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N.C. Baptist volunteer dies on mission trip to Wyoming

GERMANTOWN, N.C. (BP)–A Baptist volunteer from Germanton, N.C., died July 26 in Wyoming of an apparent heart attack.

John Holland was alone, cleaning tables after breakfast when he collapsed, according to David White, who is overseeing efforts to build a missions house in Casper, Wyo.

White’s wife, Sharon, found Holland unconscious in a garage area of the Wyoming Southern Baptist Convention facility. A church group from Arkansas had just finished eating breakfast there, White said.

Sharon White tried to revive Holland. Other volunteers started CPR.

Rescue workers arrived a short while later and administered shock treatments in an attempt to get Holland’s heart to start beating again. After that failed, they took him to a hospital.

David and Sharon White and Holland’s wife, Juanita, followed the ambulance. About 20 minutes after they arrived, a doctor came out and told them that Holland had died.

A coroner determined that Holland’s heart had suddenly stopped beating and there was probably nothing anyone could have done to restart it, David White said.

White said the Hollands, who are members of Germanton Baptist Church, had been in Wyoming since July 16. He said he and his wife had grown close to the Hollands.

White said John Holland was always ready to help wash dishes, sweep floors or do other jobs.

“John was not just energetic, but always wanted to know what he could do to help,” White said.

White said the Hollands had been serving on mission teams since 1995. They’ve served in China, in Alaska twice and in eastern North Carolina helping flood victims numerous times. Holland also served four or five years as Baptist Men’s director for his church.

John Holland, who was 76, continued to serve even though he was beginning to lose his memory and was taking medication for cancer.

“He was a good servant of the Lord,” White said.

White said he considered it a blessing that God let Holland pass on while he was serving Him.

“To die in that way is a reward from God for a good servant,” White said.
Steve DeVane is managing editor of the Biblical Recorder, newsjournal of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, online at www.biblicalrecorder.org.

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