Our church currently partners with several missionaries. Here is a brief description of their positions.
Rev. & Mrs. Gordon Gartrell
In 2012 Gordon and Dorothy returned to Brazil, to begin a church-planting project with the United Presbyterian Church of Brazil in Belem, Para, Brazil, at the mouth of the Amazon River. They had spent 18 years in Brazil working in church-planting and evangelism with another Brazilian Presbyterian denomination, until that assignment ended in 2008. Gordon grew up in Brazil where his parents were Presbyterian missionaries for 31 years. He is a a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary. Dorothy holds a masters degree in Christian Education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond. The Gartrells have three grown children. For a full profile and recent letters, click here.
Rev. & Dr. Donald Wehmeyer
Donald and Martha have served for more than 30 years in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Donald is director of the School of Continuing Education at San Pablo Theological Seminary and also directs the school’s retreat center. In those positions he organizes conferences and workshops, teaches theology courses, and leads workshops in many of Mexico’s rural areas. San Pablo Seminary trains students from throughout Central America. Our youth group traveled to Merida with Son Servants on three different summers to help with construction of the new campus for the seminary. In the summers of 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2011 groups of adults and youth from First Presbyterian spent a week in Merida, helping with church and retreat center construction and leading Vacation Bible Schools. Martha, who is a native of Merida, ministers from the home as a volunteer medical doctor. Donald was born in Wisconsin and has an M.Div. degree from Austin Presbyterian Seminary. Martha earned her MD degree from the University of Yucatan School of Medicine. The Wehmeyers have three grown children. For a full profile, click here.
Rev. & Mrs. Michael S. Weller
Michael and Rachel have served for many years in Ethiopia. Currently Michael is PC(USA)’s regional liaison for the Horn of Africa, where PC(USA) works with partner churches in Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Rachel serves as health coordinator for two Presbyterian Synods in Ethiopia. They now live in Gambella, Ethiopia. Michael was born in Durham, NC and has a M.Div. degree from Union Theological Seminary. Rachel has a RN diploma and was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They have three children. Both have done mission work in Egypt. For a full profile and recent letters, click here.
Mwandi Hospital Project
The Mwandi Christian Hospital is located in the village of Mwandi, on the Zambezi River, midway between Livingstone and Sesheke, in the southwest corner of Zambia. The hospital is a mission of the United Church of Zambia, which has been assisted in this work by the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Medical Benevolence Foundation, and Medical Missions, Inc. In addition, a management team, operating out of the Thyatira Presbyterian Church at Mill Bridge, Salisbury, N.C., provides leadership and logistical support, and guides the fund raising efforts for the hospital community. Up until 1986, the hospital was run by the government and was quite run down. In that year, the United Church of Zambia assumed control, and with the help of Presbyterian medical missionary Salvador de la Torre, rebuilt it into one of the better medical facilities in the country. In 1990 we joined more than 20 other area Presbyterian churches in raising funds and providing manpower for the construction of an electrical substation and electrical wiring at the Mwandi Hospital. Between 1990 and 1998 our church alone raised in excess of $55,000 for this and related projects. Through the years, seven of our members have joined work teams in Mwandi helping to install the wiring at the hospital, helping to install a walk-in cooler and a morgue cooler, helping with general repairs and maintenance, and assisting with a new computer system. In recent years we have contributed through our budget to the project’s ongoing expansion and ministry in and around the community of Mwandi. As of 2014, we have completed a three-year project to construct a new Sanctuary for the church in Mwandi.
To learn more about ECO Presbyterian mission activities please visit: PARTNERSHIPS: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.