ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. (BP)–Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee Secretary Ann Frazier died Jan. 1 after fighting a 10-year battle with cancer. She was 64.
She was a Sunday school teacher, a church organist, a wife, and a mother, but to Southern Baptists she was known as a passionate defender of the faith and an advocate for young people.
Frazier, a member of Roanoke Baptist Church, is survived by her husband, Richard; one daughter, Deborah Frazier Oliver; one son, David Frazier; their spouses, and two grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Jan. 5 at 1 p.m. at Roanoke Baptist Church with Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson and Roanoke Baptist Church Pastor Ron Gibson officiating.
The family will have a committal service at 4 p.m. on Jan. 5 in her hometown in Franklin County, N.C. Arrangements are being handled by Askew Funeral Services where the family will receive friends Jan. 4 from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
Frazier was a highly respected member of the Executive Committee and was known as an advocate for traditional Christian values in her home state of North Carolina.
Frazier was involved for 20 years with adolescent sexuality issues, especially the promotion of abstinence-based education. She wrote the original grant that funded North Carolina’s “Abstinence Until Marriage” education and helped to draft numerous pieces of legislation impacting the state’s education system.
Frazier was elected to the Executive Committee in 1997. In 2001 she was reelected to a second term that would have expired in 2005. She served on the Cooperative Program subcommittee and was on the Boards and Commissions workgroup during the 2000-01 term. In 2001-02, she was on the Administrative subcommittee group and Bylaws workgroup.
Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the SBC Executive Committee said he was saddened to learn of Frazier’s homegoing.
“She is a true Christian sister,” Chapman said. “Ann has been one of the most effective members of the Executive Committee who has served during my tenure. She never did just the minimum, but was always ready to take on extra duties, faithfully serving the Lord even at the low points of her illness. She has been an officer of the Executive Committee and served very ably on the resolutions committee during the past two conventions.”
“Her gentle and sweet spirit was accompanied by deep fidelity to the Scripture,” Chapman added. “Her intense theological conviction was matched by a vibrant compassion for those who do not know the Lord. Ann practiced the fine art of encouragement toward her fellow members and the staff of the Executive Committee. She will be missed by all of us here. We are praying for her family during these days.”
James Merritt, pastor of the Atlanta-area First Baptist Church, Snellville, Ga., and president of the SBC, called Frazier a “sweet friend.”
“Ann Frazier, in all the years I served on the Executive Committee, was one of the most dedicated, committed members we had,” Merritt said. “She had a smile and a positive spirit that were contagious.”
“I had asked her last year to serve on the resolutions committee and she did an absolutely outstanding job in the face of a serious illness that eventually took her to heaven,” Merritt said. “She was always upbeat, full of faith and joy. This is a tragic loss for the Executive Committee and the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Paige Patterson called her a faithful servant.
“When I think of Ann Frazier, the images that come to mind are great Christian, perpetual optimist, woman of conviction, servant, indefatigable worker, faithful wife, mother and grandmother, and committed church-woman,” Patterson said. “What a loss to her family, to North Carolina Baptists and to Southern Baptists.”
“However, I do believe that even heaven is buzzing with new activity today when Jesus welcomed home one of the sweetest activists ever to walk on this old earth,” Patterson added. “I’m pretty sure that she heard ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant.'”
Frazier’s fellow Executive Committee members expressed shock and sadness at the announcement of her passing.
“As a new Executive Committee member she was very careful to help me and to introduce me to other members,” said Carol Anderson, from Largo, Fla. “She was very encouraging and she shared her vision as far as the convention and the work of the Lord were concerned. Ann taught me that everyone has a place in the Lord’s work.”
“Ann was a lady of great grace and a dynamic leader in our state,” said Bruce Martin, pastor of Village Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C. “She occupied such a large place in Baptist life.”
“She was just a jewel,” said C.J. Bordeaux, Sr., pastor of West Monroe Baptist Church, N.C. “She was a woman that lived her faith out completely and she was one of the busiest humans I’ve ever met. She was one of God’s wonderful servants that didn’t let sickness or disease stand in her way.”
“I loved Ann,” said EC member Melissa Gay, of Hendersonville, Tenn. “She was a joy. She loved the Lord and wanted everyone else to see the light he shined in her. Ann wanted me to just be all I could be for Jesus and love my child and my husband.”
“Many people across the state of North Carolina and within the Southern Baptist Convention have appreciated Ann’s faithfulness and dedication toward our Lord’s work within our Baptist’s Family,” said fellow North Carolina EC member Greg Mathis.
Frazier was active in her church and Gibson said her illness didn’t slow her down.
“She actually played the organ at church the day before she died,” he said. “She never gave up.”
Gibson recalled when Frazier’s medication briefly impaired her vision. “Someone would help guide her to the organ and she would play from memory,” he said. “She and Richard (her husband) were pillars in the church for more than 31 years.”
Frazier was born on Oct. 7, 1937 in Louisburg, N.C. She graduated with honors from Campbell University and Wake Forest University. She later attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where she studied Christian Education and Music.
Frazier founded and served as chairperson of North Carolina Conservatives United, an organization that promoted Judeo-Christian and traditional family values.
She served on several statewide committees including the N.C. Family Planning Council, the N.C. Adolescent Pregnancy Advisory Board, and the N.C. Legislative Study Commission on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention.
In her local community, Frazier organized the Halifax County Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Mayor’s Citizens Advisory Committee.
A Republican, Frazier was a former chairperson of the Halifax County Republican Party and she held positions in state GOP leadership, including the N.C. Republican Party Executive Committee.