The First to Go

Written by Sandra Christensen

Colin Christensen was the youngest of three sons growing up in a small farming community of Walnut Grove, Minnesota. After graduating from Walnut Grove High School in 1964, and in response to a challenge by his pastor Rodney Benson, he attended Pillsbury Baptist College in Owatonna, Minnesota. Colin sensed something was wrong after his first year of college. Colin talked with his pastor that summer and realized he was not truly saved. He accepted Christ the same day he spoke with Pastor Benson and returned to Bible college a changed man. During his second year at Pillsbury Baptist College, Colin felt the call to preach. Colin had heard that Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan was a great school for preachers and transferred to Midwestern. Upon graduating in 1968 Charles Keen, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Milford, Ohio (FBCM) asked him to join the ministry as an assistant pastor and song leader. Colin was thankful for the opportunity and later said that of all the training he received, the training from Pastor Keen had the greatest impact on his life's ministry.

In 1969, just one year after Colin arrived in Milford, Pastor Keen announced that the church would have its first missions conference in 1970. When time for the conference finally arrived, Pastor Keen had secured three speakers that would forever influence Colin's life. The conference speakers were Don Frazier, founder of Bearing Precious Seed; Bob Lemmon, a pastor from the state of Texas; and Bob Hayes, a veteran missionary to Ghana, West Africa. Colin was able to spend time with each of the conference preachers and sought God's will throughout the week. Colin was not really an emotional man but shed tears as God broke his heart for the lost. By the end of the conference Colin realized God not only wanted him to have a burden, but to go! The closing night of the conference Bob Hayes preached as Colin silently wept. As the sermon ended, Colin went to the platform to lead the invitation. Shaking with sobs, he left the pulpit and went to the altar where Pastor Keen prayed with him. Pastor Keen and Colin returned to the platform where Pastor Keen asked Colin to explain why he had gone to the altar. You could hear a pin drop. Colin blew his nose, and while fighting off the tears told the congregation that God had called him to the mission field of Mexico. The congregation wept as they came forward to hug and rejoice with Colin. The church promised prayers and well wishes.

Folks did not understand the preparation associated with being the first missionary to be sent out of FBCM. Colin first took a survey trip to Mexico with Don Frazier and immediately began deputation upon returning in late March of the same year. After two months of deputation (April and May), Colin left for Mexico in June, 1970. Colin went to Cuernavaca (about an hour south of Mexico City) where he began language school and was preaching within six months. He worked with Dr. Ralph McCoy in the city and in the mountains of Guerrero until 1974 when he enrolled in missions training at Baptist Bible Translators Institute (BBTI). Colin finished his training and taught at BBTI until 1978 when he went to the Philippines where he served until 1988. Colin then returned to Milford to work with Bearing Precious Seed until 1993 when he moved his evangelistic ministry to the country of Hungary. Colin faithfully served in Hungary until 2007. He came home thereafter and went home to be with our Lord in 2011. Colin Christensen's love for lost souls and service to the Lord as the first missionary sent out from FBCM causes him to remain alive in the hearts and minds of many today.