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Philippines church planter ‘Grandfather Jack’ Branan dies

MANILA, Philippines (BP)–Jack Branan, a Southern Baptist missionary in the Philippines, died Dec. 12 of organ system failures and complications following surgery for diverticulitis. He was 63.

Branan served his entire missionary career in an eastern Manila community where people knew him affectionately as “Lolo [Grandfather] Jack,” missionary colleague Ann Lovell reported.

A Georgia native, Branan and his wife, Rosanne, were appointed as missionaries to the Philippines by the International Mission Board in 1970. He had served as a church planter in Manila since 1972.

The couple planted multiple churches, helped organize three associations of churches and mentored numerous pastors and teachers. They also mobilized volunteers to help start and strengthen churches in other areas of the Philippines, particularly in Rizal province.

“Jack spoke often of the privilege he had of baptizing the children and, in some cases, the grandchildren of those he baptized earlier in his career,” Lovell said. “Jack’s faithfulness and fruitfulness will long be remembered among those who served with him and those who knew him well.”

“We are saddened by Jack’s death yet rejoice over his going home to be with the Lord,” missionary Don Phelps said. “He was a great missionary, a mentor to many, a person of wit and wisdom, a wonderful husband and father, and a dear man of God.

“Jack will be greatly missed but his influence will impact church planting in Manila and beyond for many years to come. Jack certainly had a life well-lived and a faith well-kept.”

“Although our hearts are saddened by this death, we also are rejoicing because we know with complete confidence that Jack is in heaven,” missionary Al James added. “Jack has completed the course God set out for him to run. He was victorious but, as always, the glory goes to our Lord.”

Called to the gospel ministry at age 15, Branan was a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Ga., and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo. He served as pastor of churches in Snyder, Mo., and Gordon and Jackson, Ga., before missionary appointment.

Branan is survived by his wife and four adult children, William Branan, Martin Branan and John Branan, all of Culloden, Ga., and Sheryl Mills of Savannah, Ga.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: JACK BRANAN and ROSANNE BRANAN.

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