Zach Ward Called To Serve In Benin Cotonou
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - by Phil Smartt
Zach Ward has been called to serve in the Benin Cotonou mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will spend two years teaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Zach will graduate from The McCallie School on May 19, 2019. He has attended McCallie since 6th grade. He wrestled for seven years, and just completed his last wrestling season. When he returns from his mission, he will attend Brigham Young University in Idaho (BYU-I).
Zach is an Eagle Scout, the son of Jim and Celeste Ward, and the grandson of Phil and Gloria Smartt, and Therald and Susan Ward. His mom is a stay-at-home mom, and his oldest sister, Madison, and her husband, Jared, just had their first baby, Max.
Zach’s older brother, Ryan, is attending BYU Provo and is engaged to Vivain Neff. Ryan served in the Rancho Cucamonga Spanish-speaking mission. Zach’s brother, Kevin, is in the 10th grade, and his brother Lance is in 8th grade.
Benin is a French-speaking West African nation, and Zach will learn French. Benin has a population of about 11.3 million, according to 2017 estimates. Benin is east of Togo, west of Nigeria, and borders Burkina Faso and Niger.
“I’ve never been to Benin,” Zach said, “but I am looking forward to sharing the good news and glad tidings of Jesus Christ with anyone who is searching. This Easter, the Church of Jesus Christ is celebrating with a new video that says we can overcome all things #BecauseOfHim. No matter if you live in Benin or Chattanooga, the Church invites everyone to watch this inspiring video at lds.org and join the Tabernacle Choir for ‘He is Risen: A Sacred Easter Presentation.’”
“'Christ changed everything when He rose from the dead. He lives. He is here,’ just like the Church teaches,” Zach said. “And because He lives, ‘each one of us can experience help, hope and healing every day of our lives.’ I can’t wait to be a witness of these truths as a missionary for Jesus Christ, and I thank everyone who has helped me along the way, including my mom and dad, my grandparents and siblings, and Chattanooga and McCallie. I’m grateful to be from Tennessee and for growing up in a community that believes in Christ.”
Zach will report to the Ghana Missionary Training Center on July 11, and will serve two years without pay, following the Lord’s command that missionary work is the responsibility of all who follow Him (see Matthew 28:19-20).