Dr. Henrietta Mears mentored me. But Jean Darnell befriended me. My life and His Ministry were forever changed. I had the privilege to be mentored under two titans of the Christian faith. Although different in their approach, both of these Spirit-led women had a profound influence on our lives.
I was mentored by Dr. Henrietta Mears in the late 1950s. At the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, she served as director of Christian Education. Her passion for teaching led her to create the world’s largest Sunday School and Gospel Light Press. She influenced the life of Billy Graham and Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.
Jean Darnell was a student of the charismatic evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. Sister Aimee founded the Foursquare Gospel Church and Angelus Temple in Los Angeles. She led the charismatic renewal that swept the world.
Jean and I met at St. Mark’s Episcopal Prayer Group in Van Nuys, CA. Jean often spoke and ministered there.
In 1966, she resigned from Angelus Temple and formed the Foundation for His Ministry. (Chuck Pereau was one of her seven board members.) Jean was going on an around-the-world trip to share the Good News with others. The Foundation would enable friends to financially support her ministry.
So Jean flew to England and I went to Baja, Mexico. We wrote each other throughout the years and she supported our vision for the Mission. (Read Charla’s Children for the full story.) Jean led us to Isaiah 58:6-12 which had prophetic significance for us … “Dividing our bread with the poor. Bringing the homeless into our home. Rebuilding the ancient ruins.”
It was Jean who offered us the name “Foundation for His Ministry” to save us the expense and legalities of forming a new corporation. She was with us at the beginning, and fifty years later Jean spoke at our Anniversary celebration for the Baja Mission.
There are many stories I could share about our precious sister Jean. She was a faithful witness to the nations and our beloved friend. While our world may have dimmed; the heavens surely shine brighter with her presence.