Archive | April, 2016

Elsie Epp, ’51

Posted on 27 April 2016 by editor

Elsie Ruth Wiebe Epp ’51 died at age 87 on April 23, 2016, at the Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice of Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Francis Campus in Wichita.

She was born on February 1, 1929, in Newton, Ks., the daughter of Henry B. and Katie Enz Wiebe. The family moved to Idaho when she was a year and half old. Elsie graduated from high school in Aberdeen, Idaho, and Grace Bible Institute in Omaha, Neb. She also attended Bethel College in North Newton, Ks., Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, and later taught school four years.

She married Willard A. Epp on August 31, 1958, in Aberdeen, Idaho. To this union were born three sons and three daughters. They farmed together for 28 years in Marion, S. D., until moving to Kansas in 1986. Elsie and Willard moved to Kidon Bethel in North Newton five years ago.

In 1980, Elsie trained to be a Licensed Practical Nurse at Freeman Jr. College, Freeman, S.D. She worked as an L.P.N. for three years in Freeman, 10 months in Whitewater, Ks., eight and half years at the Kansas Christian Home in Newton. She retired from nursing in 1995.

She was baptized upon her confession of faith by the Rev. Phillip A. Wede, on September 10, 1944, in Aberdeen, Idaho, and presently was a member of First Mennonite Church in Newton. Elsie had also been involved in the Jail Ministry through the church as well as Ministers of Visitation.

Survivors include her husband Willard; sons Donald Epp of Halstead, Ks., Stan Epp and wife Esther of Newton, Bryan Epp and wife Janell of Hesson, Ks.; daughters Roselyn Parks of Nixa, Mo., Naomi Engle and husband Jess of Wauseon, Ohio, Rachel Winters and husband David of Tulsa, Okla.; 20 grandchildren; and three great grandchildren. Elsie is preceded in death by her parents; and eight siblings, Walter Wiebe, Karl Wiebe, Henry Wiebe, twins Jacob and Katie Wiebe who died in infancy, Willard Wiebe, Esther Becker, and Florence Nickel.

Comments (0)


Parker McNeil, ’92

Posted on 19 April 2016 by editor

pmcneil92Rev. Parker McNeill, age 71 of St. Maries, Idaho, died Nov. 2, 2014, following a massive stroke. He was born Oct. 13, 1943, to Jesse and Marvina (Ford) McNeill at Ukiah, California. Parker grew up at Ukiah and graduated from high school there with the class of 1961. Following graduation, Parker attended Redwood Comm. College in Redwood, Calif. He received is teaching degree there. He taught school in Caldwell, Idaho, in the early 1970s. Parker married Janice Hively on Feb. 26, 1978, at Albuquerque, N.M. They made their home at Ong, Iowa, where he opened an antique store and worked as an auctioneer. He moved to Hyampom, Calif., in 1980 where he was self employed. In 1989, Parker moved to Omaha and attended Grace College of the Bible . He graduated and moved to St. Maries in 1993. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church until 2002 when Parker suffered his first stroke. He stepped down from that position at that time. Parker had several major health issues that kept him disabled until 2005 when he and Jan opened the Gem State Grill on Main Street. They operated the business for a year. In 2007 Parker and Jan started the Emida Community Church in Emida and served there for the past seven years. He loved horses. Parker also had a fondness for antiques and loved playing pinochle. Parker always had to have a dog around. His joy was his ministry to many area families whom he was called upon to conduct weddings and funerals. Parker is survived by his wife Jan; son Jess Parker McNeill of St. Maries; daughters Tyna McNeill of Rathdrum, Idaho, and daughter and son-in-law Judy and Steve Wampole of Waxahachie, Texas. Also surviving are his sister Mayme Patton of Hayfork, Calif., 35 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren. 

Comments (0)

Before You Give, Please Plan

Before You Give, Please Plan

Posted on 17 April 2016 by editor

By Paul Ludacka, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP®, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Advisor based in Omaha, NE

Charitable giving – to Grace University or another beloved nonprofit – is a top priority for many of us. These causes are extensions of who we are. And often times, these organizations helped make us who we are.

