January 7, 2022

Nathan B. Hege: life-long servant and leader

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Nathan B. Hege (left) talks with David W. Shenk during his 1992 retirement party. Dale Gehman/EMM Nathan B. Hege (left) talks with David W. Shenk during his 1992 retirement party. Dale Gehman/EMM

LANCASTER, Pa. — Nathan B. Hege, 94, of Lititz, Pa., went to be with the Lord on December 8, 2021. Nathan was a faithful servant of the Lord who devoted his life to serving God through missions and the church. 

“We are beyond grateful for the four decades of service that Nathan gave to the service of his Lord in Ethiopia and at our Central Administrative Office,” said EMM President Marvin Lorenzana. “In fact, to celebrate this faithful service, EMM was proud to have awarded Nathan and Arlene with the 2006 Elam W. Stauffer Pioneer Mission Award.”

Nathan served at EMM’s Central Administrative Office in the information services and church relations department from 1974 to 1992. For eight of those years, he served as the editor of “Missionary Messenger.”  

Nathan and his late wife, Arlene, served with EMM in Ethiopia from 1950 to 1974. During home leave in 1969, Nathan founded the radio program called Focus, which still airs weekly on WDAC 94.5 FM in the Lancaster, Pa., area. 

In his retirement, Nathan authored a history of the Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia called “Beyond our prayers: An amazing half century of church growth in Ethiopia, 1948–1998.”

“EMM is grateful for Nathan's years of faithful service in Ethiopia and the U.S. as well as the way he continued to stay engaged with and supportive of missions even in his retirement,” said EMM Mission Team Director Lorri Bentch. “His important book chronicling the miraculous story of the birth of the Ethiopian church will continue to serve as inspiration to new generations of mission workers.”

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