Americans Killed by Pirates Had Covenant Connection

By Stan Friedman

PASADENA, CA (February 23, 2011) – Scott Adam, one of four Americans killed by Somali pirates on Tuesday, had volunteered at Centro Hispano de Estudios Teologicos (CHET), the Evangelical Covenant Church’s Spanish-language training center, in the 1990s.

The victims included Adam, his wife, Jean, of Marina del Rey, California, and another couple, Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, both of Seattle. A dispute among the 19 pirates reportedly occurred prior to them shooting the victims.

Adam was a Master of Divinity student at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he was a student of Professor Robert Johnston, who was dean of North Park Theological Seminary when CHET was formed. Adam learned of the opportunity from Johnston’s wife, Cathy Barsotti, who also supervised his work.

“He didn’t speak Spanish, but he helped with all kinds of things in the office, library, getting supplies, etcetera,” said Barsotti.

Adam later became an adjunct instructor at Fuller Seminary and helped develop the course Ministry and Media, which he developed for the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts.

The couple had been sailing around the world on their yacht since 2004 and operated a Bible ministry, distributing Bibles to schools and churches in remote areas of countries that included the Fiji Islands, Alaska, New Zealand, Central America and French Polynesia.

“He was sailing around the world and serving God, two of his passions,” Johnston told the Associated Press. Johnston said the couple knew the dangers they faced, but were careful planners. The couple had sailed with a large flotilla to stay safe from pirates near Thailand earlier in the trip.

Johnston and Barsotti appeared on the CBS news program The Early Show this morning.

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