Anne Frank once said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” That is true – but there are strategies to make your charitable gift go farther for an organization.

Many people ask me for advice before they give, because they want their financial contribution to make a lasting and meaningful effect. It’s wise to pause, think and plan before you give. As part of a full-picture financial plan, you can understand your options, identify and prioritize your long-term goals, and ensure that your charitable giving doesn’t sacrifice any other financial goals.

That’s the main difference between “giving” and “planned giving.” Through planning, you may be able to minimize the impact of income taxes, capital gains taxes and estate taxes – and give even more to charity.

As part of a comprehensive financial plan – I recommend three giving strategies to today’s philanthropic families:

  1. Be direct

Giving directly to a charity can make a lot of sense, especially if you already have a planned charitable giving strategy in place and if it’s important to send your gift to the nonprofit immediately. However, what you give and how you contribute matters. Generally, gifts to a public charity are eligible for a larger tax deduction in comparison to a private foundation. Additionally, gifts of cash may be eligible for a larger deduction than gifts of stock or retirement savings. It’s wise to work collaboratively with a financial advisor and a tax professional to identify that most efficient and effective giving plan for you.

  1. Give life

For many, life insurance is often an overlooked and underestimated strategy for charitable giving. Through this strategy, a donor can gift a policy or name a nonprofit as a beneficiary, helping to provide a sizeable donation to a beloved cause. This may allow the giver to make a more substantial contribution than would otherwise be possible. As an added benefit, a charity that owns a life insurance policy has the option to access the policy cash value with loans or withdrawals, if needed. These benefits are generally tax-free for the charity.

  1. Trusts and foundations

For some givers, a charitable trust helps them to give and also keep their more complex estate plans intact. For others, a private foundation may be of interest, enabling them to build a lasting legacy of giving for generations to come.

Giving is great – but “planned giving” may help you to maximize your charitable gift. Consider working with a financial expert and a tax expert so you can leave behind the kind of legacy you want.

NM_Mutual_paulfinal-1Article prepared by Paul Ludacka, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP® with the cooperation of Northwestern Mutual.
Ludacka is a Wealth Management Advisor with Northwestern Mutual, the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and its subsidiaries.  Ludacka is an Insurance agent of NM based in Omaha, NE.  To contact Ludacka, please call 402-891-2304, email him at or visit his website at

Comments (0)

Edwin Earl Haynes, Jr. ’91

Edwin Earl Haynes, Jr. ’91

Posted on 15 April 2016 by editor

IMG_4097“For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

Edwin Earl Haynes, Jr. went to be with The Lord Jesus, Whom he dearly loved, at his home in Scurry, Texas, on March 26, 2016. Edwin was born on January 8, 1929, to Edwin Earl Haynes, Sr. and Pauline Velma Baxter in Stuart, Iowa. Edwin married Virginia Helen Stull on February 9, 1947, in Veteran, Wyoming. They celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary this year.

Edwin accepted The Lord Jesus as his personal Savior in 1951, a year after Virginia, who had come to Christ from listening to Back to the Bible Broadcast radio program. Their lives were forever changed!

Edwin desired to serve the Lord and know more about the Bible. In 1952 they headed to Omaha with their two little boys so he could attend Grace Bible Institute. They “told” the Lord they would go anywhere but the foreign field. There at the close of the first Missionary Conference they had ever attended, they both went forward, each carrying a son, in answer to the call of foreign missions. After Edwin’s graduation they took a Missionary Dental Course in Pennsylvania in preparation for the mission field.

Then the next step was to go to the Gospel Missionary Union (now Avant) headquarters in Kansas City for candidate internship. They were accepted, support was raised and by April 1958 they were on a plane for Ecuador in South America.

First there was Spanish language study at the Spanish Bible Institute at the “Gateway to the Jungle” town of Shell Mera. Then they moved to the high Andes Mountains to live among the Quichua Indians (descendants of the Incas) and study their language. Ed also worked with the missionary doctor in the clinic/hospital taking care of the dental needs of the people and when the doctor was gone, he became the doctor.

