The Friends of IMCK is an association whose members include anyone with a heart for the people of DR Congo and the work being done by the Christian Medical Institute of Kasai. We are churches, organizations, missionaries, children or grandchildren of missionaries, doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, individuals who have visited IMCK, and anyone who supports the work being done in the challenging environment of the Kasai region of this country.
The specific mission of the Friends of IMCK is to raise awareness of the Institute, establish and grow a permanent endowment fund, and promote fundraising for current needs at IMCK. We welcome all who are interested and encourage you to join our mailing list for our newsletter and other updates.
Friends of IMCK Board of Directors
Rev. Dr. Shannon Jung is Pastor of Braden River Presbyterian Church in Bradenton, Florida. Before being a small church pastor, he taught others how to be small church pastors at the University of Dubuque Seminary, Wartburg Seminary, and Saint Paul School of Theology. He is an ordained PCUSA pastor, holds a doctorate in Christian Ethics from Vanderbilt and Yale, and loves being a pastor and a social activist. He grew up in the DR Congo where his dad was one of the founding dentists of the IMCK dental school. He is married to Dr. Patricia Beattie Jung and they have three sets of adult children.
Anne Coughlin (Vice President) loves all things international. In fact, she recently returned from travelling the world with her husband and two children for a year. Anne works at Platt Park Church in Denver, Colorado in Children’s Ministry and Local/International Service Ministry. She also has worked as Director of Communications and Development for the Humanitarian Aid organization, IDEAS (International Development and Educational Associates) and as a Consultant for the business consulting organization, Accenture. Anne has a Masters in International Studies from the University of Denver and a degree in Business from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Henry Sperry Nelson is the son of Henry and Katie Nelson, long time mission workers in China and Congo. They were instrumental in the founding and growth of the IMCK. Sperry grew up at Luebo and attended Central School at Lubondai until 1960. He graduated from Vanderbilt University and received his M.D. from the University of Tennessee. He is a Professor of Surgery at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville where he is involved in education of residents and medical students. His area of special interest is endocrine and minimally invasive surgery.
Barbara Sugue (President) was born and raised in the Belgian Congo (DRC) to parents William Rule III and Effie Crane Rule. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1976. She edited a biography about her father which was published in 1998, entitled “Milestones in Mission”. Dr. Rule was one of the founders of the IMCK nursing school, and he helped also to raise funds to build the Good Shepherd Hospital at Tshikaji. Barbara has served on the FIMCK Board since 2017. She married Noel Sugue in 1986, and they have two grown children (both married) and a new grandson. She still does bookkeeping for her husband’s business, but she is mostly retired.
Janet Irish (Treasurer) worked as a substitute teacher and community volunteer while raising her children. She and husband Bob served one term as mission co-workers in Zaire and Ethiopia. She received a Masters of Public Administration from Portland State University with an emphasis in Nonprofits . She spent the last 15 years of her career of as director of a volunteer program helping older adults, and served many years on the board of National Volunteer Caregivers Network. In retirement, Jan enjoys traveling and visiting their three children and three grandchildren in many parts of the world. Jan is an active member of First Presbyterian Church in McMinnville, Oregon and continues her involvement with nonprofits, particularly those involving immigration justice.
Charlotte White (Secretary) grew up in the Belgian Congo. Her parents, Dr. William Rule III and Effie Crane Rule, were founding members of IMCK. Charlotte earned a BS in Nursing at Emory University and a Master at Georgia Southern University as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has served over 50 years in nursing, primarily in rural America. She volunteers at a health clinic on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Hilton Head. She is active in the Presbyterian-sponsored Congo MIssion Network. Charlotte and her husband, Dr. Steve White, live in Bluffton, South Caroloina. Their son, Fr. Thomas Joseph White, is a Dominican priest who teaches at the the Angelicum University in Rome.
Dr. Tinsley Gordon Smith grew up in the Belgian Congo. His parents met and married at Mutoto station, where they were a husband and wife team mostly at the hospital there for over thirty years. Gordon graduated from Central School at Lubondai in 1958, subsequently graduating from Austin College and Baylor College of Medicine. After a stint as a Navy Flight Surgeon, he returned to Baylor for ophthalmology training and practiced ophthalmology in Bay City, Texas for forty years. He and Annette will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in 2022 and are retired in Cypress, Texas near their daughter.
Robert Irish served as a Presbyterian mission co-worker at IMCK from 1989-93. With an engineering background, Bob worked with the maintenance and hydro teams in Tshikaji to ensure that the hospital ran smoothly and electricity and water was available. He received a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and worked in the electronics and aerospace industries in engineering and program management. Bob has been active as an elder at First Presbyterian Church in McMinnville, Oregon and serves on the Mission Committee there.