The Foursquare family has lost one of its legendary pioneering missionaries with the passing of Mason Hughes Jr., 92. He went to be with the Lord on Saturday, Oct. 2, in Concord, N.C.
In 1956, Mason and his wife, Virgene, whom he joins in heaven, launched our movement’s outreach to Papua New Guinea (PNG), a legacy that today spans more than 1,800 churches, four Bible colleges, and missionaries sent out to surrounding Pacific Island nations and throughout the world.
Foursquare missionary Frank Greer, who followed Mason’s time serving in PNG, says Mason and Virgene laid a solid foundation for his family to build on.
“Mason exemplified that ‘sold-out missionary spirit,’ being willing to go wherever God told him to go to bring the gospel to the unreached,” Frank affirms.
When Mason arrived in the highlands of the southwestern Pacific Island, he walked into a region of unreached peoples, ready to engage with locals in a relational way to bring the presence of Jesus. With no English speakers, he relied on the services of his translator, who became the first believer.
Ted Vail, D.I.S., senior director of Foursquare Missions International (FMI), notes that Mason represented the courage and daring compassion required to bring the gospel to new places.
“He serves as a role model to us, and now countless millions benefit from his faith-filled, adventurous life,” Ted states.
Jerry Stott, who serves FMI as global associate director to the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, agrees. “The sacrificial love Dr. Mason and Virgene Hughes brought to Papua New Guinea, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia have absolutely transformed the lives of multitudes,” he shares. “Their discipleship training and impact continue from generation to generation.”
Before retiring in 1994, Mason mentored Foursquare missionary workers, trained up generations of local leaders, and pioneered work in seven nations across Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.
“Mason exemplified that ‘sold-out missionary spirit,’ being willing to go wherever God told him to go to bring the gospel to the unreached.” —Frank Greer
FMI’s Global Associate Director to South Asia George (last name withheld for security reasons), who was mentored by Mason and Virgene while living in Singapore in the late 1980s, has since spent decades serving the nations of Southeast Asia that were pioneered by the Hughes.
“They were spiritual parents to us and the believers in Singapore and Southeast Asia, who called them papa and mama,” George recalls. “Loved and respected as elders, they clearly demonstrated apostolic ministry in pioneering new works and opening new nations for the establishment and growth of Foursquare ministry,” he remarks. “Their love, sincerity and genuine interest in people won hearts wherever they went.”
As they served, the Hughes remained deeply committed to the ministry of God’s Word and following the Holy Spirit’s leading. Effective evangelists, Mason and Virgene shared the gospel with people at every opportunity as they participated with locals in everyday activities. They—and those whom they trained up as disciples of Jesus—witnessed miracles, healings and even people raised from the dead. They made disciples, raised up pastors and planted Spirit-filled churches that multiplied across nations.
As George says of such spiritual giants: “Introducing people to Jesus was their lifestyle, and this has left an eternal impact.”
A memorial service for Mason Hughes will be held next week, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. From 12 – 2 p.m., Mason’s family will receive friends at New Hope Worship Center, 452 Brookwood Ave. NE, Concord, N.C. There, the funeral service will begin at 2 p.m., with the burial to follow at Carolina Memorial Park, Kannapolis, N.C.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes for donations to be made to Foursquare Missions Press for Bibles to be sent over to further the gospel in Papua New Guinea.
To learn more about Mason Hughes’ ministry legacy in Papua New Guinea, watch this video: Foursquare Missionaries Leave a Legacy.