MMM/EMM Retirees

 Those servants of the Lord who have reached retirement years and are not involved in a full-time ministry with Evangelical Mission Ministries are included in this section.

Retired EMM Missionaries

ElRoy and Erma Ratzlaf


Served in Pharr, TX  1991 - Jan. 2009



El Roy and Erma Ratzlaff spent 29 years in teaching and school administration in Christian schools.  Also, for most of those years, they farmed during the summers near Corn, OK.   After retiring, they sensed that God had something else for them to do.   Rev. Walter Gomez came to visit El Roy and Erma in Phoenix and asked them to move to Pharr, TX, to be office manager at the headquarters of the Mexican Mission Ministries, Inc. in 1991.  They felt the Lord had been good to them and took the position at the Mission without a salary.  El Roy began to take some of the responsibilities of the founder, Walter Gomez.  Then when Rev. Gomez passed away in 1999 at 82 years of age, El Roy became the Executive Director.  The desire of Rev. Gomez was to see the mission come under the leadership of Global Outreach Mission. This transition occurred in 1997, but it became evident that a separate entity could better fulfill Rev. Gomez’s original vision. Under the leadership of Mr. Ratzlaff, the Walter Gomez Evangelical Center was completed in 2000.  Then he led the mission through the transition from Mexican Mission Ministries, division of Global Outreach Mission, to become Evangelical Mission Ministries in 2007.  The new mission is thankful for his leadership in obtaining all the necessary legal documents to make that possible.   During their 17 years with the mission, they enjoyed extensive traveling in Mexico and enjoyed being present in the worship services of many of the churches.  They organized several bus tours so supporters of the mission could visit the seminary and some of the churches. Erma was the hostess, ran the clothing boutique at headquarters, and kept the guest apartments in order.  As the years went by, it became evident that it was time to retire again.  God answered their prayers in the spring of 2009 by sending a replacement for them.


Sara Claassen

Served in Mexico from 2005 - 2009

Sara Claassen came to the Christian elementary school in Aguascalientes, Mexico in July 2005 with a mission work team for her church in Kansas.  The school invited Sara to return to help them set up their new preschool/kindergarten.  Having just retired from teaching bilingual kindergarten in Houston, Sara heard the Lord and said “YES !” After three years, the prekindergarten/kindergarten was well equipped with two good teachers in place.  “My biggest joy has been to lead the kindergartners into a relationship with Jesus, and to counsel their parents.”   Then she worked with the elementary school reading program by obtaining new books for the library and setting up motivational reading strategies.  She said “The Lord has blessed me so much and serving Him in any way I can in Aguascalientes is a great privilege.  In April of 2009 she retired for the second time and is back in the Houston area.

Ruby Stevens

Ruby Served in Mexico from 1971 - 1996 (Retired)
Bill Served in Mexico from 1971 - 1993 (Deceased)

Bill and Ruby Stevens served a term in South America with Gospel Missionary Union. After their first term they moved back to their home in Washington State and Bill worked as an electrician for a short time. The Lord convinced them they should return to the mission field and they applied to serve with MMM. They went to Monclova in 1971 where they served as church planters and both taught at the Seminary. They also started the work at Sabinas, a town north of Monclova. They were asked to go to Ciudad Juarez to begin a church in 1976. Both Bill and Ruby were very effective at witnessing from door to door. They held home Bible studies and soon had enough converts to start a church. They had an effective ministry in the Emanuel Church they started and nurtured to good health. They remained active in this church till Bill had a heart attack and passed away April 30, 1993. Ruby continued to work in the church and held many home Bible studies till she retired in 1996. She purchased a home in Belton, MO, near several of her children. 

 Howard Just

Howard Served in Pharr from 1966 - 2005 (Retired 2005)
JoAnn Served in Pharr from 1963 - 2005  (Deceased 2007)

Howard Just and JoAnn Gillson Just served with the Mission faithfully for some 40 years.  JoAnn came to the mission first in 1963 as JoAnn Gilson.  She worked in the offices as a secretary.  Three years later in 1966 Howard Just joined MMM as comptroller.  The two met at the mission and in 1975 were married.  After they married, JoAnn took over the care of the apartments at the Pharr headquarters.  Howard was comptroller until they moved to Tahlequah, OK, in 2005.  JoAnn passed away May 5, 2007, with complications after heart surgery.  Howard continues to work with the Bible correspondence ministry of Christ For Me Mission..


Phil & Norita Gour

Served in Mexico from 1988 - 2000

Phil and Norita joined the Mission in 1988. They planted a church in Arteaga, Coahuila. Phil also worked in film evangelism as well as carpentry, cabinetry and even pew construction for many of the new churches. Phil also built the doors for the seminary. Norita served as accountant for the Mexico field funds until 2000. The Gours, now retired, live in Bibleville near both Alamo, TX. and our Headquarters in Pharr. They minister through various activities there while continuing a close friendship with some of the people they once labored with in Mexico.



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