In another Quichua village, Edwin shared the Gospel at his own clinic and would ride horseback to other Quichua villages with medical supplies and to share the Gospel. As Quichuas responded to the Gospel the missionary team saw the need of more Bible teaching and short-term Bible Institutes were started, one for the men and one for the women. What joy it was to Ed and Virginia to teach God’s Holy Word in Quichua!

Then the missionary doctor had the vision of a Quichua Radio Station, which the Lord brought into reality, and Ed also helped in the broadcasting and then started making radio programs in Quichua together with Virginia. They continued the Quichua radio programming up until 2015 from their home in Nebraska via the internet.

Edwin gave the life the Lord had given him to missionary work in Ecuador from 1958 to retirement from fulltime service in Ecuador in 1995, returning to teach and preach for a few months every year until the last time in 2008 (50 years).

He is survived by his wife Virginia of Scurry, Texas, Sons: Stephan and Paul of Scurry, Daughter: Debra and husband Ernest Luther of Centreville, Virginia, Grandchildren: Natasha Winkowitsch and Joel Haynes, Step Grandchildren: Gary (Becca) Luther, and Dale Luther, Great Grandchildren: Haylae Haynes and Hank Luther.

He is preceded in death by his son Dana Haynes (2006).

Comments (0)

Dr. Z Celebrates 25 Years

Dr. Z Celebrates 25 Years

Posted on 14 April 2016 by editor

25987205330_ba81e9a651_kThe students of the Grace University Chorale recently honored Dr. Greg Zielke, chair of the Music Department, for his 25 years of service to students and the Grace University community. They celebrated his accomplishments during the final concert of the Spring Tour, which included an Easter Sunday concert at Carnegie Hall.

To see photos of alumni who attended concerts during the Spring Tour click here.

“Dr. Zielke has poured so much into each of the students’ lives.  He is so encouraging and believes that every Chorale member is extremely important,” said senior Claire Dupré, Music Education major. “He knows how to pull the most out of a choir, and I’m still astounded by how large the chorale is for the size of this campus and that most members are not music majors.”

In addition to teaching conducting, choral methods, church music, voice, and directing the Chorale, Dr. Zielke directs the Chamber Singers and Front Four quartet. Under his direction, Grace choirs have performed across the U.S. and in Australia and Europe. He also has been Conductor and Artistic Director for the Omaha Symphonic Chorus since their 2002-2003 concert season. As a church musician, he is blessed to serve a wonderful church, Community Bible. He especially enjoys the opportunity to lead church music seminars and choir festivals.

“Congratulations to a master musician who loves Jesus, loves music, loves his students and his choirs—and has the unique capacity to put all of these virtues together to produce rapturous music!” said Dr. James P. Eckman, President Emeritus.

Comments (2)

IS Students Train in Spain

IS Students Train in Spain

Posted on 14 April 2016 by editor

spain41416Junior Intercultural Studies students Lauren Witteveen and Cassidy Burkholder are serving and studying in Spain this semester as part of their coursework. During this program, they are immersed in the culture and language of Spain, while completing academic courses related to evangelical mission work. The Grace students have the opportunity to live with host families and see first-hand how religion and culture are intertwined during celebrations such as Holy Week, which focuses on Jesus’ death and Mary’s suffering.

The Grace students are busy teaching English and building relationships with their Spanish tutors so they can share the Gospel in a meaningful, culturally appropriate way. They are also preparing to work in an upcoming camp hosted by missionaries.

Comments (0)

Students Serve in Guatemala

Students Serve in Guatemala

Posted on 14 April 2016 by editor



During Spring Break, 12 Grace University students who have been trained in making disciples through the art of biblical storytelling served in Guatemala. While working in Antigua, San Pedro and Tecpan, the team worked with Pat Duff, missionary for Casa de Esperanza of the Josiah Foundation, to reach out to children and youth who have not heard the Gospel.  They also served  people with special needs. The GU students shared Bible stories so that the people they met could understand the Gospel in their own language in a culturally appropriate way. Students also led soccer camps with kids they met in the villages and played a game with a local youth group. The team raised enough money to deliver a month’s supply of food to 20 families. In each home, the students shared testimonies and prayed for the family’s needs. The team also experienced Holy Week festivities from the local perspective.



