ELSE EBBESTADby Rich Collingridge

Else Ebbestad was born on Feb 5, 1923 and reared in Drammen, Norway.  She passed away February 3, 2015.

She knew she was called to missions when she was seven or eight years old.  She cried, as a child, when she was not allowed to go to India with a visiting missionary.

At 17 she began preparing herself for missions by studying nursing.

She came to New Jersey in January of 1955 and began working at the Memorial Hospital in Morristown.

She began attending the Full Gospel Chapel in Avoca, PA and was accepted as a missionary candidate in 1959.  She went to Kenya for one year and then on to Liberia for three years and then to Togo, working with leprosy patients up to 1978 in these three countries.  Her life was lived with great sacrifice.

All who were sick knew they would be well treated by Else, as well as hear the Gospel.  In addition to clinic work, Else was instrumental in building eleven churches, digging five water wells and operating a literature department, selling books, Bibles and study materials.

Leaving Africa in 1978 Else and her co-worker made their way to Haiti to work on La Gonave.  Her co-worker, Lorraine Hansen, was killed in a tragic auto accident, but Else continued working until 1994.

Else moved to Norway in 2006, thinking she would like to retire there, but missed her friends and church, and so returned from Norway in 2007 to live with long-time friend, Bonnie Sheets in Woodriver, Illinois.  In 2008 she retired at the seniors dwelling in Medford.  In June of 2012 Else was hospitalized and admitted to the Nesconset Nursing Home.

Else passed away on December 2 just a few days short of her 92nd birthday. She is survived by a cousin, Gerd Adolfsen in Asker, Norway.

She was a blessing to all who met and had contact with her.

Ron Braaten says:  “She was perhaps who inspired me in missions. She was the first missionary I took teams to in Haiti.”

Pastor Ted Bichsel remarks: “I was called into ministry the evening that Else Ebbestad spoke.” 


Else was a great influence in the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies, and Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle. A memorial service will be held for Else at Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle on February 21st.


Rich Collingridge is Missions & Evangelism Pastor at Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle in NY.

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