A Great Missionary Just Died

Dear Ginnie and Jonathan,

I am stunned. My heart is overwhelmed for you. I have been offering up continual prayers for you and Jonathan since I heard the news. Your family has truly been an inspiration to all who have known and loved you. We are praying that our Lord will give you strength and peace for the days to follow.

Judy (Psalm 73:25-26)

First email sent out today 3/28/2012

Dear Friends,
I am writing this e-mail on behalf of my parents, Rex and Ginnie Switzer. During the past three weeks, dad and I have been in South Sudan. Last week dad began to become very ill and by Sunday we decided to get back to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for medical treatment. After getting back to Addis and getting some medical attention, it became apparent that his situation is dire. He has three strains of malaria, potential liver damage, and kidney failure. Please pray for him. We are trying to get him evacuated to better treatment.
Jonathan Switzer

Second email sent out a few hours later today

Dear Pastors,
I just received word from Jonathan Switzer that his dad, Rex went home to be with the Lord a few hours ago. Arrangements are being made to transport his body to OKC. Please be in prayer for Ginnie, Jonathan and family. Rex and Ginnie have been faithful missionaries for a long time and it was my privilege to be their sending pastor. I have known them for many years and served as her parents pastor for a few years in Oklahoma. Keep them in prayer.
Grace & Peace
Pastor Rick Stout, Enfield, CT

Missionary David Bennett sent this out when he received the news of Missionary Rex Switzer’s death.

A Soldier Has Just Left Us

A soldier has just left us, he gave his life away;
In duty for the Master he sacrificed alway.

A soldier has just left us, he died in full attire;
He died high in the saddle while facing heavy fire.

A soldier has just left us, but died not due to foes;
He died because of loving dear Sharon’s precious Rose.

A soldier has just left us for God has called him home;
His work on earth is ended, he nevermore shall roam.

A soldier has just left us, oh, hear the trumpets sound
For angels are announcing in Heav’n the news around.

A soldier has just left us, a hero strong and true;
His life has left us better, now Heaven’s better too.

A soldier has just left us, he died with dying grace;
In death the soldier’s fallen. Now who will take his place?

Closing Refrain:
Now who will take his place? Yes, who will take his place
To tell a dying world of Christ Jesus and His grace?

Email from Ginnie Switzer

March 29, 2012  Addis Ababa Ethiopia
Precious Friends

Words cannot express what your notes of compassion and prayer means to Jonathan, Katie & I.
I would desire to answer each personally but we have received countless messages & this is the only way, at this time, I can respond.

As I read the names attached to each email memories flooded back.  Each of you had a very special place in his life.  You were colleagues, friends and family.

We are still in shock.  This happened so quickly that we are still trying to process it all.  He was with the people he treasured & loved & with his son he adored, when he became sick.  He was thrilled that God would choose to allow us to finish our course in South Sudan.  It was a joy to his heart when God brought Jonathan, Katie & Jeremiah to do their internship with us.  There were father & son, but also friend & co-worker in this ministry.

The days ahead for the 4 of us are uncertain & painful but we know the One who had been before us & He knows the way.  Those are not just words on a page, it is a principle truth that comes from God’s Word which Rex loved with all his being.  Rex & I firmly believed that nothing touches us that doesn’t pass through God’s hands first.  I hold that truth close in my heart today.

We will be returning to the United State soon.  No date has been organized, as of yet.
A memorial service will be at Southwest Baptist Church in Okla City., Ok.  This church is Jonathan’s sending church & a church that has been our “family” in recent years.  A date & time has not yet been decided.

Nancy Wutka our stateside secretary will be sending an email with this information as soon as it is available.  If you have questions regarding any of this, you are welcome to contact her at


Email sent out to announce funeral

Memorial Service for Rex Switzer

Date: Tuesday April 24, 2012
Time: 2 PM

Southwest Baptist Church
1300 S.W. 54th Street
Okla City, OK  73119

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be given to the:
Rex Switzer Missions Memorial Fund
Sent to:
Southwest Baptist Church
1300 S.W. 54th Street
Okla City, OK 73119
Checks are to be make out to:
Southwest Baptist Church
Designated:  Rex Switzer Missions Memorial Fund 
Email received  from Ginnie 12/21/13
I listened today (Sat. December 21) the DVD from Southwest’s Conference last March.Your testimony sounded so familiar to me.  You talked about the “ministering spirit”.  I’ve experienced that as well several times during the time Rex was dying and after.  You were brave to say it to a group like that.  People don’t understand this kind of thing but God does it when His children are at the breaking point and have no where to turn.Bob’s message ministered to my heart as well.  That is exactly the path faith will take if you let it.He mentioned a “scholarship for plodders” to make a point.  I thought that very interesting as the Scholarship we set up in Rex’s name that was given for the first time this last May at Heartland was exactly that idea.  Jonathan and I set the criteria.  There was no grade point average necessary.  We wanted it to go to someone that was faithful in  God’s call and continued through difficulties.  I passed the word to Bro. House (sp) that when you get to the field the people that can “sing and dance” don’t usually make it.  The flash wears off after about a few months.  Your grade point average means nothing on the field.  You have to be sure that you are where God wants you and are willing to stay no matter what, until HE tells you to leave.  That takes a certain kind of person.  Rex was that kind of person.  No flash.  He just pursued God’s will in His life NO MATTER WHAT.  It lead him to his death.  He never “observed the clouds”.He preached a message on that passage I will never forget.  God tells us to count the cost, we know what we are facing to some extent but then when we put our hand to the plow, we are not to turn back.  If you observe what is around you, people, circumstances, difficulties, weather, dangers and on and on it gos…you will never accomplish anything for the cause of the kingdom.
Rex knew where God lead him and he went.  Other missionaries would talk about the dangers: animals, weather, politics, disease and so on.One time I remember hearing him tell another missionary in our home in Addis that if he didn’t want to go on a certain trip, that was ok.
Rex said, I’m going.  That is where God is leading.  I know the difficulties but it is all in God’s hands, His total control. I’m going forward until God tells me to stop….and he did, even to death.
I read something today that Rex would have and did heartily agree with, “is necessary for me to go, it is not necessary for me to live!”As I was listening to both of you speak I remembered the good times we had together in Tulsa and through the years.  Rex and I have appreciated your friendship.  Lasting friends are few.I just wanted you to know you both were an encouragement to me today as I sit in Addis Ababa.

1 thought on “A Great Missionary Just Died”

  1. Judy:

    Just read this information. I think it is great that you have done this. It simply means that a lot of people wouldn’t have known this info if you hadn’t posted this.

    Your thoughts and information is really good

    Thank you

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