On Sunday morning, August 21, 2016, Genella Versluis entered her heavenly home at the age of 92. She was a dear servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, and her ties with Bibles International began at BI’s inception in 1981, when her husband, Paul, Jr., became the first BI director. The passion that the Versluises had for people without Bibles (particularly in India) provided great impetus for the fledgling organization, and much is owed to Paul and Genella for what BI is today.
The Versluises settled in Grand Rapids after their marriage in 1945, and Paul attended Grand Rapids Baptist Theological Seminary (GRBTS). He and Genella joined Baptist Mid-Missions in 1958. During their more than 50 years with the mission they were active in planting churches in Hawaii, Michigan, South Carolina, and Alaska. They also established orphanages in India and Burma, founded the Asia Theological Seminary, and inaugurated the GRBTS Extension in Singapore. Even after retirement they continued ministering in India through Paul Versluis Partnership Ministries. They have been longstanding members of Berean Baptist Church in Grand Rapids.
Preceding Genella in death were her husband, Paul, and three siblings. She is survived by son Paul III (Joy) and daughter Maribeth Versluis, as well as six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. A service to celebrate Genella’s life will be held Saturday, August 27, at Stegenga Funeral Chapel in Belmont, Michigan. Visitation begins at 10:30, followed by an 11:30 service and a light lunch. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Versluis Partnership Ministries or Bibles International.