Missionary Joseph Worndle
Missionary Joseph Worndle

PUERTO PLATA, Dominican Republic (BNc) — A young preacher was hacked to death for baptizing a young woman, missionary Joseph Worndle wrote yesterday.

Jonas was one of his best students at the preaching school.

“Jonas was teaching a group of people in his village outside of Puerto Plata. Soon one young lady was ready to be baptized. The whole group witnessed the baptism and Jonas was so happy about the conversion. He told everyone about it. However, the husband did not approve of his wife leaving her denomination and thus he attacked Jonas with a machete, hacking him (literally) to pieces,” Joseph wrote.

“The murderer has been arrested. We all will miss Jonas. He always had such great questions in class, and he often told us how the Bible clearly contradicts his former religion. Jonas was very disturbed by the fact that there are over 34,000 different denominations and he often told people to Google-search it and check it out for themselves,” he said.

“Obviously, I was so disturbed about it I could not get myself to speak much about it. The facts are now in and I am willing to tell how it is often not without peril to teach the truth,” Joseph wrote.

dominican-republicThe murder occurred last week, but only now has Joseph been able to talk about it.

The elders of the Stiversville, Tenn., congregation, a long-time supporter of Joseph, asked by email, “How does this make us feel? Scared and ready to give up and pull out of the mission field, or does it make us determined to preach more, pray more and yes, even give more, so those brave souls such as Joseph Worndle and the late Jonas and many others will know we care and support them?”

Joseph’s overseeing congregation is the West Broward church in Plantation, Fla.

Joe would welcome emails, Stiversville elder Larry Benderman said to BNc.

“Joseph has been one of our most dedicated missionaries we have supported from the Stiversville church. We have supported him from the very beginning of his work, well over 20 years ago. He is a graduate of the Sunset School of Preaching and has all but given his life’s blood to his efforts in Haiti and the Dominican Republic,” Larry wrote.



  1. We are so certain of the liberty to freely speak our opinions here in the USA that we tend to forget that in many places around the world that freedom does not exist. In Muslim countries, in particular, one practices Christianity at the risk of his/her life. And even in America, it is becoming fashionable to denigrate Christianity. I fear that the next generation of American Christians may face persecutions unheard of, and that our missionaries and their converts in foreign lands will face situations similar to those mentioned in Acts, or worse. Pray God that it be not so!

  2. I am very touched by this story and will pray for his family. I visit many preaching schools throughout the world and I am always impressed with their dedication and desire to serve Jesus. Lord willing, I plan to be visiting Haiti this Wednesday for Mission Printing. We are a volunteer organization that ships millions of tracts around the world for free. My task will be to help the Haitian people translate Mission Printing tracts from English into Creole. This should be a great aid in helping millions understand the gospel. They will be taught to assemble and distribute the Creole tracts that will be furnished to them. Jonas did not die in vain, but will be a great encouragement and example of Jesus Christ to many Christians throughout the world. May God bless us with the strength and courage to endure all of the devil’s darts.

  3. We salute Bro. Jonas for doing what is right even if it means we must die for it. His death is certainly not in vain but strong encouragement to us to remain faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10).
    Rohan Jones
    Cape Town, South Africa

  4. “Blessed at the dead which die in the Lord….” (Rev.14:13). What a shame for brother Jonas to have to give his life, but now he is blessed and he remains a blessing to all of us who are still living. Surely, we’ll understand things such as this much better, bye and bye.

  5. Feel so bad for this happening to our Christian brother. He died doing good God’s work. You wouldn’t think anything like this would happen in this day and time.

  6. Each and every time the gospel is preached in a foreign country there is that kind of danger. Brother Jones was well aware of the danger but he fearlessly baptized the woman into Christ. Praise God for faith like his. Now watch as Romans 8:28 takes control.

  7. This is such a horrible, sad story. We take for granted the freedoms we have to worship and speak in the U.S., and as someone else said, the next generation may not have them. I’m wondering, is there anything that people here can do in this particular situation? Did he leave behind a family that needs support, financial or otherwise? What about the preaching school, etc.? What is the name of it, even? Several friends and family who are members of the church have shared this story, and I wish there were a way for us to help and to be a blessing in the wake of this tragedy.