Mary Jane Welch

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Bobbye Rankin, wife of former IMB president, dies

CLINTON, Miss. (BP) – Bobbye Simmons Rankin, wife of former Southern Baptist International Mission Board President Jerry A. Rankin, died Jan. 2 in her home state of Mississippi. She was 78. Bobbye served with her husband more than 20 years as a missionary to Asia before he was named IMB president in 1993.

LaVerne Brown, missionary to Sub-Saharan people, dies

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- LaVerne Brown, an International Mission Board missionary who shared the Gospel among Sub-Saharan African affinity peoples in Africa and Europe, died from cancer at age 48 on Sept. 12. Brown first went to West Africa in 2003 on a three-year assignment to teach missionary children but returned as a missionary in 2007 to work among a large unreached people group in rural West Africa. Her next stop: Europe, where she joined the work among the Sub-Saharan African diaspora in France.

Longtime missionary to Japan Ralph Calcote, 95, dies

WESSON, Miss. (BP) -- Every week a small group of World War II and Korea veterans meet in Wesson, Miss., to drink coffee, maybe eat lunch, swap stories and remember comrades who died. But Ralph Calcote no longer joins the Greatest Generation Coffee Club, having died at age 95 on May 9. Calcote's story, encompassing 35 years as a missionary to Japan, wasn't quite like the other veterans in the group.

Missionary to urban Scottish youth dies of cancer

BEAUFORT, S.C. (BP) -- Gena Wilson, a missionary to Scotland who walked the 2014 New York City marathon representing cancer survivors, lost her third battle with the disease May 13 at home with her family in Beaufort, S.C. Wilson, 51, who served more than 20 years as a Southern Baptist missionary, "shared hope because she had hope," said Paul Chitwood, president of the International Mission Board. "A battle with terminal cancer did not dissuade her because death held no power over her. ...

Former IMB missionary leader Steve Smith, 57, dies

RICHMOND (BP) -- Steve Smith, who filled key leadership roles in Asia with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, died March 13 after a long illness. He was 57. Smith and his wife Laura served with IMB for 18 years, always focused on parts of the world where the Gospel was little known. He began his service in East Asia and was later named to direct work among Southeast Asian peoples. He also served as a consultant on church-planting movements for other areas.

Faye Pearson, first woman IMB area director, dies

LAUREL, Miss. (BP) -- Faye Pearson, the first woman to serve as an area director for the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, died Feb. 20 following a long battle with cancer. She was 78. Pearson started her career in the early 1960s as many women did then -- working as a secretary, teacher and church education director. But how things had changed by 1993, when the world's largest evangelical missions organization elected her to lead their work in East Asia.

Kammerdiener leaves legacy of service to missions

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Donald R. Kammerdiener, a longtime missionary and administrator with the International Mission Board, died Wednesday (Jan. 23). He was 82. Kammerdiener was especially known as the steady hand administering day-to-day operations of the IMB under two presidents and stepping in to lead as interim president between the two, spanning a period from 1990 through 2001. Kammerdiener and his late wife Meredith began their missions careers in 1962 in Colombia and later served in Argentina as he moved into leadership positions, first on the mission field in Latin America and later at the IMB's home office in Richmond, Va.

ANALYSIS: Women & missions

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--Police detain a young woman hiking alone through rural Asia. Doesn't she know she is forbidden to carry the Christian leaflets stuffed in her pack?

Mosaic: a church with God’s passion for the whole world

LOS ANGELES (BP)--Lights dance across the walls of the downtown Los Angeles nightclub as hundreds of young people -- Asian, Anglo and Latino -- sway and clap to the music. The room pulses with youth and energy as the excitement builds. But a hush settles over the room when a man perches casually on a stool and begins to talk about three symbols of death -- the cross, baptism and the Lord's Supper -- key symbols of the Christian faith.