Dr. Tara Rye, Dean of Women, described the trip this way:
I feel that this trip was a Joseph trip. Just as Joseph glorified God in whatever circumstance he was placed in this is what our team did. It did not matter that it was hot, dirty and extreme poverty, the students immediately connected with the people we met and served. Truly, the students lived out being relationally Jesus to those we served. I could not be prouder of our student body. One way God showed Himself to our team was through toothpaste. We had two huge cases of toothpaste given to us. I could not understand why people gave us toothpaste because we were not doing dental missions. Well, one of our main sites where we were to serve backed out a few days before our trip. Our missionary had met a young new mission couple so she set it up for us to meet with them. So, our first two days was serving with a brand new mission plant. On the first day of serving, the missionary shared that someone had given them toothbrushes and only one tube of toothpaste. After one month in this community, they already had 39 children attending their feeding center. She shared that after the children are given food, they have the children brush their teeth. The missionary told us that they prayed and asked God to provide more toothpaste. They did not know we had toothpaste. We were able to give them enough for a long time. God used this to increase the faith of the missionaries and of the team. It was a powerful moment in realizing that God knew where we would serve and provided the toothpaste three weeks before the mission couple had even met our missionary.

Thanks to everyone who supported the team and made the trip possible through your financial gifts and prayers.

Comments (0)

Inez Clipperton, ’53

Posted on 11 April 2016 by editor

Inez Clipperton ’53, of Bellevue, Neb., died March 25, 2016, at the age of 80. She was preceded in death by siblings, Derwood Stunkel, Dale Stunkel, Nadine Sherbeck, and Betty Alexander. Survived by husband, Vernon D. Clipperton; daughter, Sharlyn Davis; granddaughter, Jennifer (Matt) Fortune; great-grandchildren, Kassidy, Emily, and Sophie; step-children, Jane (Russ) Thomas, Jim Clipperton, Dee (Rich) Haglund, and Ken (Julie) Clipperton; brother, Dennis (Judy) Stunkel; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Comments (1)

Mary Ann Wall, ’57

Mary Ann Wall, ’57

Posted on 06 April 2016 by editor

25017-Wall 2Mary Ann Wall ’57, age 78 of Omaha, Nebraska, went to be with the Lord on March 24, 2016.

She was born in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, on September 3, 1937, to Dietrich and Agnes Goertzen. She grew up, the only sister of Russell and Clayton, on a farm outside of the small town of Delft, Minnesota. She prayed with her mother to accept Christ in January 1948 and was baptized by Rev. Thomas Walker on May 13, 1951.

Mary Ann Graduated from Mountain Lake High School in 1955 and that fall she attended Grace College of the Bible where she met her future husband Marvin (Marv) Wall. They were married on June 28, 1957. 

Wherever their ministry took them – North Carolina, Kansas, Manitoba, Alberta, South Dakota, Montana and Nebraska – Mary Ann made a home and supported Marv by playing the piano, teaching Sunday School, helping lead youth groups, piloting boats, driving snowmobiles and cooking for camps, while caring for a growing family. She also led women’s Bible studies, was a Commander in the Awana program, and hosted guests for dinner or offered a place to stay. She enjoyed traveling across the United States, Canada, Israel, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Her husband, Marv, was in pastoral roles in the church until he passed away and Mary Ann was his faithful support.  In recent years, she enjoyed joining in Bible study, prayer meetings, mentoring younger women and deepening relationships with women of her age. She enjoyed stable health with minor issues until she had a major stroke on Saturday, March 19. Her condition soon worsened and she went to be with Jesus five days later.

She is survived by five children: Marjorie Allison; Mark and Judy Wall; Marlen and Kim Wall; Marcia and Sam Kroeker andMarcel and Michelle Wall as well as 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She is preceded by her parents, her brother Clayton and his wife Mary, her husband Marv and her son-in-law Grahame Alison.

Comments (0)

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Tidings 2017