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Eldred and Luanne Kelley

Retired Support Staff
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, Adapted by Kateland Vernon, Staff Writer, October 2021

In 1991, Eldred and Luanne Kelley began an 18-year journey with World Gospel Mission when they left the church they had been pastoring in Cass City, Michigan, and moved to Avon Park, Florida.

Born and raised in small towns in Michigan, Eldred and Luanne met at a church camp. They went to Asbury College (Kentucky) together, fell in love, and got married. Eldred’s dream was to become a school superintendent, but the Lord had other plans. After teaching school for a few years after college, he felt that God was calling him into the ministry. They returned to Wilmore, Kentucky, and Eldred graduated from Asbury Seminary. Meanwhile, Eldred and Luanne were blessed with two children, Doug and Michael.

After a brief stint as an assistant pastor in Saginaw, Michigan, Eldred became the senior pastor of a church in his hometown of Cass City. Eldred and Luanne spent 18 years ministering in that church, and Luanne also worked as the office manager for a home care agency. For several years, they had been attending Avon Park Camp in Florida, where they met WGM board member Doug Carter. Doug invited Eldred to serve with WGM as the Southeast Regional facilitator, assisting missionaries on homeland ministry assignment and speaking in churches and camps. Eldred also became the president of Avon Park Camp.

Six years after they moved to Florida, Luanne took over the responsibilities of Southeast Regional facilitator and Eldred became WGM’s missionary evangelist. In addition to speaking at camps and conferences, they traveled to many WGM fields to minister to missionaries at spiritual retreats. “We love the missionaries!” Luanne said, thanking God for various struggles in her life that equipped her to minister to them.

After retiring in March 2009, Eldred and Luanne became heavily involved in their church. Eldred is on staff as the director of missions, small groups, and pastoral care. Luanne volunteered at their church and enjoyed being able to dedicate more time to Avon Park Camp. They also were able to spend more time with family, including their six grandchildren.

“It has been a glorious 18 years for us,” said Luanne before her passing on October 2, 2021. “We have thoroughly enjoyed our ministry with WGM. We have met some of God’s choicest people. It’s been a very good journey for us, a positive time in our lives.”

Eldred and Luanne touched countless individuals through their ministry and loved encouraging others to find their places in God’s Great Commission.

With God guiding their steps and having the faith to trust Him, Eldred and Luanne welcomed this new stage of the journey, holding onto the promise in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you.”

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