John Seaman passes away

Grand Ledge, Michigan

John Seaman, superintendent of the Michigan District and a former Church of the Nazarene missionary, passed away 19 March. He was 69.

"It is with great sadness I tell you that Sunday night around 6:15, our beloved friend and leader, Dr. John Seaman, transitioned to eternity," wrote Interim Michigan District Superintendent Glen Gardner. "I like to think that Dr. Seaman joined the heavenly choir and is singing and laughing and rejoicing."

Seaman underwent surgery for a malignant brain tumor in August and had been receiving chemotherapy treatment. He was moved to a hospice facility 11 March.

"John was a personal friend, a mentor, and one of the most passionate and committed churchmen that I had the privilege to have known," said Gustavo Crocker, general superintendent in jurisdiction. "There are literally thousands of lives in many countries that have been touched by such a Christlike servant. Mine is one of them. Dr. Seaman will be greatly missed."

Seaman and his wife, Linda, began serving as missionaries in 1976, first in Martinique. In 1987, they were reassigned to Côte d'Ivoire to pioneer the church's work in West Africa. After leaving the mission field in 2003, John was elected superintendent of the Michigan District.

"John and Linda were some of our very best missionary leaders on the continent of Africa and also personal friends," said Richard Zanner, retired Africa regional director. "It was my joy, honor, and privilege to have John on my team of the RAC (regional advisory council) for many years. I have sat at their table, slept in their home, laughed with them over the many funny situations they encountered, suffered with them through dark hours, wept with them at the time of [their daughter] Kendra's accident, and prayed through on challenging situations."

John served as a delegate to the 1989, 1993, 1997, 2005, and 2009 general assemblies. In 2013, he became a member of the Church of the Nazarene's General Board, serving on the Global Mission Committee.

He held a Bachelor of Arts from Olivet Nazarene College (now University) and a Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education from Nazarene Theological Seminary.

In addition to Linda, John is survived by their three children — Kendra, Lauren, and Ketly — and his sister, Connie Cunningham. 

A memorial service will be held at 3 PM, 8 April 2017, at Jackson, Michigan, First Church of the Nazarene. The family will greet visitors from 1-3 PM. The memorial service will also be live streamed at

The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made to Reach77* in its effort to provide transitional housing for survivors of human trafficking. Checks can be made payable to Reach77 and sent to 1229 N. Anvil Ct. Addison, IL 60101. You can also give directly at A special memorial page has been set up in Seaman's honor.

Continued prayer is requested for the Seaman and Michigan District families. 

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