Martin goes from red-headed to bald as Paris First UMC saves lives by 'imagining no malaria'


Dr. Rob Martin had to dye his hair red (left photo) and then had to shave off his hair (right photo) as members of his congregation, Paris First UMC in Paris, Tenn., reached goals to save lives in a month-long Imagine No Malaria campaign. (Submitted photos)

Even though the Memphis Conference-wide campaign to raise $1 million for Imagine No Malaria (INM) in partnership with the Tennessee Conference ended in June, Paris First UMC in Paris, Tenn., is still working to raise money for the initiative that seeks to eradicate the disease through education, communication and treatment.  Read more about IMN at
Throughout August, the church worked to raise $1,000 ($10 per life) and have 80 percent percent of the congregation in attendance each week "protected" from mosquitos, according to Dr. Rob Martin, pastor. 
Activities included worship service skits, missionary witnesses, a building infestation of hundreds of pipe cleaner mosquitoes and roaming exterminators who checked church members for their mosquito protection, according to Martin.
“Protection,” Martin explained, was obtained by making a $5 per individual or $20 per family donation to INM.  Each donor received an INM button to wear and show they were protected.
INM upporters were encouraged to wear their buttons to church and in the Paris/Henry County community throughout August, Martin explained.
As an incentive, Martin agreed to dye his hair red if the congregation “saved” 750 lives. And if the congregation saved 1,000 lives, he agreed to shave his head.
The 750-life goal was reached the second week in August and the 1000-life goal was reached Sept. 2 with a “passing of the hat” at “Wednesday night dinner” that raised the final $120.
Martin first dyed his hair red and then he lost all his hair.
The final event of the church's INM campaign will be a Color Out Malaria 5K and 1-Mile Run/Walk on Saturday, Oct. 3, at Memorial Park in Paris. Click here for more information and to register.