- Currently serving: Blantyre, Malawi
- Home church: Abilene (Kans.) BIC
- Serving since: 2011
- Married: 1972
- Children: Brian and Karen
Earl and Lois Hess were both raised in the Brethren in Christ denomination, accepting Christ as their personal savior at an early age. A preacher’s son, Earl was actively involved in summer mission’s activities and the Brethren in Christ Navajo Mission, N.M., eventually graduating from Messiah College with a degree in biblical literature. Lois was a deacon’s daughter, volunteering at youth camp and graduating from Bethel Deaconess Hospital as a registered nurse.
After Earl and Lois experienced closed doors to seminary training and pastoral ministry, opportunities opened for service at Mtshabezi Mission in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Earl and Lois left to oversee the hospital there, and Earl went on to teach at both the Mtshabezi Teachers’ Training College and the Ekuphileni Bible Institute.
Later, Earl and Lois, along with their family, returned to the United States to obtain a master of divinity at Asbury Theological Seminary. After graduating, Earl pursued pastoral ministry in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Saskatchewan, Canada.
Eventually, the Lord led the Hess family back home to Abilene, Kansas. After graduating from Brown Mackie College with an accounting major, Earl became the bookkeeper for the Midwest Conference and the treasurer for their local congregation. Later, he began what would become long-term employment as a maintenance man at the Brown Memorial Home retirement facility. During this time, Lois worked as a registered nurse, while both became heavily involved at Abilene BIC.
In 2011, 35 years after they had originally left for Zimbabwe, Earl and Lois accepted the call to return to Africa. Initially, the plan was for an assignment in Zimbabwe, but the need to fill a teaching position at the Evangelical Bible College of Malawi, Malawi, changed their direction. With hearts full of excitement and a deep, profound sense of dependency on the Lord, Earl and Lois accepted the call to serve in Malawi and follow the example of Jesus’ disciples to make fishers of men.