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IMB missionary dies in Niger

NIAMEY, Niger (BP)–Harold McMichael, 66, a short-term Southern Baptist missionary to Niger, West Africa, died Jan. 20 after a short illness.

McMichael began suffering from nausea, chest pain and breathing trouble after a ministry trip to Mali with other missionaries and volunteers. He was taken to a hospital in Niamey, Niger’s capital, where he later died. The specific cause of death is not yet known.

McMichael, of Lebanon, Ky., and his wife, Jan, were serving a four-month assignment in Niger with International Service Corps, a short-term missions program of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board.

They arrived in Niger in early November and participated in agricultural and water development among the Songhai people. He helped improve water quality and increase crop production in the area. The McMichaels were planning to return to Niger for further service upon completion of their first assignment.

McMichael owned an Internet business, McMichael Enterprises, and a 400-acre farm in Kentucky. He served as a deacon, taught Sunday school and worked with youth at Lebanon Baptist Church.

“He was a very humble person with a servant’s heart,” said Wesley Noss, former pastor of Lebanon Baptist Church. “I could have asked Harold to do anything and he would have.”

Jan McMichael departed for the United States Jan. 21. Her husband’s body was to be returned home later that week. Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

Besides his wife, McMichael is survived by four adult children.

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