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Pioneer medical missionary Henry Farrar dies

Dr. Henry Farrar, a pioneering medical missionary in Africa, died Feb. 22 in a Nashville, Tenn., hospital. He was 83.
Six days before his death, Farrar fell and hit his head after arriving at Carthage, Tenn., General Hospital where he worked. The fall caused a neck fracture and complications from which he never recovered.
In 1965 Farrar became the first located surgeon at Nigerian ChristianHospital, a church-supported medical mission in southeastern Nigeria.The West End Church of Christ in Nashville sponsored Farrar.
British physician Dr. Robert Whittaker succeeded Farrar 20 years later.Whittaker came to Nigeria after reading an article by Farrar invitingphysicians to spend vacation time at the hospital.
Farrar earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee. Inaddition to his work in Nigeria, he served as a surgeon at ChimalaMission Hospital in Zambia. In 2005 a leader of the Asa community inNigeria gave him the honorary title of chief. He and his wife, Grace,had six children.
At his bedside, Farrar’s family sang his favorite hymns, including “Letthe Lower Lights be Burning” and “We’re Marching to Zion,” saiddaughter Marty Highfield.
Janice Bingham, associate professor in the College of Nursing atHarding University in Searcy, Ark., described Farrar as an “icon inmedical missions.”
In a message to Farrar, Bingham wrote, “You have influenced literallythousands of people to serve the Great Physician in Africa.”
Leave a message for the Farrar family at Henry Farrar’s Caringbridge site — www.caringbridge.org/visit/henryfarrar .
Memorial services:
Feb. 27, 2:30 p.m. — College Hills Church of Christ, 1401 Leeville Pike,  Lebanon, Tenn., (615) 444-9502, www.collegehills.org.
March 1, 2 p.m. — Harding University, Searcy, Ark., Heritage Auditorium. Visitation: noon to 2 p.m. in the Liberty Room of the Heritage Center.

  • Feedback
    The theme of the year 2013 in the somerset church of christ;Gal 6:2 reflects me to the last visit sermon of Dr,Farrar to my home congregation Itungwa Church of Christ,He said:let walk in the manner of love,receive the crown and worship with the Angels in the Heaven for this is the will of God.At his departed,he kissed his friend a fellow worker Eze Mbaraonye and said to him we will continue our fellowship in Heaven,they couldn’t meet again in this earth. Dr Farrar was a Shepherd and will be missed by the flocks.
    Chinenye Eze Mbaraonye
    Somerset West School of Preaching.
    Chinenye Eze Mbaraonye
    Itungwa Church of Christ
    Aba, Abia
    May, 29 2013

    Correction: February 21 was the correct date of Henry Farrar’s final communion with his family here on this side of heaven. (I trust I am forgiven for being distracted the week of his death.)
    Marty Farrar Highfield
    University COC, Malibu, CA
    Agoura Hills, CA
    February, 21 2012

    On February 28, 2010 Henry Farrar took communion with his family. He had not missed communion on Sunday since his baptism at age 11, and he did not miss this one. Finger dipped in flour–the ultimate unleavened bread–and finger dipped in juice. “Standing on the Promises,” and “I know that my Redeemer” lives. Dr.Henry ‘sang’ these with us, mouthing every word around his breathing tube. What a powerful witness to our faith. -Marty
    Marty Farrar Highfield
    University Church of Christ
    Agoura Hills, CA
    March, 8 2010

    I was honored to have worked with Dr. Farrar at NCH for a few weeks in the 70’s. His kindness and love for the people inspired me to do additional medical mission work in Cental America. He was a great man and will be missed by all. My sympathy to Grace, Marty and the rest of his family.
    Jon Jernigan
    Highland Church of Christ
    Memphis, TN
    March, 1 2010

    We were in Nigeria when the Farrar family first came to Nigeria. They were a great inspiration for us. We were about 40 miles from them but did get together – our children enjoyed the Farrar children. He and Grace have been faithful in their service to God.
    Dottie M. Beckloff
    Woodmont Hills Church of Christ
    Nashville, Tennessee
    February, 24 2010

    The death of Brother Farrar is a terrible shock to me and my family in Nigeria. I had the honor of meeting with him and his medical team at Nigerian Christian Hospital Nlagu many times and the most recent visit he made, I took a sick Brother to him and he did a wonderful work that challenged my intelligence.
    Dr. Henry, is a wonderful man, God created you specially, and I wonder why men grow old and die. Your immense contribution to humanity and to the Lord’s Church is worthy of note. I and family, send our condolence to your bereaved family and all the saints and thousands of sick people who by your help are healed today and enjoying a good life. Rest in Peace, Aduie!
    Evangelist UChenna F. Bekee
    Church of Christ Iriebe
    Portharcourt, Rivers State
    February, 24 2010

    My deepest sympathy to Grace and family. I have nothing but fond memories of our serving in Nigeria together in the mid 60’s. Dr. Farrar exemplified all the traits of a godly servant. The world is richer because he came our way. We shall meet again someday! With Christian love, Michael L. King
    Michael L. King
    Orange Park, Florida
    February, 24 2010

    I had the priviledge of working with Dr. Farrar in 1972 while a medical student and started a lifelong passion for medical missions and Africa. I have strived to pattern our work in Zambia after his example in Nigeria. God bless his family in our time of greates loss.
    Allen Neese, MD
    Northwest Church of Christ
    Peoria, Illinois
    February, 24 2010

    The news of the passing of our dearly beloved Dr. Farrar struck a blow to my heart. I always rejoiced in hearing about the great work he was doing in Africa. My heart is in the work in several missions in Africa and I was cognizant of his great work for the people he loved. My heart goes out to Sister Grace Farrar in the loss of a wonderful husband. May God bless and comfort the entire family.
    Allen Rice, Fresno, CA
    Allen Rice
    College Church of Christ
    Fresno, CA
    February, 24 2010

    Dr. Farrar was a kind and gentle Christian gentleman. I was at Harding with his oldest son, Paul, and was invited into their home more than once. Dr. and Mrs. Farrar were (and will always be) remembered for their service to the Great God of the Universe and His Son, the only Savior man will know. Grace and Peace to the Farrar family.
    David O’Neil
    S. College church of Christ, Tahlequah, OK
    Tahlequah, OK
    February, 23 2010

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