Pioneer Missionary Anne Wooding Lived A Life Of "Blind Faith"

By Amy

She passed away at age 93-years and had been a missionary to Nigeria and a pastor's wife in England 

NEW BRIGHTON, UK (ANS) - Anne Wooding, 93, a pioneer missionary to the blind of Kano, Nigeria, in the 1930s, died peacefully at a nursing home in New Brighton, Cheshire, on Sunday afternoon, December 2, 2001.(Pictured: One of the last pictures of Anne Wooding taken in her room at a New Brighton nursing home in England.  She is in the middle with left to right, Alan Ross, Anna and Sarah Wooding, two of her great grandchildren, and Ruth Ross, Anne's daughter). 

She was the mother of international journalist Dan Wooding who lives in Garden Grove, California, and his sister, Ruth Ross, who lives in Liverpool, England. 

Anne Blake was born on January 25, 1908 in the city of Liverpool.  She was christened as Anne, but soon became known as Nancy by all her family.  She later discovered that her grandmother's name was also Anne, and she had been given the nickname of Nancy, so it was decided to do the same with her. 

After becoming a committed Christian at Donaldson Street Gospel Hall, which was a stone's throw from Anfield, Liverpool Football Club's famous soccer stadium, she went to London to study at Redcliffe Missionary College and the Braille School in Liverpool. 

Eventually she set sail for Nigeria in the late 1930s and soon became a pioneer missionary with the SIM amongst the blind of Kano, the walled city in the north of the country.  At the SIM language school in she met Alf Wooding, who also came from Liverpool and they fell in love and were married in Kano in September 1939. 

It was the beginning of a life together in which they served the Lord both in Africa and later in England and produced two children - Dan, who was born in Nigeria, and Ruth, who was born in Liverpool. 

Alf became very sick and so the family made the hazardous journey that took six weeks from Lagos to Liverpool, for him to receive urgent treatment that saved his life at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Liverpool. 

Later Alf and Anne moved to war-damaged Birmingham just after the end of the Second World War and began working with the Jewish population of the city.  They also took over the Sparkbrook Mission and eventually saw Dennis and Margaret Stevens and Harry Poole take their place on the mission field in Nigeria.  Dan and Ruth also started the Messengers, which saw the birth of Hill Farm, a drug rehabilitation center in Worcestershire, which was run by Dan and his new wife, Norma. (Pictured: Dan and Ruth with Mum Wooding in Liverpool, 1944).

Alf and Anne retired to Essex for some years and then settled in Wallasey, Cheshire, across from their beloved River Mersey.  Sadly, in March of 1994, at the age of eight-four, Alf passed away. He had survived the trauma of his tropical diseases, cancer, and then Parkinson's disease, for many years and had now gone to his great reward in heaven. 

Meanwhile Dan, Norma and the two boys, emigrated to Southern California and founded ASSIST Ministries and the ASSIST News Service.  Andrew now lives in Sheffield and is married to Alison and they have two daughters - Jade and Katie.  Peter lives in North Wales and is married to Sharon and they have three daughters - Sarah, Anna and Abigail. 

Anne Wooding said in her autobiography, Blind Faith (ASSIST Books), which was co-authored with her son, Dan, "I look back at our exiting adventure with God and can see God's hand through it all. For me, it has been a wonderful journey with God -- a life of BLIND FAITH!  Will you join me in this great venture?" 


For Anne Wooding, life was meant to be lived to the full - and she did just that.  Even up until the end, despite being legally blind and partly deaf, she continued to serve her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Now she has joined her beloved husband Alf, and is receiving her reward. Ruth married Allan Ross. Dan and Norma had two sons. Andrew and Peter.

ASSIST News Service (ANS)