Feb 28

Remembering Rev. Dr. John (Jack) William Chinchen posted by John Sorensen on Feb 28, 2019

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Jack Chinchen, who made a profound impact in the Kingdom of God in Africa and beyond through his radio ministry and service as a pastor. Please allow me to express my gratitude to Jack and the entire Chinchen family for the work done to produce the tremendous leaders that have come from the three campuses of the African Bible College. I truly believe these leaders to be some of the finest in Africa. We are committed to continue the partnership between Evangelism Explosion International and the African Bible College as a beacon of hope for all of Africa. There is no doubt that many will be in Heaven one day because Jack boldly proclaimed the name of Jesus Christ! We offer our sincere condolences to his wife, children, and family during this time of mourning and celebration, knowing that he is with our Lord and Savior, and that we will join him again one day for eternity.

Rev. John B. Sorensen, D.D.
President and CEO
Evangelism Explosion International

Remembering Rev. Dr. John (Jack) William Chinchen (1924-2019)
Released by African Bible Colleges

Rev. Dr. John (Jack) William Chinchen, Founder of African Bible Colleges, went to be with our Lord and Savior on Tuesday, February 26, at 6:40 pm at the age of 94. Dr. Chinchen died in Africa, where he served Christ for nearly 50 years as a pioneer missionary and one of the continent’s great trailblazers of Christian higher education.

Jack Chinchen was born on June 30, 1924, in Detroit, Michigan. He was the first born of Arthur and Beth Chinchen and grandson of John D. Crummy, founder of FMC. Jack grew up in San Jose, California, with his brother Stanley, who is now 90.

In 1969 a Liberia evangelist, Augustus B. Marwieh, invited Jack and Nell to come to Liberia to train village pastors. In January, 1970, Jack and Nell, along with four of their seven children moved to ENI Mission in the jungles of Sinoe County, Liberia. During Jack’s seven years at the mission he built fourteen buildings and cut a six-mile road through the bush. Jack also initiated one of the first short-term mission trip programs, which he named “Vacangelize” (vacation and evangelization)

God gave Jack a vision for Christian colleges in Africa. Jack’s goal was to provide in Africa the same caliber of higher Christian education that was traditionally only available abroad. The Chinchen’s modeled the colleges after Moody and Columbia Bible College, with the goal of making the education relevant to the African context while keeping God’s word at the center of all instruction and activities of the institution.

At the same time, Jack felt called to found Bible College by Radio, which teaches through books of the Bible while interacting with students and graduates of African Bible College. Bible College by Radio has been broadcast across Africa for 45 years on SIM’s ELWA, Trans World Radio, and African Bible College’s own radio stations in Liberia, Malawi and Uganda.

In 1978, the first African Bible College was opened in Yekepa, Liberia. It would be the country’s first 4-year Christian university. Ten years later, the Chinchens established a second African Bible College campus in Malawi, where it was again the first 4-year Christian college in the country. Today, the Malawi campus encompass a number of important support ministries including the ABC Christian Academy, the ABC Mission Hospital, Radio ABC and ABC-TV.

Jack and Nell have established four ABC radio stations in Africa, one each in Liberia and Uganda, two in Malawi (Lilongwe and Mzuzu), as well as a Christian television station that operates from the ABC campus in Malawi. They established a third African Bible College campus in Kampala, Uganda in 2005—today known as African Bible University.

Jack has always loved teaching and preaching God’s Word. He taught many Bible and Theology courses at African Bible College over the years, but his great love was teaching through the Book of Joshua and teaching his students how to preach. Jack had a great passion for helping others discover the promises, hope, and salvation through Christ found in scripture. His passion for God’s Word is reflected in the motto inscribe on the front gate of all three college campuses, “Teaching the Treasures of God’s Truth.”

Dr. Chinchen was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (LL.D) from Biola University in 1992 for his pioneering work in Christian higher education in Africa.

Isaiah 18 gave Jack the firm belief that Africa had a great destiny. He looked forward to the Lord’s coming again and believed Africa would be God’s final stronghold for Christ upon His returns.

Dr. Chinchen is survived by his wife, Nell Barksdale Robertson Chinchen of Jackson, Mississippi, who co-founded Christian colleges and universities with Jack in Liberia (1976), Malawi (1989) and Uganda (2005) – and their seven children – Bill, Vann, Del, Lisa, Paul, Palmer and Marion Sue. Jack has 39 grandchildren and 40 great grandchildren- along with, as Christ promised in Mark 10, tens of thousands of children who came to know and love God as a result of his 50 years of service in Africa from 1970-2019.

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