Jon Smalldridge – Director
Jon Smalldridge was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to Bearl and Virginia Smalldridge. When he was one year old his parents took their family to Liberia, West Africa, where they stayed for three and a half years. During this time Smalldridges had their sixth child, Rachel. After returning the Smalldridges stayed in New Jersey for three years, until joining World Wide Missions. In late 1968 the Smalldridges took the five younger children to West Cameroon and founded World Wide Missions, Cameroon (WWMC). Jon was eight at this time and was present during the beginning days of the development of WWMC. He saw the school built from 15 students to over 500 students over the next five years. Jon went on numerous mission outreach trips with his father. During these trips several churches were planted throughout the country. Jon became very fluent in the trade dialect and the last few years that the Smalldridges remained in Cameroon, Jon acted as his father’s translator in many occasions.
In 1973 the Smalldridges moved back to the United States and settled in Pasadena, California. Jon went to high school in Pasadena. After high school he earned his private pilot’s license and worked in aircraft manufacturing a short time until he was asked to go to Somalia, Africa as a auto and truck mechanic. This time was cut short due to political unrest in Somalia at the time. Jon recognized the need for missionary pilots and aircraft mechanics and enrolled in two and half year airplane mechanic’s college in Glendale, California. After the completion of the course he found that serving as a missionary pilot was not an option at that time. Jon was employed at automotive dealerships for several years until starting his own automotive repair facility Accurate Autoworks, located in Pasadena, California.
For the last 20 years Jon has been married to his wife, Minna and they have three children. They have been members of Pasadena Four Square Church since shortly after they got married. They have three children; Shawn, Jonna and Nikolas. Shawn is currently working for the U.S. Border Patrol, Jonna graduated from Bible school in Finland and resides with her husband in Finland. Nikolas is currently attending California Polytechnic University in Pomona, California.
Over the last 35 years Jon had no contact or knowledge of the situation with the missions in Cameroon. In 2005 Jon took his son, Shawn on a vacation back to Cameroon to show Shawn where he used to live and to visit American missionary friends. During that time, Jon became aware that the secondary school was shut down and many of the original churches had closed or dispersed. Several of the local people, pastors and villagers were jubilant to see Jon after so many years and expressed their desire for him to help with the restructuring of the missions. After several months of prayer and seeking after God’s direction Jon agreed to assist and he was appointed as the World Wide Missions National Director.
Jon and Minna spend many hours working on missions related issues and are constantly in communication with the Cameroonian Superintendent and the head pastors by phone and email. Jon visits Cameroon twice a year to encourage the pastors and teachers, working toward church growth and unification among the different congregations. In April 2008 Jon took his father, Bearl Smalldridge back to Cameroon for a three week visit in honor of his 80th birthday. In July he took Minna, Jonna and Nikolas to visit Cameroon for the first time.
It is evident that Jon’s heart is missions minded and he is very interested in reaching out to the young people in Cameroon. He believes in equipping the youth for their future and offering them a strong foundation of faith which comes from accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. This interest in youth has inspired him and his wife to re-open the secondary school in Mpundu. In September 2008 the school was reopened with the assistance of Richard Ayuk. Jon hopes that people visiting these pages will catch the vision and pray about their partnership in changing lives in Cameroon.