Christian Businessman Ministers to Persecuted Pastors, Missionaries

Feb 11, 2003 01:53 PM EST

A Mississippi businessman is carrying the light of Christ around the world in unusual ways.

In a typical year, Richard and Gina Headrick spend more than 270 days away from their homes in Laurel, Mississippi, and in southeastern Wyoming, often helping and encouraging Christian missionaries and pastors in countries hostile to the gospel.

Richard Headrick is president and chairman of the board of 13 national and international corporations. Among the companies the successful businessman oversees is Headrick Sign Company, a billboard and outdoor sign company started by his dad in 1927.

Over the years, Headrick and his wife have traveled to remote parts of the world, helping missionaries and sharing the gospel. Headrick says many pastors worldwide face persecution on a daily basis -- and he has seen physical proof of that persecution.

"We've seen the scars on their arms, their backs, their feet, [and on] their faces [from] acid thrown in the face of Christians. We've seen guys hanging in trees where they've been hung," Headrick says. "A lot of it is not a pretty sight -- but these boys get in there and they stay faithful."

One of the avenues of support to pastors and missionaries is through Headrick's Hope Foundation. Through that outreach, Headrick supports, trains, and educates local pastors and establishes churches in Central America -- with the goal of using nationals whenever and however possible to lead others to Christ.

Headrick grew up in a Christian home, eventually becoming a lay preacher in many churches. However, he says he led a "double life" until 1989, when a respected Christian associate confronted him about his life and he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.

By Albert H. Lee
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