SEBRING, Fla.—Martha Bernice McCuen Fogle went Home to Glory on March 27. She was 95. A veteran pioneer missionary, Martha spent over 40 years serving with her husband in Africa.
Martha married Lester Fogle in 1937 and, for their honeymoon, boarded a stinky freighter and traveled across the ocean to Africa, where they served as missionaries under Baptist Mid-Missions. Martha’s daughter Maribeth says, “This was primitive Africa—Chad and Central African Republic—and though they labored under sacrificial circumstances, they never wavered in their dedication to Christ and His call. They served their Lord diligently and faithfully, giving Him and the ministry top priority in their lives.”
A natural linguist and recognizing that the Sango language is tonal, Martha wrote a Sango-English dictionary and marked the proper tones above every syllable. She was also a talented musician, accomplished in piano, organ, and singing. Maribeth says her mother blessed many people with her abilities, even at 95.
Martha was born in Nappanee, Ind., to Harold and Bernice McCuen. The family moved to South Bend, Ind., where both the rescue mission and the Ray Bird Camp became a strong influence in Martha’s spiritual life. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior as a child and loved and served Him from then on.
In retirement, Martha was a longtime resident of Maranatha Village, Sebring, Fla., and member of Bethany Baptist Church, Avon Park. In fact, she was the church’s oldest member. Though she was legally deaf and legally blind at the end of her life, Martha took on the ministry of prayer. “How we will miss her, her prayers and her sweet spirit!” says Maribeth. “She never stopped loving and serving the Savior.”
Martha was predeceased by her husband, Lester; two grandchildren; and six siblings. She has left a godly legacy to her seven children, Lois Wilson, Phil, Maribeth Smith, Tim, Tom, Larry, and Dale. She is survived, as well, by 15 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Marguerite Monroe and Esther Michels; and a brother, Ed McCuen.
Maribeth says, “We praise God for the life of Martha Fogle, and for the Christlike example she radiated to those around her. We, her children and grandchildren, have been blessed beyond measure to have been her family!”