Rachel Edwards Berg
October 19, 1938 – August 26, 2020
Rachel Anne Edwards Berg, 81, of Hartwell, GA, passed away Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at Brown Health & Rehab in Royston.
Born on October 19, 1938, in Lake City, SC, she was the daughter of the late Rev. Coleman Blease Edwards and Lessie Mae Evans Edwards. Mrs. Berg graduated from Holmes Bible College, then the Columbia Baptist Hospital School of Nursing, Class of 1960. She was a former RN for the Hart County Hospital Swing Bed Unit, ICU/CCU nurse for Athens Regional Hospital, a former medical missionary for the IPHC in Zimbabwe for six years, and a retired RN for Hartwell Health & Rehab.
Survivors include three sons: Richard Berg (Michele) of Rydal, GA; Ralph Berg (Kathy) of Gainesville, GA; and Daniel Berg (Leslie) of Athens, GA; her daughter: Anne Marie Addison (Kenny) of Hartwell, GA; four sisters: Melba Potter of Lake City, SC; Jewelle Stewart (Rev. Rabon) of Florence, SC; Wanda Lampley (Rev. Harrison) of Franklin Springs, GA; and Donna Ivey (Rev. Al) of Lake City, SC; seven grandchildren: Hunter Berg, Rachel Addison, Parker Dillard, Michael Addison, Caedmon Berg, Laura Clark, and Haley Dakich; and five great-grandchildren: Mia Addison, Michael Jay Addison, Abigail Dakich, Mackenzie Dakich, and Calla Rae Berg. Mrs. Berg is preceded in death by her parents and husband, Clarence Ralph Berg.
The family will receive friends on Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Franklin Springs Pentecostal Holiness Church. Other times the family will be at their respective homes.
Funeral services for Mrs. Rachel Berg will be held Sunday, August 30, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. in the Franklin Springs Pentecostal Holiness Church with Rev. Harrison Lampley and Rev. Rabon Stewart officiating. Burial will be at the Nancy Hart Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Franklin Springs Pentecostal Holiness Church, P.O. Box 269, Franklin Springs, GA 30639.
- The Strickland Funeral Home of Hartwell is in charge of all arrangements.
On Sunday afternoon, August 30, 2020, I was privileged to speak at the funeral service for Mrs. Rachel Berg. Excerpts from my tribute to Mrs. Berg follow:
On behalf of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church World Missions family, we honor and remember, with gratitude, the life and ministry legacy of Mrs. Rachel Berg, and we give thanks to God for her service as a revered and cherished missionary and minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Rachel Berg served as an IPHC Medical Missionary from October 1992 to December 1999.
In, The Simultaneous Principle, written by Dr. Frank Tunstall, you will find the following description about Rachel’s tenure of service in World Missions.
“She arrived in Zimbabwe in 1993 and was assigned to Doma in the northern part of Zimbabwe. This was a remote, ﬁve-hundred-square-mile area with a population of 30,000 people.
Berg’s nursing ministry has been to travel the area, vaccinating babies and children, and tracking their development. Doma is infested with dreaded diseases such as leprosy, tuberculosis, and AIDS. Her visits make the diﬀerence between life and death; she is very conscious that the Lord has sent her to save lives.”
And as good a writer as Dr. Tunstall is, let me read Rachel's hand-written testimony and account of her time in Zimbabwe, which is now stored in our IPHC Archives Research Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
“December 1993 arrived in South Africa, then up to the beautiful and charming nation of Zimbabwe.
The assignment of the Ministry of Health of Zimbabwe was to bring health care to the most remote areas of Doma. A 500 square mile tract of land with population of 30,000 people.
We followed a ‘Supermarket approach’ - our mobile clinic went out 3 days per week - 50 compounds or villages per month.
We vaccinated babies and children up to 5 years old. Tracking their growth and development.
We recruited and trained farm health workers from each village or ‘compound.’
The training was 3 to 6 weeks in which disease prevention and recognition, sanitation, treatment of malaria, and First Aid were covered.
There were on-site classes every month for all the mothers on preparation of electrolyte replacement, pollution, sanitation, recognition, and treatment of malaria, etc.
Several times when malaria or polio threatened our area, we had campaigns in which many thousands of babies and children were inoculated.
While I was there, we had no deaths from these diseases. Also, no diagnosed polio cases. in other areas, there were deaths from measles and some polio victims.
In a place where there are dreaded diseases such as leprosy, tuberculosis, and AIDS, the needs for prevention and teaching are life and death. Every time we went out, we were saving lives.
By negotiating and encouraging, we saw most compounds construct proper houses, Blair toilets, and almost all have safe water within easy walking distance.
At the time of our departure from Zimbabwe; 100% of children from birth to age 5 years in Doma, were up to date on all vaccinations.
In 1996, we received permission to have church services in several compounds. We began conducting outdoor church twice on Sunday. There were many who prayed to receive Jesus.
In the 6 years while I was in Zimbabwe there were so many unexpected pleasures. Many mornings on our way out to Doma, we saw wild animals. There are giraffe, zebra, various deer-like creatures, dykers, and an anteater one Sunday morning.
There are wonders such as Hwange National Park where reside many animals and Victoria Falls. So many blessings.
But most of all was the joy of being in God’s will. Saving lives and talking about Jesus.”
Joe Delport, the Regional Director for Southern Africa, who served alongside Rachel in Zimbabwe along with his wife Maggie, sent the following note in tribute:
“It is with sad hearts that we learn of the passing of Rachel Berg, former medical missionary to Zimbabwe. Rachel served as a nurse in a rural community in Zimbabwe called Doma, in the early nineties. She was very dedicated to her work and would make her weekly rounds to the rural villages where she attended to children and adults alike. Maggie and I accompanied her on some of these travels and saw first-hand, the love the rural people had for her. Her love for Jesus was very evident as she would share the gospel with the Zimbabwe medical staff who traveled with her and all who she came in contact with. Our sincere condolences go out to her family, whom she loved dearly.”
In his eulogy, Rachel’s brother-in-law, the Rev. Rabon Stewart concluded his poignant remarks by saying;
“Throughout her tenure as a Medical Missionary in Zimbabwe, Rachel encountered situations she’d never before experienced. The roads she traveled were hard and dangerous. Her hours were long. The challenges were many. She encountered farm owners and leaders in villages where she had to ‘stand tall’ and demand better conditions for the people, such as potable water. Her son, Daniel, says she was able to inoculate thousands of children. (I believe him because he visited and followed her for a couple of weeks seeing first-hand what his mother was accomplishing.)
Her impact was of such a nature that the nationals gave her the title of ‘She Who Walks Tall.’ She stood tall physically. She stood tall medically. She stood tall spiritually. She was a faithful witness to the grace and love of God and will forever ‘stand tall’ in our memory.”
Rachel, you “Stood Tall” in every situation of life. Your missionary family honors you and will forever be indebted to you for your service to Christ and the IPHC in Zimbabwe, Africa. Your impact in Doma, Zimbabwe is indelible.
I am confident that as you entered the gate of that Celestial City on Wednesday, August 26th you heard your Lord and Saviour say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant….Enter into the joy of your lord.’ [NKJV]"
To Mrs. Berg’s family, we extend our deepest condolences. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you in this your time of grief.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Bishop J. Talmadge Gardner
Executive Director, IPHC World Missions Ministries