TEMPE, Ariz.—Mildred Lang, who spent her adult life in service for the Lord, died Oct. 22 at age 95. “Mom was never a ‘career missionary,’” says her daughter, Fran Elnicky, “but her ministries of helps were a blessing to many.”
Mildred was secretary to Dr. Irving Penberthy at Cedar Avenue Baptist Church, Fresno, Calif., from 1950 to 1970. For a number of years, Cedar Avenue Baptist hosted an annual Mid-Valley Bible Conference, which included well-known speakers such as M. R. DeHaan, J. Vernon McGhee, R. Steadman, and Charles Feinberg. Mildred was in charge of making all arrangements for the needs of the speakers, publicity, programs, etc. In addition, Mildred and her husband, Howard, carried on a lay ministry to the Chuckchansi Indians each Sunday in Coarsegold, Calif., from 1948 to 1971.
Howard went to be with the Lord in 2000.
In 1974 the Langs were accepted by the Fellowship of Baptists for Home Missions (now Western Baptist Home Missions) for itinerant ministry. The Langs purchased a travel trailer and for six months of the year they traveled to small or struggling Baptist churches and distributed literature and tracts in the neighborhoods. They continued this ministry until 1981.
Mildred was actively involved with the Women’s Missionary Fellowship at Cedar Avenue Baptist Church, where she was in charge of the quilts for various missionaries and agencies. However, in 2002, following a heart attack, she needed to move to Arizona to be near her daughter. This did not stop her ministry. She and her daughter continued to prepare lap robe quilts for a missionary in Poland.
On Oct. 18, 2013, Mildred gave her daughter a quilt she had just completed. The next day, Mildred moved into assisted living, along with her sewing machine and recliner. She would not be able to work on quilts, but she could continue making tie towels for hospitality gifts, for missionaries in Japan, and to be placed in gospel bags that were used by missionaries in several countries. She never used her sewing machine there, because on Oct. 22, God swiftly and peacefully ushered her from her recliner into her Home in Heaven.
Because Mildred had touched many lives, two memorial services were held—one in Arizona for family and friends, and one at Madera (Calif.) Baptist Church for longtime friends in the Fresno area. After the service in Arizona, a 94-year-old former Quaker woman prayed and received assurance of salvation, and 10 of the Native Americans from Mildred’s ministry in Coarsegold attended the service in California.
Fran says that Mildred “loved the Lord and serving Him—right up to when she walked into His arms.”