We are saddened to announce the passing of Rev. Paul Harris, Iringa Hope Co-Founder and member of the Board of Directors. Rev. Harris passed away on February 14, 2022 surrounded by family and friends.
Rev. Harris had a deep love for the people of Tanzania. On his 17 three-month-long mission trips to Tanzania over 34 years he preached in villages throughout the Iringa Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. A scholar and teacher, Rev. Harris taught courses at the University of Minnesota, Bethel College, and Golden Valley Lutheran Junior College in Minnesota. He helped Drs. Arne and Mary Blomquist found the University of Iringa in Tanzania in the early 1990s. There Rev. Harris taught courses on the Protestant Reformation and African Church History. Many of his students became pastors and evangelists.
Energetically committed both to global evangelism and economic development in poor countries, Rev. Harris founded Radio Furaha, a Christian radio station in Iringa, Tanzania, which began broadcasting 24/7 in 2010. He raised its budget, navigated regulatory red tape, helped with technological challenges, and oversaw the development of a wide range of program content. He also co-founded and raised funds for Iringa Hope which developed microfinance banks and farmers’ cooperatives that elevated the standard of living for thousands of Tanzanian subsistence farmers.
Although Rev. Harris is no longer with us in body, we are grateful that his spirit lives on in the lives of all the people he touched. Well done good and faithful servant!