Revd Iain Hesketh

Bobbie bows out after 50 years of mission

Service celebrates Bobbie Tinnion’s 50 years’ outstanding service with Missions.

In October 1969 Bobbie Marcus (as she was known then), left the UK and ventured out for some years on a life of missions as a nurse working with the Irish Presbyterian Church in Malawi.

In September 1982 she felt constrained to move to work in a teaching hospital in Hong Kong, and to help establish an Elim church along with Paul and Diane Sarchet-Waller. Then, in 1985 she moved from Hong Kong to the hospital at the mission station in Katerere, Zimbabwe, where she remained until the early 90s.

It wasn’t long after Bobbie’s return to the UK that she met and married the late David Tinnion in 1993. They served together in a number of ministries and Elim churches until David’s retirement, and then settled into a new season of life in Ahoghil near Ballymena.

As a couple they both continued to serve the Lord as opportunities opened for them to travel across the world representing Elim Missions. Their work laid the foundation for Elim Global, and they both served under Chris Jones and Paul Hudson.

David sadly died in March 2017. This rocked Bobbie’s world, but with her sheer determination and tenacity she continued to serve her Saviour in the Elim International Missions Department until December 2019, when she stepped aside and retired from her role.

With both a sense of sadness and celebration, the Elim International Missions Department gathered together with the family and friends of Bobbie Tinnion to honour her for the faithful years given sacrificially to the service of her Lord and Saviour in missions.


On Sunday 19 January 2020, in Ballymena Elim Church – Bobbie’s home church, a service was conducted to say a big thank you to a lady who laid down her life in service for the Master as a missionary, and in ministry. Bobbie never saw her service as a sacrifice, but as one of gratitude and surrender for all that Jesus has done for her.

It was wonderful to have some special guests who were able to speak into Bobbie’s life – Pastor Eric McComb (Former Irish Superintendent); Stephen and Julia Derbyshire (Senior Leaders in City Gates Church Ilford); Paul Hudson (former Missions Director); and a video message from Paul and Diane Sarchet-Waller and the family and church in Hong Kong, and Jackie Griffiths from Malawi.

International Missions Director Iain Hesketh concluded the evening, speaking from Matthew 14: 13-21 where Jesus fed the 5,000.

We salute and pay joyful tribute to the years of faithful service that Bobbie has given to missions. Only heaven will truly know the eternal effect of her service for her Lord and Master Jesus Christ. We know this is just a change in season, and the Lord will guide Bobbie Tinnion into her next stage of service for him.

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