In 1948 the Canadian son of immigrants from Russia joined the King's Heralds quartet as their bass. He was an evangelist with the Voice of Prophecy media ministry for more than two decades. H. M. S. Richards called him the “basso profundo in excelsis.” He passed away Friday morning (June 21) at age 91, his son Lonnie Melashenko, retired director of the Voice of Prophecy, has told Adventist Today.
"He left like he lived," Pastor Melashenko said of his father. "Quietly. Graciously. With gentle dignity. Without demands or harsh words or even a frown, he surrendered himself, a tired, frail, humble gentleman; into the waiting arms of his Savior."
Growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan, Joe milked a dozen cows by hand twice a day and would sing to pass the time. By his early 20s, he had won numerous amateur hours and talent show awards. He was heard on coast-to-coast radio in Canada as the "Voice of the Deep."
With his wife Anne, Joe had five sons – Lonnie, Joedy, Dallas, Eugene and Rudy – and taught them to sing at an early age. The family has performed together countless times and the sons have become Seventh-day Adventist ministers. Joe spoke both Russian and Ukrainian fluently and one of the great thrills of his life was returning to the former Soviet Union to preach in an evangelism campaign.
"Jeannie and I are weeping, but we thank God for 'The Blessed Hope' without which we would be most miserable," stated Pastor Melashenko. He thanked God for his father's long life in testimony to this hope. Memorial services for Elder Joseph Melashenko will be held at the Paradise Seventh-day Adventist Church in northern California on Sunday, July 21, at 4 p.m.
The original version of this news story stated that Melashenko served for a time as a music director with evangelist George Vandeman. Family sources have told Adventist Today that althrough Melashenko sang for Vandeman at certain events, he was never a part of the It Is Written ministry.
Memorial Service to be Live-streamed
The memorial service for Joe Melashenko will be made accessible to any interested individual by livestreaming video on the Internet. It is scheduled for Sunday, July 21, 4 p.m. PDT which is 7 p.m. EDT. His five sons (Lonnie, Joedy, Dallas, Eugene and Rudy) will gather with their families and the grand-children for a highly spiritual "Time to Remember" featuring lots of music and inspiration. The web address for streaming video: www.ustream.tv/channel/paradiseadventist
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