Jacob Nathaniel Tyrrell: March 9, 1936 - February 6, 2018
In 1964, 10 Seventh Day Baptist leaders from 7 different countries met in Salem, West Virginia, USA in what was called the Consultation of World Conferences (COWOCO). This meeting gave birth the following year to the Seventh Day Baptist World Federation. Jacob Tyrrell, a 28 year old young man from then British Guiana was one of those 10 leaders. Since then, Pastor Tyrell has faithfully and steadily given true servant leadership to his churches and conference in Guyana. Representing his conference, he attended 5 of the 8 Sessions of the World Federation in its 52 year history. At the most recent Session in Brazil in 2017 where he was present, he was honored for being one of the three remaining members of that initial group of 10.
Pastor Tyrrell, 81, ended his earthly pilgrimage on February 6, 2018.
Jonas Sommer: August 28, 1975 - February 15, 2018
Clarice Geci Kollenberg Sommer: April 11, 1976 - February 15, 2018
Marcos Paulo Sommer: September 17, 2009 - February 15, 2018
Paula Hadassa Sommer: September 25, 2013 - February 15, 2018
On February 15, 2018, the same day that Pastor Jacob Tyrrell's body was laid to rest, the horrifying news greeted the world, that the World Federation President, Pastor Jonas Sommer, his wife Clarice, and their children Marcos and Paula, were killed in an automobile accident in their homeland of Brazil. The shock was catastrophic. The 42 year old Pastor Jonas had been one of the brightest lights coming out of the Brazilian SDB Conference. Jonas was the first Brazilian who grew up as a Seventh Day Baptist to obtain a theological degree. At the time of his passing, he was the Director of the TIME (Training In Ministry by Extension) Program in Brazil, and had successfully trained over 100 pastors and leaders since it began in 2009. So successful was the TIME Program in Brazil, that he was working on arranging a similar Program in the Portuguese-speaking country of Mozambique in Africa.
He had started learning English in 2000 in order to help with the preparation for hosting the SDB World Federation Sessions in Brazil in 2003. His mastery of the language was so impressive that he served as the primary translator for every English-speaking Seventh Day Baptist guest to visit Brazil between 2001 and 2017. At the most recent Sessions of the World Federation, held in his native Brazil in January 2017, Jonas was deservedly elected as President of the World Federation. Exactly one month before his passing, he had communicated to the World Federation member Conferences, his vision for the organization over the next five years. The vision summarized says, “Committed To Proclaiming The Gospel Around The World.” That is certainly a reiteration of the Great Commission. That was the heart of our President.
His wife Clarice was leader of the Women’s ministry in the Brazilian Conference. She was instrumental in spearheading a drive to make and collect clothing items for children in Africa, so that in 2017 when delegates from Africa attended the World Federation Sessions in Brazil, each of them was able to return home with a suitcase of clothes for needy children in their conference. Clarice was dynamic and fired up for service to the Lord.
Their precious 8 year old son Marcos and darling four year old daughter Paula perished with them in that awful car accident. So many questions, so many tears, so much sorrow, so much that we cannot explain, but we trust the unsearchable purpose of our good and gracious God. We are thankful to the Lord that we had Jonas and Clarice for the time we did, and that they gave so much of themselves in that short time.
The Seventh Day Baptist World Federation has made plans to establish an endowment in the name of the Sommer family. The proceeds from this fund will be used to train and develop pastors and leaders of the World Federation member conferences. This is one way that there can be redemption from this calamity. Please give to this very worthy cause. Donations may be sent via PayPal