Paul Fisher, the leader of a North Carolina Baptist mission team replacing roofs in Puerto Rico, died Feb. 28 in a swimming accident near San Juan. He was 36.
Paul Fisher, right in brown shirt, pictured here after fixing a roof damaged by Hurricane Maria, died Feb. 28 while leading a mission team in Puerto Rico. He is survived by his wife Carrie, left in hat and neon shirt.
Fisher and his wife Carrie were heading up a team assembled by North Carolina Baptists on Mission (NCBM) to fix homes damaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017.
On Feb. 28, the team completed their work for the day early and went to the beach to swim.
A riptide pulled Fisher underwater as he was in the process of rescuing a team member, and he drowned despite the team’s 30-minute effort to resuscitate him, according to an email from Richard Brunson, NCBM executive director.
The Fishers “were just a wonderful, amazing couple who were willing to go wherever God was leading them,” Brunson told Baptist Press.
Paul and Carrie Fisher had opted not to buy a house in Charlotte, N.C., where they both worked – Paul in construction and Carrie as an administrator for a mission organization – so they could do missions full time, Brunson said.
They both resigned their jobs earlier this year and moved at the beginning of February to New Bern, N.C., to serve for at least the next three years as assistant site coordinators for North Carolina Baptist rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Florence.
Carrie Fisher told Brunson in an email March 1, “The Lord is my strength and my portion and deliverer. His grace is sufficient.
“Paul loved Jesus more than anyone I ever met. I know where he is. I am positive he heard the Lord saying, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.’”
Funeral arrangements were pending at publication.
To date, North Carolina Baptists on Mission have replaced roofs on 225 Maria-damaged homes in Puerto Rico. Fisher’s team decided to repair one more in his honor March 1 before traveling home March 2.
“They felt that would be what Paul would have wanted,” Brunson said.