Obituary: Russell Camp

SAN DIEGO, CA (May 19, 2014) — Russell Camp, who helped guide the Covenant’s early missionary work in Ecuador, died Saturday.

Services will be at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Bailey Center at Mount Miguel Covenant Village.

“Russ was a humble, gentle, fearless evangelist and church planter,” said Margie Swenson, co-director of missionary personnel. “He was one of the ‘quiet Great Commission’ heroes of our faith, a missionary pioneer with the Quichua population of Ecuador.”

Russ, 85, was born May 29, 1928. He earned a bachelor of theology degree from the Bible Institute of Los Angeles and a bachelor of arts from Los Angeles Pacific College. He attended North Park Theological Seminary.

He married Patricia Roberts on June 9, 1950. She survives.

The Annual Meeting called the couple to be missionaries to Ecuador in 1953. After a year of language studies, they served several locations in Ecuador, including the cities of Quito and Cayambe between 1954 to 1961.

They planted a church and Sunday school in Cayambe, while also doing evangelism in outlying villages.

The couple returned to the United States in 1961 to work with the Spanish-speaking Covenant church in La Villa, Texas, for several months. They taught in the public school system in Simi Valley, California, from 1963 to 1974.

Russ and Patricia returned to work in Quito, Ecuador, and did ministry there from 1974 to 1984, when they concluded their missionary service.

In addition to Pat, survivors include sons Robert Camp and John Camp, and daughter Marilyn van Leeuwen. He was preceded in death by his son, Steve Camp.

 

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Cathy is the managing editor of the Covenant Companion. She lives in Chicago and hates driving so much that she bikes to work even when it's 20 degrees and snowing. She blogs with seven other Covenant women at theoloqui.net and recently acquired an English mastiff puppy named Helmut.

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10 Comments

  1. It is our joy to have known Russ. We were privileged to help him visit Ecuador one last time about 10 years ago. What a joyful reunion that was for the church and for him.

  2. I will always remember my friend as “Grandpa Russ”. Over the past several years, he and Pat came and volunteered as Camp Grandparents at Alpine Camp and Conference Center. His love for God, children and music touched all of us. Thank you for serving with a gracious, loving spirit. My life has been changed because Grandpa Russ called me his friend. The influence of Russ & Pat Camp are one of the reasons I am now serving as a Covenant Short-Term Missionary in Thailand.

  3. I remember him as well as others coming to Portage Lake Camp as missionary of the week. It was wonderful getting to know missionaries and learning of the work they were doing. Now, living at Covenant Shores, Mel & June Metcalf have been our friends, as well as the late Al and Gladys White. Are our furloughed missionaries part of our camps these days? I hope so.

  4. Russ Continued to be a missionary until his last days. His church has been working with a Christian school in the mountains of Guatemala since 2001, and Russ continued to go with the church mission team every year, even until 2013. He always said “Pat says this is my last year, but we’ll see!” And we did see…each year we saw him in Guatemala again. The entire community here in San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala, mourns his passing. I hope someone will play the accordion at his memorial…he’d like that!

  5. It was so sad to hear about the death of dear, dear Uncle Russ. I have such fond memories of Ecuador and more recent years of being with him in Spring Valley, California. I imagine my dad and Uncle Russ healthy and robust hanging out together in heaven. Thinking of you and praying for you Aunt Pat from New Hampshire.

  6. Russ will be missed. Yes he was a gentle loving and humble man who loved to teach others how to play the accordion. He and his smile will be missed. I recently went to Alpine Conference Center and was told that he would be teaching accordion this coming summer. Russ, we crossed paths while serving in Ecuador and look forward to communing together in heaven.

  7. Russell was a calming influence in every situation, always with a smile and gentle in spirit.
    Faithful in ministry along with his wife, Pat, as they served the Lord.

  8. Russ was a faithful leader in the church in Simi Valley while I was pastor there. Our sympathy to Pat and family in this time of loss. – Chet and Jean Larson

  9. He was “Uncle Russ” to me, along with “Aunt Pat.” He became part of the extended family that I otherwise mostly didn’t have as a missionary kid in Ecuador being so far removed from family in the U.S. I remember having the Christmas eve Smorgasbord and gift exchange at his house, and our families spending a month together traveling from Quito down through Peru and back. Peace to you, Aunt Pat as you mourn the loss of his physical presence with you and remember the man of God that he was.

  10. Russ was truly a “quiet Great Commission hero” as well as a great colleague and friend. Along with Jaime Lomas he helped plant multiple churches among the Quichua population in Ecuador. He always had time for people. In retirement he has taken multiple missionary trips to Guatemala to help a school in San Juan la Laguna.

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