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Terry Duncan

Serving in leadership in Kenya and on the Support Staff
"Terry left a legacy in buildings and programs in Kenya—but most importantly, in people."
By Jim and Alice Vanderhoof

Terry and Karen Duncan met while attending Kentucky Mountain Bible College and were married for 46 years. They have four children, all of whom are married: Robert (Jessica), Brent (Destiny), Tiana (Eric), and Teresa (Wray); and five grandchildren: Riley, Naomi, Noelle, Gracie, and Elijah.

God called Terry out of a career in construction in the United States. Terry and Karen first went to Tenwek Hospital in 1977, where Terry served as the construction supervisor. Later, he oversaw the design and building of Africa Gospel Church’s largest church, Immanuel AGC, in Kericho—which will celebrate 25 years this year.

From 1980 until 1994, Terry served as teacher, administrator, and business manager at Kenya Highlands Bible College. Several construction projects were carried out or initiated by Terry as he brought high standards of quality and beauty to everything he did.

Terry then served as WGM’s Kenya Country Director from 1995 to 2006 and later as WGM’s Africa Regional Director from 2006 to 2012. He and Karen were always gracious hosts to fellow missionaries in their home, though he never shirked from beating everyone in croquet, which was permanently set up in their back yard. Terry traveled often to visit WGM missionaries—some in very remote places—and was good at mentoring new missionaries on the field, many of whom would later go on to have effective ministries in Uganda and Kenya. Even after he left Kenya, he gave wise guidance and rich encouragement to those who took over his roles.

Missionaries and nationals alike deeply respected Terry’s input in the many committees and councils that he either led or sat on. He was a visionary who saw the potential in people and organizations and had the patience to see ideas come to fruition. A burden for children in Kenya resulted in the AGC Baby Centre at Ngata. He saw university students as a strategic group to be mentored and sent out, planting seeds for the University Discipleship Movement. Terry took every opportunity to promote AGC Missions, Radio Injili, and many other AGC ministries. His last accomplishment as Regional Director was to bring together the East Africa AGC leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi, believing that we accomplish more together than separately.

Terry and Karen relocated to the United States in 2013, where he served as the assistant to the vice president of International Ministries and Missionary Emeritus Program Coordinator. In all his years of ministry, Terry maintained excellent relationships with the AGC leadership, which provided WGM with many years of fruitful ministry alongside AGC.

One of the finest tributes to Terry has come from the Bishop of AGC, Rev. Dr. Robert Lang’at. After Terry's passing on October 11, 2018, Dr. Lang'at wrote: “Terry was a very humble, dedicated, diligent, sacrificial and most loving missionary I ever knew. Terry was the only missionary I know of to have ever been ordained “Reverend” by AGC, under the leadership of our late beloved Bishop Rev. Dr. Joseph Rono. He rejoiced with AGC in our success, and he cried with us during the most difficult moments. He loved and listened to the church. He gave wise counsel and leadership to fellow missionaries and respected all, young and old.”

Terry and Karen truly invested in building followers of Jesus Christ in Kenya. A former missionary writes, “Everywhere we go in AGC land, people ask: ‘How are the Duncans? Where are their children? Are they all well?’ And many of them ask this in Kipsigis, which both he and Karen knew so well! Terry left a legacy in buildings and programs—but most importantly, in people.”

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