In Memoriam: Herb Jacobson, Reach Beyond's Longest Serving Missionary

Herb JacobsonJust a few months after surpassing 65 years of service with Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global) and just three days after celebrating his 89th birthday, missionary engineer Herb Jacobson went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, October 8.

Jacobson and his late wife, Norma, spent 41 years in Quito, Ecuador, followed by 24 years at the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, IN, where he passed away following several months of failing health.

Earlier this summer, Jacobson was recognized by Reach Beyond for his 65 years of service and was presented a plaque that reads, “Faithful servant, focused expert, innovative engineer, loving family man, humble missionary, dedicated follower of Jesus.”

“Can you imagine 65 years of mission service?” posed Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson, who presented Jacobson with the plaque. “What fantastic faithfulness. Herb has not only been faithful, but innovative. He never stopped thinking about better ways to spread the message of Jesus, his Savior whom he loved and served. Well done, Herb!”

According to Reach Beyond, many of the antennas that Jacobson designed are still in use today by stations in Inspiracom (formerly World Radio Network), a ministry along the U.S.-Mexico border that Jacobson helped launch in 1978.

During his lifetime, he also taught at the National Polytechnic Institute in Quito for 11 years. In addition, he served in various ways at Iñaquito Evangelical Church in Quito and McCoy Memorial Baptist Church in Elkhart.

Though he officially “retired” from Reach Beyond in 1990, he continued to work at the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart. Jacobson served as broadcast engineer, tweaking transmitters and coming up with groundbreaking designs for a variety of high-tech equipment.

“He helped design radio antennas and hydroelectric facilities ... until six weeks before his death,” recalled Jacobson’s 56-year-old son, Charles.

“He was actively working on software design for digital radio transmission. Even with his failing health he could simultaneously use three computers, an oscilloscope, and a multimeter!” added Charles, who is carrying the mantle with his wife, Jeanie. Together, Charles and Jeanie have completed a total of 28 years of service with Reach Beyond in Quito and at the Technology Center in Elkhart.

In addition to Charles, Jacobson is survived by another son, Paul; a sister, Laurene Glader; and four grandchildren. His late wife of 55 years, Norma, passed away October 17, 2005.

The family has asked that memorial gifts be given to the startup fund of SonSet Solutions, which will become an independent, nonprofit entity after starting off as the HCJB Global Technology Center, Reach Beyond’s technology division.

Established in 1986, the center has provided critical assistance to ministry partners who are communicating the Gospel, often in difficult-to-reach locations. It officially becomes its own entity on January 1, 2015.

By NRB Staff

Published: October 23, 2014

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