View All Photos

Gideon Asa Haas family.

Photo courtesy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Archives.

Haas, Gideon Asa (1918–2018) and Avonelle (Hayes) (1916–2009)

By Nicoli R. Rivera, Ingrid Idyll M. Tornalejo, and Remwil R. Tornalejo

×

Nicoli Rivera, B.A. in theology (Mountain View College, Valencia City, Bukidnon) is the youngest of the four children of Pastor Ultimino Rivera Jr and Rachel Rivera. In 2017 he worked as a youth pastor in Jimenez for one year. Currently, he is a student at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS), studying for a Master of Religion degree with a major in New Testament, which he is expected to finish in 2021.

Ingrid Idyll M. Tornalejo is a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLS) Graduate of the Adventist University of the Philippines. She is currently a second-year student at the Adventist University of the Philippines, College of Medicine.

Remwil R. Tornalejo is an associate professor in the Historical-Theological department of the International Institute of Advanced Studies Seminary (AIIAS). Tornalejo has a B.A. in theology from Mountain View College, Valencia, Philippines, and M.P.S., M.Div., and M.Th. degrees from AIIAS. He had served as a pastor, Literature Ministry Seminary dean and instructor at the South Philippine Union Conference. He had served as chair of the theology department of the South Philippine Adventist College. Tornalejo completed his D.Theol. from Theological Union (ATESEA). He is married to Marilou Manatad. They have four children.

First Published: July 15, 2022

Gideon Asa Haas was a pastor, evangelist, missionary, and church administrator.

Early Life

Gideon Asa Haas was born on July 10, 1918, in Cleveland North Dakota, United States of America, to his parents, Adolph Haas and Wihelmina “Minnie” Schock.1 Both parents were American citizens although his mother was born in Russia.2 His parents were nominal Adventists; however, he was influenced by his mother to join the Adventist faith at home during his formative years. He spent most of his early years on the farm until he went to high school in North Dakota. Gideon was the youngest of 10 siblings, namely: Edna Mathilda, Ida Lanora, Edith, Ernest Immanuel, Frieda, Evelyn Viola, Ruth Melinda, Harry, and Norman.3

Education and Marriage

Gideon Haas received elementary and secondary school training in Seventh-day Adventist schools. During an evangelistic meeting conducted by Elder E. H. Oswald from the North Dakota Conference, he gave his heart to the Lord. He was baptized at Sheyenne River Academy in June of 1933.4 Since then, his burning heart and enthusiasm continued to grow for evangelism.

He attended Sheyenne River Academy from 1934 until 1938.5 He graduated from Sheyenne River Academy High School.6 He took up a B.A. in Religion at Union College from 1939 up to 1943.7 He studied at Andrews University for a semester. Haas also took time to learn different languages. He studied Greek for two years and German for three years.8 After his graduation from Union College, he was called to serve in the Wyoming Conference as a ministerial intern in May 1943. That same year, he married Avonelle Hayes in Boulder, Colorado, on August 31 at exactly 7:30 in the evening.9 Avonelle was born on April 8, 1916, in Waldorf, Minnesota, to John Hayes and Vivian Briggs. She attended various elementary public and church schools in Iowa and Colorado from 1924 to 1930. She was baptized into the Adventist faith sometime in August 1926 at Nevada, Iowa, by Pastor J. C. Nixon. She enrolled and studied at Plainview Academy from 1930 to 1931. Then she went to Beaman Iowa Public High School from 1931 to 1932. She attended Marshalltown, Iowa, High School from 1932 until 1934. She went to Union College from 1938 until 1940. Avonelle graduated as a nurse from the Boulder Colorado School of Nursing in 1943.10 They were blessed with two children, Delora and Harold.

Most of the time, Avonelle was beside her husband, Gideon, to assist him full time in the ministry. She was always his right hand and helper, and seldom was employed in the nursing field. It was only during their service in Guam, Micronesia, starting in 1960 that she was employed as a nurse in the Far Eastern Island Mission’s medical clinic.11

Ministry

Gideon Haas began his ministry in 1943. After two years of internship, he was ordained to the Gospel ministry during a Wyoming Camp Meeting in July 1945 by elders N. C. Wilson and E. H. Oswald and the minister who baptized him.12 He served as a pastor for various churches in Wyoming from 1943 to 1946. In 1945, the Central Union and the Wyoming Mission released Haas for a year to connect with the South American Division to conduct evangelistic work in Paraguay.13 From 1946 until early 1952, he served as a pastor, evangelist, and executive committee member of the Nebraska Conference. From 1952 until 1957, he served as president of North Sumatra Mission of the Indonesian Union. He was instrumental in the building of North Sumatra Training School near the city of Siantar.14 In 1957, he returned to the U.S., then served as a minister and pastor in Central California Conference until 1960.15

