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One Key Man
By Kirk Hickok
Our family moved to the city of Sertãozinho
in the interior of São Paulo state in 1976 after
having completed language study in Cuiabá,
Mato Grosso. Knowing it was going to be
difficult for a foreigner to start a work without
some Brazilian help, I asked the Lord to save
a key man who would be able to help me in
the ministry. In April 1979, just before our first
furlough, Agenor de Souza Almeida and his
wife, Maria, were both saved.
Oscar de Barros, a very capable layman, took
over the responsibilities of the church during
our first furlough. Upon our returning to
Brazil in 1980, Oscar desired to go into radio
evangelism and so for seven years we had a
radio program called “Sons de Esperança”
(Sounds of Hope). It was transmitted to many
cities and was a blessing to scores of people.
All the while, Agenor had been growing in the
faith and had been faithfully helping in all the
services of the church.
A call for help came from the nearby city of
Pontal in 1982. A discouraged missionary was
leaving the work and we took the challenge.
Agenor helped with this work and did much
preaching there. We also had the help of
Missionary Phillip Allen for a year and in
1985 Missionary Melvin Vaughn came to
help. Under his leadership the work went
forward, land was purchased, and the church
building was erected. With the work in Pontal
in capable hands, we were able to turn our
attention to starting a Bible institute in the
church in Sertãozinho to train men for the
ministry. Agenor was among the first students.
He led five men to the Lord who all graduated
from the Bible institute and who are pastoring
churches today. Also during this time, he
became pastor of the church in Pontal, and
later the pastorate was turned over to one of his
converts who had graduated from the institute.
Fa In 1987 Agenor and I went looking for another city in
which to start a work. The same day we came back
with the keys and a contract for a storefront in
the neighboring city of Pitangueiras. Agenor
partnered together with me in handling
the meetings in Pitangueiras. Land was
purchased and in 1991 construction of
the church building was started. Upon
his graduation from the Bible institute,
Agenor was ordained into the ministry
and became the pastor in Pitangueiras.
Under his leadership the church grew to
a membership of over 100. He faithfully
served there until 2013 when he joined
the Brazilian branch of BIMI and became
involved in a mission project in Rio Branco,
Amazonas. They are involved in the planting of
the New Canaan Baptist Church. Their plans are to
plant new churches in this rural area until Jesus comes
or calls them Home.
Another new work was started in 2002 under my leadership in the city of Barrinha. Agenor’s son-
in-law and daughter, Joselio and Ademilde, are in the leadership of that church. Joselio graduated
from our Bible institute and Ademilde graduated from Missionary Jimmy Rose’s institute. In 2014
Pastor Joselio took over the leadership of the church in Sertãozinho. Pray for us as we seek a new
pastor for Barrinha.
The Lord provided the key man whom we needed in the ministry. We are so
thankful for Agenor de Souza Almeida who labored alongside of us in
opening doors, not only in the cities but also now in the remote
fields of Brazil. W
Kirk & Kathy Hickok