The board reinstated Debbie Griffin as a career missionary to Japan in April 2019. Debbie, initially appointed in 1985, faithfully served 26 years in Japan before resigning to care for her mother in 2011. Mrs. Griffin passed in November 2017. Debbie will rejoin the Japan missionary team to reach the second-largest unreached people group in the world.
Debbie accepted Christ as her savior during a Bible class when she was in seventh grade. During her years at Welch College (Tennessee), her interest in missions grew. In 1981, Debbie served as a student missionary in Japan. God placed a love for the Japanese people in her heart and, prior to her 1982 college graduation with a B.S., she surrendered to the call to missions.
Following college graduation, Debbie moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, and served in a home missions church. Active in the music ministry, she also worked with children and youth.
In 1984, Debbie returned to her home in Colquitt, Georgia, and taught a women’s Bible study worked in a tape ministry to the elderly and homebound within the congregation.
Debbie departed for Japan in 1986. Her first term consisted of language study and working with Ken and Judy Bailey at the Iriso church in a suburb of Tokyo. Debbie taught junior high and adult English classes, Sunday school, a women’s Bible study, and a junior high Bible study.
She moved to Hokkaido in 1991, at the beginning of her second term. She worked with Pastor Kawasaki and Don and Ruth McDonald at the Ai no Sato church. Over the next five years, she and Ruth began a women’s ministry, held bi-monthly Bible studies, and sponsored service projects in the church. Responsible for the Sunday school program, Debbie instituted teacher training sessions. She also taught English to approximately 50 students weekly.
Debbie’s third term began in March 1998, continuing ministry at the Ai No Sato church. However, she added women’s ministry in other Hokkaido Free Will Baptist churches to her list of duties. After two years, she moved to Ebetsu and began working with the Miharashidai church. Debbie coordinated an English program in area churches, as well.
Debbie continued to work in Hokkaido throughout the balance of her time in Japan. She oversaw women’s ministry, served as a liaison and coordinator for ETEAMs and other short-term ministries on the island, taught English classes, and worked with numerous missionaries.
Bellview FWB Church, Colquitt, Georgia
Last updated May 21, 2019