Tony and Cathy Payne were both born and grew up in Roanoke Rapids, NC. They attended different schools and did not meet until after Tony's conversion in 1973 when he started attending the church Cathy attended. Cathy was saved at the age of six and from her earliest days dreamed of being a missionary nurse. She earned an associates degree in nursing and later a bachelor of nursing education from Bob Jones University. It was through her influence that Tony attended BJU where he earned a BA degree in Bible in 1980 and a master of divinity degree in 1986.
The Paynes were married in 1979 and raised their three daughters on the mission field. Amy graduated from BJU in 2004 with a degree in special education. She married Rob Garland, also a graduate of BJU in 2005. The Lord has given them three children, Jacob David, Noelle Kate, and Isaiah Anthony. Clare graduated from BJU in December 2006 with a degree in biology education and again in May 2010 with a degree in nursing. In May 2011, Emily should complete a master's degree in cross-cultural studies from Northland International University where she has been working as a graduate assistant since graduating from BJU with a degree in Biblical counseling in 2009. In August 2011, Emily married Ethan Crowely who graduated from BJU in 2008.
Tony and Cathy joined GFA in 1986 and arrived in South Africa in July 1988. Their focus has been on planting indigenous churches among the Afrikaans-speaking mixed race, known as the Coloureds.
During their first term they learned the Afrikaans language and assisted another missionary in his work. In 1992 they began a church planting effort in Eersterivier, 20 kilometers east of Cape Town. Regular services at Immanuel Baptiste Kerk began on January 3, 1993. Tony began Oostenberg Bible Institute in 1997, one year after Kevin Simpson, who would eventually take over the work of Immanuel Baptiste Kerk, came to Christ.
After saving for 5 years, the people of IBK purchased their own property. The men of the church worked on Saturdays and holidays for 4 years building their own church, and did so free of debt and without dependence upon American dollars. On February 11, 2007 Kevin Simpson was ordained to the gospel ministry. Immanuel Baptiste Kerk became completely autonomous and indigenous when the work was turned over to Kevin and the national leadership in March 2007.
When the Paynes returned to SA in early 2008, they began a new church-planting ministry in Delft, which is in the Cape Town area. Cathy renewed her nursing license in 2007 with the goal of beginning an outreach to the population with HIV/AIDS. Tony is continuing the ministry of Oostenberg Bybel Instituut to equip more men to reach and to preach and to teach their own people.
To view Tony and Cathy Payne's photo gallery, click the picture below.