IMB missionary Carol Spann dies after brief illness
7/28/1998DALLAS (BP)--Carol Spann, one of Southern Baptists' first
missionaries appointed to Russia after it opened to the West in
1990, died after a brief illness July 22. She was 34.
Spann, who grew up in Ames, Iowa, was diagnosed in Russia
with liver cancer in early July. She and her husband, Matt,
returned to the United States only a week before she died.
Matt Spann conducts church planting and pastoral training
seminars throughout Russia. His wife worked alongside him and
led women's Bible-study groups.
"Carol was always vibrant, always had a smile on her face
and was someone people could talk to," said Roger Briggs, the
International Mission Board's associate regional leader for
Central and Eastern Europe. "She also was a strong helpmate to
Matt. They were a great couple together as they ministered."
The Spanns have offered stability for the IMB's growing
missionary organization in Russia. Many newer missionaries talk
about Carol as being one of the people who helped them the most
as they established themselves on the field. "They had a lot of
confidence in her," Briggs said.
The Spanns came to Moscow in 1993 in the first wave of
career missionaries appointed to Russia after the Soviet Union
fell and religious freedom swept throughout Eastern Europe. Most
IMB missionaries in Russia are still in their first four-year
term of service.
Spann received the bachelor of science degree from Iowa
State University in Ames. She attended Southwestern Baptist
Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She completed an
internship in dietetics at Baylor University Medical Center in
Dallas, Texas, and achieved registered dietitian standing by
examination in Texas.
Before her appointment, she was a dietitian at the
Diabetes Treatment Center and Florida Hospital, both in Orlando
and at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
The Spanns were married in 1989. They had two children, Paul, 5,
and Lydia, 3, who survive her.
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