Terry Thompson recently stepped out of his role as General Director of the mission after 24 years, and has been named General Director Emeritus of the GMSA. This move makes way for a new general director, Tom Gibbons, and frees the Thompsons from administrative duties in order to once again be more involved in church planting work in South America.
GMSA missionaries together in Paysandú, Uruguay for our annual conference, honored Terry & Carol Thompson on January 2, 2018 for 24 years of ministry together for the Lord and for the GMSA in Terry’s role as General Director.
The Thompsons arrived in Chile in 1973 where they served in church planting in the Chiloe Islands as well as two summer camp seasons in Lican Ray. In 1983 Terry was elected Field Director, a ministry that took them to Chile’s capital, Santiago, the following year. During his eleven years as Field Director, Terry and Carol participated in establishing a local church in Santa Elena, on the south side of Santiago. In 1994 he was elected General Director, which necessitated their move to GMSA International Headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
The founder, and first General Director of the GMSA, William Strong, Sr., lived a passion for souls that has influenced the 95-year history of the Mission. In the 1940’s, Mr. Strong’s “Timothy”, and next General Director, George Black, led the Mission in taking a stand for Biblical fundamentalism. Those who knew Dr. Hudson P. Shedd, GMSA’s third General Director, would agree that his examples of servanthood, generosity and financial integrity added another layer of virtue to the defining character of the Mission.
This godly heritage of leadership continued when Terry & Carol arrived in Fort Lauderdale. Their integrity, humility, hospitality and generosity have touched all who know them. Terry’s administrative giftedness and vision for a “tight ship” has maintained a Mission that looks like it’s stated purpose, principles & practice, and that still embodies the core values that have made up our own unique DNA for decades.
The last 24 years have witnessed great change in the GMSA landscape. Many would retire in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and return to their homelands. New missionaries would be integrated into the team, among them numerous GMSA MKs. Our three fields (Chile, Uruguay and Argentina) would begin meeting annually for an International Conference for spiritual edification and Mission business, an event that has melted us into one team instead of three. The Mission would begin hosting a bi-annual retreat for National Fellowship pastors, GMSA missionaries and other church leaders, offering seminary level training and resulting in networking among our National colleagues in the Southern Cone.
The entire GMSA family (missionaries, retirees, MKs, council and board members in the USA, Canada and the UK, and volunteers) would like to say thank you to Terry & Carol for their faithful service. We love you!
Join the Thompsons in prayer as they embark on a new chapter of service for Christ that, Lord willing, will take them back to Chile later this year to continue serving in church planting.