky Zirkle, who were longtime co-workers with Dennis and Priscilla. “Dennis and Priscilla lived by faith during their career and were bold to share the gospel.”

This burden for Japanese people continued after their retirement in 2012. Even as Dennis attended weekly prayer meetings, visited the sick, led Bible studies, and preached on occasion in Wilmore, Kentucky, his heart remained in Japan.

World Gospel Mission honors Dennis for his 39 years of faithful service. Although we mourn the loss of a dearly loved friend and brother, we rejoice that he is with his Lord and Savior today. Matthew 25:23 certainly applies to his life: “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”

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