Ian Croudace was born in Gwelo, Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe). In 1949 he became a Christian through the perseverance of his sister who had prayed for her family for eighteen years. Ian and his brothers, David and Mick, became active in ministry in the Christian Brethren Church. Ian married his wife, Marilyn, in 1956. She was born in Wolverhampton, England and became a Christian in a Congregational Church in 1949. As a girl of fifteen she was strong in her Christian faith in spite of strong family opposition. Her family immigrated to Rhodesia in 1952 and she met Ian the following year in 1953.
The Croudaces heard of the Nazarene Bible College in Florida, South Africa from a Nazarene missionary in Malawi, James Graham. The couple enrolled in the Bible College and spent three years studying there. While at the college in 1967 Ian experienced entire sanctification and was ordained a minister in 1971 by V. H. Lewis. The Croudaces were then sent to work in Bulawayo, Rhodesia, and felt God’s leading through their reading of Isaiah 14:1, "The Lord will have compassion on Jacob…and will settle them in their own land. Aliens will join them…" Another significant verse for them was Isaiah 42:9, "See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you." Upon their arrival, they found less than a dozen people who were members of the congregation and decided to close Sunday morning services and concentrate on Sunday school with a special focus on an adult Bible class. After six months they restarted Sunday morning worship services and in six years membership of the small congregation had grown from just a dozen to sixty-five. Several couples, including Mr. and Mrs. Tony Whittal, went into full-time ministry from this congregation in Bulawayo.
In January 1982 the Croudaces went to serve in Harare, Zimbabwe, after working in Horison, West Rand. One year late, in 1903, they accepted a call to Claremont Church, Cape Town, South Africa. There they worked with David and Karen Samson to merge the Claremont and Calvary Churches and form the Covenant Church in 1985. Before retiring in 1995 the Croudaces guided the Malvern East (Johannesburg) Church through six years of relocating to establish the church in Primrose. The church grew during that time. In Zimbabwe the Croudaces were involved in radio and television ministries. Ian also had a ministry with a Christian motorcycle organization. A colleague reported that Ian Croudace was the best church planter in the district. By 1998 the Croudaces had moved to Durban where they worked with the Morningside Church. Later, the couple moved to New Zealand where Ian passed away in January 2013.
Paul S. Dayhoff
Croudace, Marilyn. Letter. September 1995. Sea Park, Natal.
Trans African (November-December 1985): 5.
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Living Stones in Africa: Pioneers of the Church of the Nazarene, revised edition, copyright © 1999, by Paul S. Dayhoff, P. S. Dayhoff, University park, Iowa. All rights reserved.