On Monday 29 May, while on a mission trip to the northern part of Iraq, evangelist-pastor Antony Simon was killed in a car accident.
Tony and two colleagues were crossing a busy road, after preaching at a small church and handing out audio-Bibles and humanitarian aid. There was no street lighting and by the time the driver noticed them it was too late.
Tony was killed immediately. He was 52 and is survived by his wife Donna, three adult children, one daughter-in-law and a granddaughter, who was born during Tony’s funeral service.
The funeral took place on Wednesday 14 June at the Alliance Church International cemetery in Jerusalem. Many friends and family attended the funeral.
Tony was born to a Jewish family in Manchester. At age of 18 he came to Israel for the first time, where he lived on a kibbutz. There he heard the message of the gospel and, in the fulness of time, the Lord converted him.
Later he studied at the Evangelical Theological College of Wales (ETCW) Bridgend (now Union School of Theology, Bryntirion). The principal at the time was Dr Eryl Davies, an elder at Heath Evangelical Church in Cardiff.
Dr Davies remembers Tony as ‘a dedicated student, wanting eagerly to learn the Word of God and its doctrines, and a fearless evangelist, zealous to tell others about his Lord and Saviour’.
From the beginning, Tony had a great zeal to share the good news with his kinsmen according to the flesh. He and his family later immigrated to Israel, where he lived and ministered until his untimely death.
Tony was the pastor of Voice in the Wilderness congregation in Jerusalem and also head of Voice in the Wilderness ministry, through which he engaged in direct evangelism and the distribution of Bibles and evangelistic literature. Voice in the Wilderness also provides humanitarian aid to the needy and a safe house for abused women.
Tony’s heart was to share the gospel with any and all he came across. Most of the time, he travelled on foot so he could hand out Bibles or speak to those in his path. He spoke to Orthodox Jews, students and professors, secular people, tourists and refugees, and also with Arabs and Muslims. However, his first and foremost desire was to see Jewish people come to a saving knowledge of their Messiah.
On Friday evenings, Tony and his team visited the poor neighbourhoods of Tel Aviv, offering food and Bibles, and sharing the gospel lovingly and passionately with refugees and the unprivileged.
During his life, Tony visited Jordan, Egypt and Greece with the gospel and, following the outbreak of the devastating civil war in Syria, he often travelled — some might say too often — to war-stricken areas of Iraq to share the message of hope with the hopeless.
His broad vision made him aware of the need to support the economies of the areas he evangelised and, by establishing good relationships with Christians and others in the places he visited, he was able to purchase most of his humanitarian supplies locally.