Born and raised in the Democratic Replublic of Congo, Pastor Manassee is no stranger to the suffering and deprivation caused by ethnic and civil wars. As an assistant pastor in the Congo whose outreach extended into Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda, he worked with many poor and needy families and their children. School was a luxury that none could afford. Dental and health care was equally impossible.
His heart grieved for his people. This verse from Matthew became for him very special and significant: “Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” And so his vision of “Rest for the Nations” was born. In his words, “ a deep and abiding rest that comes only from Jesus and assures us not only of our eternal election but also anchors us in peace in a world that is so turbulent in conflict.”
Called to Rwanda in the fall of 1994, he saw the scope of the suffering by widows and children and opened a church to minister to their needs. Left fatherless and husbandless by both the genocide and the AIDS epidemic, the task was enormous.
Many of these victims sought asylum in the United States, and in 2002, Manassee was called to join them. He has planted a Swahili speaking church in Concord, New Hampshire (NH). A haven for this people, it is a place of perfect love and safety where broken hearts can begin to heal. But his heart is still burdened for his homeland and so Rest for the Nations Ministries was established. Pastor Manassee graduated from the Hardin-Simmons University. He lives in Abilene with his wife Odiya and five children. He is an active member of Abilene/Callahan Baptist Association (A/CBA) and Baptist General Conference of Texas (BGCT).