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Jurgen and Joan Matthia

Status: Senior Missionary

Location: North America
Field: South Carolina



Jürgen and Joan Matthia served the Lord as church planters in Germany for 42 years. 

Jürgen grew up in a Christian home in East Prussia (Germany at the time). He accepted Christ as his Savior during a revival meeting as a young teen. Shortly afterward, he left home to start a farming apprenticeship. One night while laying down in a meadow gazing up at the stars, he fully surrendered his life to the Lord’s will. Through many providential circumstances, it became clear that this will was to study for the ministry at Bob Jones University. 

Joanie grew up in Colorado. Her first remembrances of God and the church were through her mother, since her father was not saved until later. After one of the services at the church, her older brother dedicated his life to serving the Lord. She decided she also needed to make a concrete decision to give her heart to God. She went forward and accepted Christ as her Savior. 

Jürgen and Joanie met while studying at Bob Jones University, and they were married in 1959. They began to feel God calling them to go to Germany, so after Jürgen finished up his MA in Bible, they took a survey trip there. 

In the fall of 1963, the Matthias flew to Germany as career missionaries with GFA. They began a church planting ministry in southern Germany, in the university town of Tübingen. The Lord blessed their small church with robust growth. Jürgen was also able to help out with several other churches in the area. The Matthias were also burdened for young people and organized outreaches for German teens. 

Even though they officially retired in 2005, they frequently traveled to Germany to preach at special conferences and help in the ministries of their two children, Krischa McKenzie and Kevin Matthia, who are also GFA missionaries. Jürgen and Joanie also maintain active relationships with members of their church in Tübingen. 

They have 5 children and are very happy the Lord blessed them with 26 grandchildren.