Skip Navigation

Pastor Goes From Red-Headed to Bald as Church Saves Lives by Imagining No Malaria


Memphis Conference
September 30th, 2015

Even though the Memphis Conference-wide campaign to raise $1 million for Imagine No Malaria (INM) in partnership with the Tennessee Conference ended in June, Paris First UMC in Paris, Tenn., is still working to raise money for the initiative that seeks to eradicate the disease through education, communication and treatment.
Throughout August, the church worked to raise $1,000 ($10 per life) and have 80 percent percent of the congregation in attendance each week "protected" from mosquitoes, according to Dr. Rob Martin, pastor. 
Activities included worship service skits, missionary witnesses, a building infestation of hundreds of pipe cleaner mosquitoes and roaming exterminators who checked church members for their mosquito protection, according to Martin.
“Protection,” Martin explained, was obtained by making a $5 per individual or $20 per family donation to INM.  Each donor received an INM button to wear and show they were protected.
INM supporters were encouraged to wear their buttons to church and in the Paris/Henry County community throughout August, Martin explained.
As an incentive, Martin agreed to dye his hair red if the congregation “saved” 750 lives. And if the congregation saved 1,000 lives, he agreed to shave his head.
The 750-life goal was reached the second week in August and the 1000-life goal was reached Sept. 2 with a “passing of the hat” at “Wednesday night dinner” that raised the final $120.
Martin first dyed his hair red and then he lost all his hair.

Article from the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church originally appeared here.