In 1960, the Pacific Union and Central California conferences released Gideon Haas from his responsibilities, and he was invited to serve in the Far Eastern Division as president and treasurer of the Far Eastern Island Mission, Guam headquarters.16 After three terms of service, he made his permanent return from Guam on March 24, 1966, for personal and family reasons. This decision was made in harmony with the recommendation of the Far Eastern Division.17

After his service in Micronesia, Haas served as a pastor in the Minnesota Conference from 1967 until 1974.18 During these years, Gideon and Avonelle were active presenters for the Marriage Encounter program of the church.19 Near their retirement, the Haas’s settled in Longmont, Colorado, in 1974 20 and served as a pastor of the Longmont SDA Church in the Colorado Conference until he retired in 1980.21

Later Life

After his retirement, Gideon Haas continued serving the Lord in various ministries. He continued to share the Gospel. He also enjoyed communicating by Amateur Radio (KAA HZK), golfing, gardening, and woodworking.22

Avonelle Hass died on October 8, 2009. Gideon Haas passed away on March 11, 2018, at Longmont at the age of 99 years old.23 Gideon and Avonelle Haas will be remembered for their dedicated ministry and missionary service to the Lord and the Seventh-day Adventist Church both in the United States and in foreign fields. They were instrumental in the progress of the mission work and the advancement of Adventist education in North Sumatra.

Sources

“Adolph G. Haas Family Tree.” https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/adolph-g-haas-24-111y6s.

Biographical Information Blank, Avonelle Hayes Haas, General Conference Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.

Biographical Information Blank, Gideon Asa Haas, General Conference Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.

“Far Eastern Island Mission.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, August 1961.

General Conference Committee Minutes, February 15, 1945; March 1957; March 1966; July 28, 1966.

“News From Here and There.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, December 1954.

Obituary “Gideon A. Haas.” Dignity Memorial. Accessed July 3, 2022. https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/longmont-co/gideon-haas-9164211.

Shepard, W. H. “Weddings.” Central Union Reaper, October 19, 1943.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association. Various years. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

The Central Union Reaper, January 27, 1977.

Notes

  1. Biographical Information Blank, Gideon Asa Haas, General Conference Archives.

  2. Ibid.

  3. “Adolph G. Haas Family Tree,” https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/adolph-g-haas-24-111y6s. Accessed July 3, 2022. See also Obituary, “Gideon A. Haas.” Dignity Memorial. https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/longmont-co/gideon-haas-9164211. Accessed July 3, 2022.

  4. Biographical Information Blank, Gideon Asa Haas.

  5. Ibid.

  6. Obituary, “Gideon A. Haas.”

  7. Ibid.

  8. Biographical Information Blank, Gideon Asa Haas.

  9. Ibid. See also W. H. Shepard, “Weddings” Central Union Reaper, October 19, 1943, 2.

  10. See Biographical Information Blank, Avonelle Hayes Haas, General Conference Archives.

  11. Ibid.

  12. Biographical Information Blank, Gideon A. Haas.

  13. General Conference Committee Minutes, February 15, 1945. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1945-02.pdf. Accessed July 3, 2022.

  14. “News From Here and There,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, December 1954, 8.

  15. Biographical Information Blank. See also General Conference Committee Minutes, March 1957. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/NAD/NAD1957-04.pdf. Accessed July 4, 2022.

  16. “Far Eastern Island Mission,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, August 1961, 12.

  17. General Conference Committee Minutes, March 1966, 5, 6, 38. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1966-03.pdf. Accessed July 3, 2022.

  18. SDA Yearbook, 1968, 59; 1974, 63. General Conference Committee Minutes, July 28, 1966. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/NAD/NAD1966-07.pdf. Accessed July 4, 2022.

  19. Ibid.

  20. Obituary “Gideon A. Haas.” Dignity Memorial. https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/longmont-co/gideon-haas-9164211. Accessed July 3, 2022.

  21. “Gideon A. Haas,” obituary, The Central Union Reaper, January 27, 1977, 10. SDA Yearbook, 1975, 39.

  22. Obituary “Gideon A. Haas,” Dignity Memorial.

  23. Ibid.

×

Rivera, Nicoli R., Ingrid Idyll M. Tornalejo, Remwil R. Tornalejo. "Haas, Gideon Asa (1918–2018) and Avonelle (Hayes) (1916–2009)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. July 15, 2022. Accessed May 24, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=5FXR.

Rivera, Nicoli R., Ingrid Idyll M. Tornalejo, Remwil R. Tornalejo. "Haas, Gideon Asa (1918–2018) and Avonelle (Hayes) (1916–2009)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. July 15, 2022. Date of access May 24, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=5FXR.

Rivera, Nicoli R., Ingrid Idyll M. Tornalejo, Remwil R. Tornalejo (2022, July 15). Haas, Gideon Asa (1918–2018) and Avonelle (Hayes) (1916–2009). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 24, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=5FXR.