Saturday, October 20, 2012

Edna Thimes

Edna Thimes (1914-1995). Missionary Nurse. Evangelist. Edna was born to Henry J. and Martha Thimes on September 26, 1914, fourth child of five, in a loving, but unchurched family. They lived on a farm near Emporia, Kansas. Henry and Martha taught the children high moral standards and a reverence for God. Edna was fourteen when she first attended a Church of God congregation and was saved within two months.
After graduating from high school, she attended Anderson College, Anderson, Indiana, graduating in 1940 with a Bachelor of Theology. She trained to be a registered home nurse at the St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing at Anderson and at the former Bethany Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas.
She served as a Sunday School teacher and Superintendent in her home church and spent her vacations as a resident nurse at the Anderson Church of God campmeeting.
Edna served in the mission field in Kenya, East Africa for 22 years at the Mwihila Hospital at Kisumu and in Kima. She once said that half the babies born in Kenya were named “Edna” in her honor. Her special interest were babies whose mothers had died in childbirth. She often kept them until they were two, sharing the love of Jesus with them and returning them to their fathers when they could eat regular table food.
When Edna retired from the mission field, she returned to her home in the United States, next moving for a time to California to live near a niece, and finally returning to Kansas City.
Edna’s big heart gave out on June 22, 1995. Her “heavenly graduation ceremony” was conducted at the former First Church of God and her body is buried in Emporia.

* Near the time of my birth, the ladies at church, including Edna, had a baby shower for my mother, presenting her with a hooded baby towel embroidered with their signatures. We considered her family, as she was my mother’s maternal aunt’s first cousin. Furloughs from the mission field were five years apart and she stayed with us or my grandparents during her deputation visits to churches nearby. I corresponded with her during my teen years and once sent her $5.00 out of my allowance. She wrote a thank you note, stating she had purchased an apple as a treat in the local market. Apples didn’t grow in the climate there and she had been hankering for a taste of home. My mother played the organ for Edna’s funeral service. She’s rejoicing in heaven!

More to Read:
1. Anderson University Alumni,
2. Church of God Missions Magazines, various issues from 1961-1978.
3. US Federal Census
5. History of Wyandotte County, Kansas: and its people. Edited by Perl Wilbur Morgan, p. 413-415.  Vol. 1
6. Findagrave #116965706

Places to visit in KS.
1. New Life Family (formerly First Church of God), 4835 Shawnee Drive, Kansas City, KS. 913-262-8048
2. Bethany Methodist Hospital  (org. 1892) stood at the corner of 12th & Reynolds, Kansas City, KS until July 2001 when it closed. Stand at that corner and imagine all the babies born there! 
3. Providence Hospital's Medical Museum in the Main Entrance Lobby. (Contains two cabinets of Bethany Hospital & Nursing School memorabilia.), 8929 Parallel, Kansas City, KS.
4. Maple Woods Memorial Lawn Cemetery, Emporia, KS


  1. Edna Thimes saved my life. In 1959, my father was the pastor of First Church of God in Kansas City, KS where Edna attended when she was in the US. I was born in January of that year and Edna happened to be working at Bethel Hospital in Kansas City when my mother went into labor. I was a large baby over 9 pounds - too large for my 5'2" mother and in those days they didn't do very many cesarean deliveries. As a result of the delivery my head was traumatized and I didn't breath. After working for a while the doctor gave up and told my mother that they had lost me. Mom says that Edna just wouldn't give up. She worked all night with some type of manual tilting machine to help me breathe on my own and finally I did.
    To my regret, it wasn't my privelege to know Edna very well as our paths didn't often cross. But I will always hold her memory dear and her touch upon my life so many years ago. -- Tim Harvey

  2. My dad and , Jack and Lucille Harvey, were longtime friends of Edna Thimes and dad was her pastor at First Church of God before she left for the mission field. He died about a year after Edna but mom is 85 and still with us and was so thrilled when my brother sent your blog to her. She regrets that although they were friends for years, she has no picture of Edna. If you have pictures and would be willing to post them, she would really enjoy seeing them. Thanks for your blog - it brought back some great memories for our family.

  3. I believe I have at least one photo of Edna that I will be happy to post for you. I've got to dig for it and scan, so check back in a few days for it! Thanks so much for commenting on my blog post! It's made my day! Blessings to you!

  4. Thank you for sharing Edna with us. What a blessing she was to so many!

  5. My mother used to enjoy telling a great story about Edna Thimes, but I don't think that Pop liked it quite as much. They were all students at Anderson College in 1943. The morning after I was born, Pop finished his shift at Eastside Dairy and rushed to St. John's Hospital to see Mom and their new child. Edna, who was working there as a nurse, met him in the maternity ward and ask if he would like to see his new baby. She then left, but soon returned from the nursery. In her arms was a coal-black infant. Mom used to laugh about Pop then coming into her hospital room wearing a strange, disoriented expression. Evidently, Edna had a wonderful sense of humor! I wish that I could have known her.u

  6. I know this website provides quality dependent content and other data, is there any other website
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    1. If you are looking for a comprehensive database for ancestral information, please see my side-bar. Both state maps are linking devices to a database of free information for each state, otherwise, I would suggest you use a search engine to look for the information you want. Thank you for visiting my blog today.

  7. Not all social-media platforms are the same.

    1. No, they are not, however, has given me an outlet to write about the people I've read about in Missouri and Kansas history who interest me. Edna must be someone who interests a lot of people, because for some reason, she's gotten a lot of views recently. smile!

  8. |Porque muita gente ainda não consegue ver a importância de posts
    como esse ? Parabéns pelo conteúdo !

  9. Hi there, for all time i used to check blog posts here early in the break of
    day, as i enjoy to find out more and more.

  10. Fascinating! We can look into our own "6 degrees" to find a small separation between us and many saints - if we look! They can encourage us to be all we can be - use our talents for good, too! Thanks for this history from your circle of life that you share with us!

    1. Thank you, Karen, for visiting my blog today and taking the time to leave a comment. May God bless you with what you need today! :)


Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. ~ Ephesians 1:15-17.