Giving insight into missions

By David Gasperson - Guest columnist
The Rev. David Gasperson talks with Mary Hester Powell about members of the Hocutt family during a visit to Powell’s residence for the taping of her recollections of life in Nigeria. -

For the past several months, Dr. David Gasperson, Pastor of Warsaw Baptist Church has been pouring through correspondence and service records of a family of missionaries in preparation for writing their biography. J. C. and Rosa Powell along with their daughter Mary Hester served in Nigeria for a collective 87 years in the early and mid twentieth century.

The Powells’ native Sampson and Duplin counties remained their American home and the place to which they returned when mission service was complete.

First covered by this paper in the Feb. 24-25, 2018 Lifestyles section, the biography proceeds apace with anticipated publication this summer.

In the process of research, Gasperson came across manuscripts written by J. C. Powell, but never published. One in particular caught his attention. This untitled work was a description of Nigeria as the couple found it upon arrival in the 1920s. Family life, health, native religious practices and society were all covered. The pastor soon realized this manuscript was an important resource for the biography.

But the manuscript required a full rewrite to make it something appreciated in the twenty-first century. Taking a break from the biographical research and writing, Gasperson embarked upon bringing that manuscript to publication first.

Under the title Impressions of Nigeria, that book is now available in print and digital download from Amazon.com. Both Powell and Gasperson share the byline, but the reflections on Nigeria are all from the pen of “Sky” Powell as he wrote about his missionary home to answer questions that were frequently asked back in America.

Anyone interested in helping bring the biography and other Powell manuscripts to publication may visit gofundme.com/Publication-of-the-Powell-Bography.

The Rev. David Gasperson talks with Mary Hester Powell about members of the Hocutt family during a visit to Powell’s residence for the taping of her recollections of life in Nigeria.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Hester-Gasperson.jpgThe Rev. David Gasperson talks with Mary Hester Powell about members of the Hocutt family during a visit to Powell’s residence for the taping of her recollections of life in Nigeria.

By David Gasperson

Guest columnist