Rev. Carl Heine and his legacy in the Marshall Islands honored
Seventy-five years after his death in the Marshall Islands, the Rev. Carl R. Heine was recognized in a ceremony with Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine, his granddaughter.
In April 2019, the Global Ministries board adopted a resolution honoring Rev. Heine. The resolution was presented in the form of a plaque to President Heine in Majuro by Derek Duncan from the East Asia and Pacific Office of Global Ministries, which represents the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.
Duncan was visiting to attend the Jarin Rarik Dron pastors and deacons meeting in Majuro that was held at Uliga Protestant Church.
“For 29 years (1912-1941) Rev. Carl Heine faithfully served with the communities of the Marshal Islands through the Micronesian Mission of the American Board of Foreign Missions, a predecessor to Global Ministries, during which he helped found the Jarin Rarik Drom (JRD), the United Church of Christ in the Marshall Islands,” said the resolution. “The Rev. Heine continued to serve until his execution by Imperial Japanese forces in April 1944. Global Ministries recognizes and honors his family members who also suffered persecution under Japanese occupation for their perceived association with the American Board, particularly his son and daughter-in-law Claude and Grace Heine who were also executed, and their 12-year-old son John Heine who witnessed their executions. For their lives and ministry, the church is grateful and indebted.”
The Global Ministries resolution extends recognition and respect to the Rev. Heine’s living descendants. The resolution honored President Heine, Carl Heine’s granddaughter, who serves as the eighth and first woman president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, her daughter and Carl Heine’s great-granddaughter, who is an acclaimed Marshallese poet. The Global Ministries resolution recognized the President and First Daughter as “leading voices bringing to the world’s attention the experience and character of Pacific Islanders living under the threats of climate change and migration.
The resolution concluded: “May God bless the life, ministry, and continuing legacy of the Reverend Carl R. Heine to the Marshall Islands, to the body of Christ, and to the wider global community.”