In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Nan Jordan, 1948-2023

Nan Jordan, 1948-2023
IMB Photo

Nancy “Nan” Grayce McKennon Jordan, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Japan, died May 1, 2023. She was 74.

Nan was born July 8, 1948, in St. Louis, Missouri, to the late “Mac” L.W. and Jeanne McKennon. She graduated from Burges School in El Paso, Texas, and studied at the University of Texas, El Paso, and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

While in El Paso, she met Ed Jordan at church. They married on June 1, 1968. She felt God calling her to missions as a little girl while attending a Girls Auxiliary (GA) Camp. When Ed was in the military in Germany, she accompanied him. While there, she felt this call more as she taught Backyard Bible Clubs at their church.

Eventually, Ed felt the call of the Lord to ministry. The couple attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary together. Nan worked part time at the Foreign Mission Board Regional Personnel Office.

“As I worked with the candidates who applied and came in contact with the missionaries who visited the office, I was reminded of the call I had experienced as a girl,” Nan wrote while seeking appointment with the FMB.

After hearing Don and Linda Johnson, appointees to Peru, share their testimony, both Ed and Nan made a public decision to serve as overseas missionaries.

In 1982, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Ed and Nan missionaries to Japan. She was one of the original members of the newly-formed Deaf Affinity back in 2008. She served along with Ed in Japan for over 30 years. Nan was passionate about the Deaf receiving the gospel. Ed was a business manager for the IMB and served alongside Nan in working with the Deaf in Tokyo.

Nan is preceded in death by her son, John Jordan.

She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Ed; daughter, Nelwyn Tarbell of Syracuse, New York; one grandson; and three great grandchildren.

A celebration of life was held May 13, at Hunter’s Glen Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.