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Moonlighting missionaries — Texas style

Martha and Wes Queen grade World Bible School lessons as Kodi, a Lhasa Apso, watches. (Photo by Erik Tryggestad)

Blogging live from Austin, Texas
I spent the evening with a room full of moonlighting missionaries.
By day, these members of the Westside Church of Christ work as schoolteachers, truck drivers and homemakers, to name a few. But on Wednesday nights they gather in a classroom to grade courses and prepare lessons for their students in World Bible School.
“For me, it’s a way to be a missionary without having to leave my family,” said church member Dawn Skupin.

Bertha Roggendorff prepares World Bible School lessons in Spanish for the mail. (Photo by Erik Tryggestad)

I’m in Austin on a brief reporting trip to learn more about the 37-year-old ministry (although, as I found out today, its origins date back much earlier).
I visited World Bible School’s headquarters in nearby Cedar Park and talked to members of the staff. Most of them teach students by correspondence in addition to their jobs.
I had lunch with Ernest Bullard, a member of the Westover Hills Church of Christ who became a Christian after studying WBS in prison. Now he teaches students around the world. I got a copy of his testimonial from a WBS fundraising dinner in Austin.
“In my life, I’ve followed some trails that have been dark, cold and lonely,” he said. “But with God, I’ve always been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now life is good.”

Mary Jane and Tex Williams at their home in Cedar Park, Texas. (Photo by Erik Tryggestad)

I also got to speak with the legendary R.H. “Tex” Williams, who served as president of WBS for nearly 20 years. We talked about his days playing college football, serving as a missionary in South Africa and his buddy Abe Lincoln. (I’m not kidding.)

  • Feedback
    How can I get back into World Bible School? I tried several times but can’t get communication anymore.They seem hesitant to answer my emails.I was a teacher a few years ago.I thought it would be easy to get back in but no,not so.
    Calvin Ramsey
    calvin ramsey
    November, 18 2010

    To become a teacher (or to re-connect) contact Sherri Hays at the WBS office. Her email is [email protected] and the phone number is 512-345-8190. It should be easy.
    Beth Reese
    Beth Reese
    November, 18 2010

    WBS is a fantastic way to be involved. Our congregation (Highland Lakes church of Christ in Kingsland, TX) is very active in a WBS effort in West Africa and we handle 400-600 lessons every 30-50 days. Its a great work to be part of. And yes, Tex Williams’s good friend was Abe Lincoln. My wife and I were married by Abe 33 years ago.
    Ken Darnell
    November, 19 2010

    I know Wes and Martha from a different time in life. Whatever the Queens are involved in, it will be a worthwhile project to say the least! Wes, send me a line! All the Best, Dave
    Dave Rotzell
    April, 19 2011

Filed under: News Extras Travel Reports

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