Fairhaven Graduates church planting in Australia
Marie Simpson graduated in 1987 as the first girl to go all the way from kindergarten through college at Fairhaven. She married Jon Hall, who graduated from Fairhaven Baptist College and was ordained in 1988. After Jon’s graduation, the Halls left Fairhaven to join the staff at Heritage Baptist Church and Christian School in Woodbridge, Virginia where the LORD had earlier placed a burden in Jon’s heart to serve under Pastor Mike Edwards.
Jon taught in the school and assisted the pastoral staff while Marie played the piano at church and served as secretary to Pastor Mike Edwards. The Halls also taught Sunday school, worked a bus route, helped lead the junior and senior teen youth groups, and worked with various music groups in the church and school.
During the six years Jon and Marie served at Heritage, the Halls were privileged to watch the LORD grow the church from about 300 to nearly 600. They were also blessed to see their family grow as God gave them three beautiful daughters – Sara, Rachel, and Hannah. The missionary emphasis at Heritage was also growing at this time; and in 1993 the LORD called the Halls to be missionaries in Australia.
After deputation, the Halls spent 4 years helping another missionary plant Shoalhaven Baptist Church in Nowra, New South Wales. The LORD then led the Halls to Sydney to plant Northern Baptist Church. While in Sydney the Halls taught at Sydney Bible Baptist College and were blessed with two more precious children – David and Daniel.
Australians are pastoring the churches the Halls started or helped start, and one of them is a graduate of the Bible college where the Halls taught. During their previous term, Jon felt the LORD burdening his heart to help Aussies start churches. They presently assist a Mauritian Australian in planting Living Hope Baptist Church in Taree, New South Wales.
Jon and Marie are thankful for the Bible college education and experience they received at Fairhaven. They learned here to work hard at any job the LORD gives you, often as the first on site and last to leave; to look for opportunities to serve and help; and to be friendly, Gospel-proclaiming, Bible-based, conservative Christians emphasizing church planting and Christian education.