BIMI

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Volume 17, Issue 1 Winter 2017 Finally Together by Phil Crosby Shortly after the homegoing of Missionary Allen Sligh on July 11, 2016, I was asked to pen an article about his life and ministry. However, as I mused over the time that I had known Brother Sligh and as I talked with family members, I realized that honoring Brother Sligh would be impossible without including his dear wife, Norma, who passed away in 2003. Their lifelong ministry together for our Lord touched the lives of many, and their testimony continues to bear fruit around the world. Dr. Jeff Alverson, Director/Editor Rev. Steve Nutt, Assistant Editor Dr. James Kennard, Military International Representative Allen and Norma were married in 1949 in San Antonio, where Allen was serving his first tour of duty for the United States Air Force. Their 20 years of service for our country took the Slighs to many locations; Allen was awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. Their tour of duty in Okinawa resulted in tragedy and victory; the tragic death of their 5-year-old son led both of the Slighs to Christ. And they gave themselves fully to Him. While stationed in Taiwan in 1961, the Slighs started a church in their home. Their concern about the education of missionary children there led them on a continuing mission of establishing Christian schools wherever they served. They were also very instrumental in the establishment of Maranatha Baptist Church on Okinawa, knocking on thousands of doors to invite people to church and to Christ. While stationed near Smyrna, Tennessee, Brother Sligh attended Middle Tennessee State University for teacher training. After retiring from the Air Force, the Slighs returned to Okinawa, where Brother Sligh taught and coached at Okinawa Christian School. The Slighs’ love for young people at the school as well as military personnel on Okinawa was abundantly evident. God definitely had given them a burden for others. He next led them to Chattanooga, where Brother Sligh graduated from Tennessee Temple Bible School. In 1973 the Slighs came on board with Baptist International Missions, Inc. (BIMI), to serve in the field that they knew and loved—the United States Military. In 1976 the Lord led the Slighs to Puerto Rico, where they converted an old bar into Maranatha Baptist Church. God called them to the country of Panama in 1979, where they faithfully served for 19 years. Maranatha Baptist Church in Panama became the site of numerous ministries and victories for Christ. They continued their goal of establishing Christian schools to minister to the needs of military and missionary children. After the military bases in Panama closed, the Slighs returned to Okinawa to minister at Maranatha Baptist Church, where their son-in-law, Dan Mouw, was pastoring. After serving as relief missionaries in several locations, the Slighs returned to the United States. However, their hearts were still in military missions; they planned to establish a military church in Guam. These plans could have ended with Norma’s death in 2003, but Brother Sligh continued with his goal of establishing Freedom Baptist Church as a memorial to Norma. Brother Sligh received the 2005 Distinguished Missionary Award while serving as Military Coordinator for BIMI military churches.