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India workers Ron and Karen Clayton were married for 56 years.
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‘The most fruitful mission field in the world’

A global audience remembers Ron Clayton, who mobilized a network of 50,000 preachers in India.

A recent funeral hosted by the Hamilton Church of Christ in northwest Alabama was viewed on Facebook more than 3,000 times and generated more than 300 comments — mostly from Christians in India. 

“We all miss you, uncle Clayton,” wrote Aruna Kumari of Hyderabad.

“The church has lost a great warrior of the Lord.”

“One day for sure we will all meet.” Prabhakar Chilaka of Khammam wrote, “The church has lost a great warrior of the Lord. I personally lost my spiritual father.”

Ron Clayton, founder of India Missions, died March 3 in Alabama at age 76. For the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic had prevented him and his wife, Karen, from returning to India, the country where they served for 42 years.

Following in the footsteps of his mentor, missionary J.C. Bailey, Clayton believed that India, a predominantly Hindu nation of 1.3 billion souls, is “the most fruitful mission field in the world,” said one of his three sons, Jeff, during the service.



“This has to be an Indian work,” Ron Clayton told the Church of Christ in Spring Valley in Tuscumbia, Ala., during a June 2020 presentation. In four decades of ministry, some 40,000 denominational preachers were converted through India Missions, he said. He worked with more than 50,000 Indian preachers and reported that in 2019 some 703,000 gospel meetings were conducted, and 1.2 million people were “born again.” 

In the past year, India Missions has collected aid for suffering believers. Thus far, the pandemic has left 600-plus widows of Indian preachers in its wake, Jeff Clayton said.

A Church of Christ in Dornala, India, hosts a “Heartfelt Condolence Meeting.”

A Church of Christ in Dornala, India, hosts a “Heartfelt Condolence Meeting.”

Despite the hardships, Indian Christians continue to share the Gospel, said another of Ron Clayton’s sons, Kyle. 

And despite the loss of his father, Kyle Clayton said, “The work in India is going to continue.”

Filed under: Church of Christ India International memorial missionary Ron Clayton Top Stories

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