The Reverend James Rueben “Babu” Orner of Minneola, Florida was called home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in his sleep on the evening of August 6, 2014. Jim was born in Indianapolis on February 24, 1932, to Osta Hugh & Olga Orner. He had three brothers: Robert, Jay, and David, one sister Dorothy (“Doty”) Philippi.
Jim married Gloria Jean Zehr on June 19, 1954. Having just celebrated their 60th anniversary, Jim and Gloria have four grown children: Roger (Jan) Orner, Marsha (Joe) Watlington, Doug (Lisa) Orner, and Bob (Chris) Orner. They have twelve grandchildren: Jedidiah Orner, Lucas (Jamie) Orner, Ben (Sarah) Orner, Eileen (Caleb) Orner Fellows, Laura (Drew) Watlington Daugherty, Emily (Nate) Watlington Sharp, James Watlington, Mark Watlington, Steve (Bekah) Orner, Dan Orner, Taylor Orner, and Noah Orner. They have also been blessed with 12 great grandchildren: Sam, Sophie, Daniel, Caleb, Evelyn, Doug, Ruthie, Heather, Audrey Ann, Linton, Laurel and Rueben. He is preceded in death by his three brothers, and two grandchildren Jedidiah and Noah.
Jim graduated from Moody Bible Institute and Greenville College. He and Gloria served as missionaries with African Inland Mission for 39 years in the countries of Tanzania, Kenya, and Mozambique. Upon retirement, he served an additional 5 years with Cedine Ministries in Spring City, TN. Jim served in various capacities that included Education, Printing, Theological Education by Extension, Church Planting, and the establishment of a mobile movie ministry called “Cinema Leo.” He also served as African missionary coordinator, as well as team leader in Mozambique where he helped establish Sofala Bible Institute. While serving in several of the aforementioned ministries, he and Gloria ran Mayfield Guest House in Nairobi, Kenya.