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Albert Mel Long

February 19th, 2013

Albert Mel Long, age 82, died at home surrounded by his family on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 after several years of declining health. He was a member of the Caldwell, Idaho SDA Church. Al was born on Sept. 2, 1930 in Panama and lived his early childhood on San Andreas Island and Columbia, South America until he came to the United States as a young man. His parents died when he was young and he was raised by his older siblings; he had seven brothers and three sisters. His grandparents were the first Seventh-day Adventist converts on Providence Island, Columbia, South America. His mother was a faithful Seventh-day Adventist and his father was baptized shortly before his death. He served in the Armed Forces in Germany for three years. He later worked for Pacific Airlines in California where he met a Seventh-day Adventist Home Economics teacher who worked for the State of California and flew frequently on business with Pacific Airlines. They became acquaintances and she eventually gave him a copy of the book "The Great Controversy" which led to his conversion, baptism, and decision to become a pastor. He graduated from Pacific Union College in Angwin, CA in 1965 with a degree in religion. He was called by Central CA Seventh-Day Adventist Conference to pastor the church in Coalinga. It was here where he was introduced to his future wife, Myrna Shultz, a registered nurse. They married on October 16, 1966 in Caldwell, ID – one of their shared dreams was to serve as missionaries abroad. Six months after their marriage, Al and Myrna were called by the Adventist Church to mission service in Africa which required learning the French language. In 1967 they boarded the SS France in New York for an intensive French language course in Neuchatel, Switzerland. Ten months later, they left for Rwanda, Africa where Al developed and opened the first 2-year ministerial training course in the French language for pastors. During this time, a daughter Valerie Lois and a son, Kevin Jay, were added to the family. Following a year-long furlough to the US where Al earned his Masters of Religion (MA) degree at Andrews University, he and his family returned to Africa in 1973 to serve as Director of the Lulengele Mission in the Kasai Province in Zaire. He and his family were the first missionaries back since the mission was abandoned during the Congo Rebellion of the 1960’s. Al’s unique combination of French fluency and leadership made him the ideal person to direct the work of the church in this region, specifically the Kasai Project. There was a great interest in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in this area due to the government closing many indigenous churches. In 1978, he was called to be Ministerial Director for the Trans-African Division Office in Salisbury, Rhodesia. His responsibilities involved training pastors in eleven different countries which required extensive travel. The family returned to the United States permanently in 1980 where he became the pastor of the 650 member Walla Walla City Church for 2/12 years. He was then asked to be an Associate Ministerial Secretary in the Oregon Conference of Seventh Day Adventists. Four years later the family moved to Montgomery, AL where he was the Executive Secretary of the Gulf States Conference. Two years later, the family again moved to the Georgia Cumberland Conference in Calhoun, GA where he served as Executive Secretary for over eight years until his retirement in 1996. He was always fondly remembered as kind and caring person whose life and acts of kindness and generosity touched thousands of people across the world. He always put others first which was exemplified by his natural gift of teaching and long life of service. He loved his family and was delighted with becoming a grandfather and teaching another generation about kindness, service, and faith in God as Grandpa Al. He is survived by his wife of over 46 years, Myrna (Shultz) Long; his daughter Valerie (Long) Radu of Chattanooga, Tenn., son Kevin Long of Redmond, Ore., grandchildren Katarina and Maximillian Radu, Isabel and Hunter Long; and his sister Nenna Rankin of San Andreas Island, Columbia, South America and numerous nieces and nephews. Arrangements are through Flahiff Funeral Chapels of Caldwell, Idaho. Graveside services at Canyon Hill Cemetery in Caldwell, Idaho. A memorial service will be held Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 10:00 am at Caldwell Seventh Day Adventist Church. The family requests contributions in his memory may be made to Adventist World Radio (AWR) or Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). Service Information

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