‘It’s God working through me’

Published 11:07 am Monday, February 25, 2013

Dr. Jonathan Yoder accepts his award for Citizen of the Year

Dr. Jonathan Yoder accepts his award for Citizen of the Year

Dr. Jonathan Yoder hasn’t spent much time at home lately.  He sold his practice to Atmore Community Hospital in August and “immediately left” for Africa to work in a clinic. He returned in December only to leave again in January on a volunteer 10-day medical/dental trip in Honduras.

The 55-year-old’s mission work and dedication to the Atmore area since he moved here in 1989 were cited as reasons he was named the 2012 Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year at the organization’s annual meeting Thursday night.

“Thank you all,” Yoder said when he received the award. “I’m very pleased to accept this award. It’s not me; it’s God working through me.”
Yoder, a part-time emergency room doctor at ACH who spent four months as a clinic doctor in Guinea Bissau in Africa with Eastern Mennonite Missions from September to December, said he was very surprised to receive the award although he had his suspicions.
“I sort of had a hint,” he said Friday morning. “I was supposed to work last night and they found someone to work for me.”

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He said he was thankful for the award, but also thanked his staff of 15 at his former practice, Atmore Family Medicine, for allowing him to take mission trips and help people.

“I was thankful,” he said. “I couldn’t have done the things I did without a good staff.”

The Delaware native graduated from medical school at the University of Alabama Birmingham in 1983 and moved to Atmore in 1989. He said he became a doctor to help people.

He has four children, Robert, Stephen and Kristin Yoder and Amber Miller. He said he plans to travel to Peru in the fall for another mission trip and Africa again soon, but first he plans to spend a little time with family as he’s expecting a grandson in May.