Valley View Free Will Baptist Church
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Growing to Serve
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Eddy and Amanda Simmons

Appointed as career missionaries in April 2015, Eddy and Amanda Simmons work among the Samburu people group of Kenya.

Kenya is located on the eastern coast of Africa and is touted as 40% evangelical Christian. However, at least 30 unreached people groups numbering close to 5.4 million individuals populate the country. The Simmons live in an isolated region of the country and use chronological Bible storying to share the gospel with the unreached, semi-nomadic Samburu tribe.

The Simmons have significant experience working among the Samburu using orality as the basis of their methodology. They also seek to meet some of the physical needs of the Samburu among whom they work. Amanda took a missionary medicine intensive class to be better equipped to handle medical needs.

Eddy describes his childhood as Norman Rockwellian: church, family meals, and joyful holiday celebrations. His mom hosted Child Evangelism Fellowship Bible clubs in their yard. These led to him recognizing his need of salvation. He was eight when he accepted Christ. After rebellious teen years followed by marriage, Eddy and Amanda moved to Texas and became part of a church that practiced discipleship. There his love for the Lord and the Word grew and his faith matured.

Amanda grew up in an entirely different scenario—a tumultuous home life with alcohol, strife, and a workaholic father as the hallmarks of her non-Christian family. Even though unsaved, Amanda’s mom encouraged her and her sister to attend whatever church they lived near. In her teens, that congregation was Episcopal. During a church youth retreat, the priest led her to understand she could never be good enough for God. He explained that Jesus bridged the gap between her sin and a holy God. Amanda accepted Christ as her Savior that evening. After meeting Eddy at age 18, and many theological debates, she began attending church with him.

Eddy and Amanda married at age 19 and were baptized—together—the same year.

Eddy and Amanda were married in 1982 and soon moved to south Texas. After several years in various churches, they became members of a Southern Baptist church that stressed discipleship and personal Scripture reading. Eventually, Eddy recognized a call to ministry and discovered God had been working in Amanda’s heart as well. They moved their two sons to Wake Forest, North Carolina, and he attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Eddy began pastoring in 1995. In 2002, now with four sons, the Simmons felt led to the mission field. They served the Samburu people from 2003-2007 under the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In 2006, they returned to the States to address Eddy’s health issues that were a result of their time in Kenya. After months of medical solutions, and uncertainty concerning the future, they resigned from IMB.

The Simmons returned to the pastorate. During the following years, Eddy and Amanda’s study and practice of reading through the Bible each year led them to question their understanding of eternal security. As a result, they found Free Will Baptists. Eddy pastored Faith Fellowship Free Will Baptist Church in Matthews, North Carolina, October 2011 to August 2015.

After several short-term mission trips to Kenya, the Simmons agreed they needed to return to full-time ministry among this people they love. More than 600 Samburu have come to faith in the last few years through their ministry. Discipleship and leadership training are needed for the work to blossom into a reproducing church among the Samburu people.

The Simmons have four adult sons—Nathan, Josiah, Seth, and Micah, and one granddaughter, Selah.

Faith Fellowship Free Will Baptist, Matthews, NC