Marc & Nancy Blackwell Missionaries to South Africa
Biblical Ministries Worldwide
Marc was born in Sarasota FL, and grew up in Africa since he was six. He was saved at age 10 and served alongside his parents as they began various church planting works, first on the field of Zimbabwe and then in South Africa. During his first summer back in the States, to study at seminary, he met Nancy who was following the Lord into full-time missions. Nancy was born in Minnesota, and grew up in Rochester NY. She accepted Christ when she was 9 and was active in the children’s and youth ministries at her church. Nancy’s parents have been interested in missions throughout her life. Due to their heart for missions, she was often involved with them in conferences and hosting missionary guests at home. After college, Nancy worked for 2 ½ years in West Africa, using her training as a Registered Nurse to serve at a mission clinic in The Gambia.
The Blackwells have served the Lord in South Africa more than 20 years. During this time they have assisted in 2 church plants as well as initiating the current work Blue Downs Baptiste, which is now seeking a South African pastor. Other ministries they are involved in include: Church Ministries Institute — developing curriculum, teaching, training pastors and lay people; Paardeberg Mountain Retreat – overseeing the camp development, and speaking at camps and seminars; Good Hope Christian School – serving on the board, as the school of 50 students meets the needs of 4 local churches.
South Africa is an amazing mix of 1st and 3rd world conditions. The cities are large and pretty modern, yet with shanty towns on the outskirts. The rural areas are either colonial looking or traditionally African. Over 60% of the population lives in the urban areas, so that’s why we are planting churches in Cape Town… a city of 4 million people.
Colonization and apartheid (racial segregation) have left a bitter history, but democratic elections held in 1994 have given everyone a voice. There are yet many hurdles, such as unemployment above 35%, housing shortages, education and health problems. BUT, South Africa is a very religious country. People are open to talking about God, and the Gospel is unhindered!