Jerry and Linda, under the direction of GFA, have been ministering in New Zealand for over 17 years. Jerry was born in North Carolina. Linda grew up in Pennsylvania. They both graduated from BJU and were involved in other ministries before they met and married in 1988.
After finishing his graduate work at BJU, Jerry worked with a ministry that coordinated mission trips for young people and then later with a construction firm that built several of the fundamental churches in the Greenville area. After completing her degree at BJU, Linda returned to her home church in Pennsylvania and taught 4th grade at the Christian school there for 7 years. After 7 years of teaching, she moved to Greenville to work as a secretary for The WILDS Christian Camp. When Linda moved to Greenville, she began attending Faith Baptist Church where she met Jerry.
In 1994, Jerry and Linda had the opportunity to be furlough replacements for a missionary couple in New Zealand. During that year of service, the Lord confirmed in their hearts that New Zealand was the place for them. Upon their return to the USA, they applied and were accepted as new missionary candidates to a new field for GFA.
In 1998, they returned to New Zealand and assisted veteran missionaries Steve and Esther Cruice at the Hawkes Bay Independent Baptist Church in Hastings, New Zealand. At the end of that year, a struggling church in the city of Taupo asked if they would come and assume the pastoral leadership of the Taupo Bible Church. The rebuilding process has been slow and difficult, but after 12 years God has blessed them with a congregation of between 70 to 80 people. In 2006 God's blessing and provision enabled the small congregation to purchase property with a view to building their own church in the future. One of the young men in the church now believes that God has called him into pastoral ministry and is seeking the Lord's direction and provision for training.
To view Jerry and Linda Craven's photo gallery, click the picture below.