Rev. Harold Shingledecker - 1988 A Award Recipient
Rev. Harold Shingledecker was born and raised on a farm in western Pennsylvania. After finishing high school he went back to help on the farm for four years. During that time, at the age of 17, he sought the Lord Jesus. His mother was responsible for his desire to seek the Lord, and indeed it was she who prayed though for his salvation on the day he was finally saved. He had been to an altar of prayer 14 nights seeking.
Some months later, it was his mother who made the announcement one day that the Lord had shown her which college he should attend. This came some weeks after all the different schools were under consideration. The answer: Asbury College—just the one he had wanted to choose but was afraid it was too far away and too expensive. It was while at Asbury College in a winter revival at the Wilmore Methodist Church that Harold finally died out completely to self and allowed the Holy Spirit to fill his life and direct it.
His last year at Asbury, Harold was joined by his childhood sweetheart, Hettie Frost, for her last year of college. That fall they were married and pastured a four-point Methodist charge in western Pennsylvania for two years. Then they went back to Asbury Seminary. While there for three yeas, they started the first library in the seminary. As Harold was finishing seminary in the spring of 1943 they were appointed by the World Gospel Mission (then known as the National Holiness Missionary Society) to Burundi, Africa.
During their 36 years of service as missionaries, the Shingledeckers’ work in Burundi was varied. For thirteen years, Harold was field director and also the legal representative between the Mission and the Burundi government. The Shingledeckers also taught in short-term Bible institutes, and in the Bible School and Seminary at Mweya. Harold helped organize the first publishing agency for Rwanda and Burundi. He was manager of the Burundi Literature Center at Gitega and was responsible for ordering and distributing books and tracts across thecountry. The Literature Center was a three-mission project serving all Protestant work in Burundi.
Hettie served as field treasurer, supervised school work, and helped at the Literature Center. She was a friend and counselor to the African women. She also did most of the education of their four children at home.
In 1979, as the Shingledeckers were within five weeks of their scheduled departure from the mission field for retirement, they were asked to leave the country within 48 hours. This was part of a massive expulsion of both Catholic and Protestant missionaries.
After a year of traveling in deputation for WGM they settled in the Marion, Indiana area to work in a support organization of WGM: the WGM Federal Credit Union. In over seven years in this work they have seen it grow to a membership of over 800 and assets of over a million and a half. Members are all WGM missionaries, homeland staff or relatives of the same. This has been a much appreciated service, especially to the missionaries on the different fields.
The Shingledeckers have four children, all born in Africa. Paul (’68) married Patsy Danklefs (’70) and they have three daughters. They had had one four-year term in Haiti at the time Rev. Shingledecker received the “A” Award. Paul is radio programmer and technician. Faith (’70) is a medical technologist at the World Gospel Mission hospital at Tenwek, Kenya, Africa, where she supervises the laboratory and teaches lab work to nationals. Ken (Assoc. ’73), wife Connie and three children are in Nairobi, Kenya, as missionaries under the Reformed Church of America, working with Daystar University College, training national Church leaders from all over Africa. Lois (’74), husband David Scroggins and their daughters are in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but were planning to go to California the last of June, 1988, for evaluation as missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship. Thus as Harold and Hettie reach retirement their children may be able to accomplish many of the things they wanted to do in the service of the Lord.
Other 1988 A Award Recipients:
Dr. James Heidinger II '63
Dr. Betty Jo Dorsey Murphree '53