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Tributes paid to former director of African Enterprise 'Queen Jean'

The former UK director of African Enterprise, Jean Wilson, has died in hospital in Blackpool at the age of 79 ...

Jean Wilson, a leading figure in UK and Global Evangelism for more than 50 years, died in hospital in Blackpool on Sunday (13 January 2013). She was 79.

Jean’s work and ministry was multi-faceted and multi-national. She had a heart for mission coupled with great business ability and was involved in the international work of African Enterprise (AE) from its founding by Michael Cassidy in 1962. Jean was an original Trustee when AE was incorporated in the United Kingdom in 1978 and served, in a voluntary capacity, as AE's UK Director and also as the Organisation's International Treasurer.

She was affectionately known to many African Christian leaders (and others worldwide) as “Queen Jean”.

When a serious stroke led her to retire as the Director of African Enterprise UK in 2008, the Trustees appointed her a “Life Fellow” of the Mission, in recognition of her huge contribution to the Ministry over five decades.

Jean’s professional work focused on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association where she managed the BGEA Office from the mid 1950s to 2008.  She was a close friend of Billy and Ruth Graham.  Writing to her in 2008, Billy Graham said, “Words are impossible to express my love and gratitude to you for the years you have served the Lord alongside us in our ministry of evangelism.  God has given you multiple gifts, and extra strength for the work that you have done over the years.  Your love of the Lord has been an encouragement to many people, including our family.”

Her many other national and international responsibilities included leadership roles in Gospel Light Publications, Bible Network, Bridges for Peace, Christian Booksellers Convention, Christian Medical Fellowship, Every Home for Christ, Mission India, Movement for World Evangelization and World Literature Crusade.

Jean Wilson was a life-time member of All Souls Church in Langham Place in London and the Reverend Richard Bewes, Trustee of AE UK and former Rector of All Souls, said of her, "For more than 50 years, our beloved Jean has left the stamp of her self-effacing Christ-centred service all over the world. Christians and Mission Organisations are deeply thankful to God for this wonderful friend of the international Church of the Lord Jesus Christ."

African Enterprise is an African-led, African-inspired Organisation that brings the Christian message and Humanitarian Relief to the great urban areas of Africa.  Its mission is to “Evangelise the Cities of Africa through Word and Deed in partnership with the Church”.

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