Rev. Charles Lee Eby, pioneer missionary to Papua New Guinea passes away

Mar 25, 2022

Rev. Charles Lee Eby, the founder of Melanesia Nazarene Bible College, passed away in the USA last March 10, 2022. He and his wife were pioneer missionaries in Papua New Guinea from 1963-to 1981 and 1990. Rev. Eby died of congestive heart failure after suffering a stroke 15 months ago.

During his high school, he felt called to be a missionary, so he attended Trevecca Nazarene University. After college, he attended the seminary and pastored for two years. At 27 years old, he and his wife Carol Anne with their two children headed for the Territory of Papua and New Guinea in the South Pacific as missionaries for the Church of the Nazarene.

While in Papua New Guinea Rev. Eby and Carol Anne joined other Nazarene missionaries to plant churches and start a healthcare ministry. Charles was also tasked to start a Bible school with young Melanesian men. So in the 1960s, his family lived in a time remote valley where he directed the building of his own home, a church, and a Bible school. It started as simple thatch-roofed buildings for student accommodation and classrooms.

PNG Nazarene Missionary Family – 1966

In the early 1970s, he moved with his whole family about 10 miles to the north for campus expansion. Today that campus next to the Tuman River in the Wahgi Valley includes the Melanesia Nazarene Bible College, Melanesia Nazarene Teachers College, and the Lee Eby Primary School.

When Rev. Eby and his wife returned to the US in the early 1980s, he spent his time working for World Relief in Nashville, settling refugees worldwide. The couple went on countless trips to Asia, Africa, and South America, contributing to school, hospital, and church construction projects and visiting their children who are following in their footsteps, working in Brazil and various countries in Africa. Finding it hard to retire, until a few years ago, Rev. Eby taught citizenship classes to people aspiring to become American citizens.

Charles Eby was survived by Carol Anne, his wife of sixty-three years, four children, ten grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, with the seventh on the way. He was a man of unwavering faith, a man who pursued God’s will as he understood it, loyal to his wife, supportive of his children, teacher, pastor, friend, and handyman. He is loved by countless people who learned from him and have carried on in the faith tradition he championed.


Rachel Piliin

Rachel Piliin is the Executive Assistant of the Communications Coordinator in Asia-Pacific Region.

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