n the summer of 1965 I was on
the faculty of Appalachian Bible
College and also Administrative As-
sistant to President Dr. Lester Pipkin
when I was approached by Virgil
Newbrander, leader of Far Eastern
Gospel Crusade. “We have a very fine
Bible college in Manila but there is
no graduate level theological school.
We would like you to consider going
to help develop a much-needed grad
school.” That conversation forever
changed my life.
My wife, Verna, and I decided to
respond to this request. Since I had a
Th.M. and the new school would be
on a graduate level, I needed more
education. At just the right time we
were invited to pastor near Knoxville,
TN and have the freedom to pursue a
post-graduate degree.
We moved from Beckley in June
1968; I pastored Oak Ridge Bible
Church and started at the University
of Tennessee. I received my degree
in 1970. That fall we applied to
Far Eastern Gospel Crusade and
were accepted into the mission in
January, 1971, with assignment to
the Philippines for theological
Cary M. Perdue is a 1956 graduate of Appalachian Bible
College. He and Verna (1955) went on to serve for twelve
years as president of Asian Theological Seminary in Manila.
Later he continued in other ministry capacities and still
remains active traveling and teaching. Listen to his passionate
message on the call of God at abc.edu/chapel (Oct. 5, 2015).
– God’s provision through prayer for one missionary family –
But then reality set in! “You will need
this much monthly support; this
one-time amount; and you will need
it by June 7 for a July 7 flight. There
is a rush because you are needed to
replace the person there now who is
scheduled to come home.”
This meant lots of travel and commu-
nication quickly. The church elders
graciously allowed me to be gone
often. One elder mused, “Pastor, it
just can’t be done in this short time.”
I started working the phone. The first
pastor I called said, “You are welcome
to come but I don’t think you will be
able to leave in July.” And so it went.
I was often told, “You are welcome
here but there will be no support.”
One trip to Charlotte, North Carolina
yielded no results except lunch with
a church member named Jack who
told me he would pray. Driving home
through the Smoky Mountains, I was
less than happy. “What a waste of
precious time.”
My farewell message at Oak Ridge
was on June 6. A generous offering
was given, and another friend
promised $20 monthly support. We
had retired for the night when the
phone rang. A pastor in Virginia
stated his church had decided on
$25 monthly support. It rang again:
a West Virginia pastor announced
another $25.
The June 7 deadline came, and
I did my usual reading in the
Greek text. That morning was
I Peter 5:7, “Casting your anxiety on
Him….” and then literally, “it matters
to Him about you.” The phone rang
at 8 AM. “Hello, this is Jack.” “Who?”
“Jack from Charlotte. What are your
support needs?” My response: “We
still need 19% of our monthly support
and 42% of our one-time expenses.”
Jack said, “Let’s see what happens
today. I’ll be praying.”
About 3:30 PM Jack called again.
“Did anything happen today?” “Yes,
another $20 support but nothing else.”
“Well, Cary, I will underwrite what
does not come in by the time for you
to go.” Verna and the children were
listening nearby. We all threw our
arms around one another and sobbed.
They had never seen me cry; one of
our daughters, frightened, ran to the
bedroom and hid.
For the first time II Cor. 9:12 burst
into radiant view before us: “For
the administration of this service
not only supplies the want of the
saints, but is abundant also by many
thanksgivings unto God.” Here are
some of the notes we received:
“It was the thrill of the year to hear that
God had provided your need.”
“It seemed so impossible and of course
it was—but God! I prayed earnestly
and with such a burdened heart—and
human enough to keep wondering. No
wonder tears overflowed!”
“Thanks for your letter, telling of HIS
provision for His own. HE alone is worthy,
let us praise HIM.”