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South Africa missionary dies after apparent heart attack

CAPETOWN, South Africa (BP)–Joe Barrow, a Southern Baptist missionary to South Africa, died June 22 after an apparent heart attack.
Barrow, 56, was playing tennis with fellow Southern Baptist missionary Ron Lomax and two other evangelical missionaries and collapsed on the court about noon. Efforts to revive him failed.
A native of Kinston, N.C., Barrow and his wife, Faye, were appointed by the Southern Baptist International Mission Board as missionaries to Kenya in 1977, where he served as a church development adviser and led in starting seven churches.
In 1982, the Barrows transferred to Tanzania, where he taught New Testament, directed an extension program and served as dean of the International Baptist Theological Seminary of Eastern Africa. During that time he helped start three church groups among the Maasai people group.
In 1991, the Barrows transferred to South Africa, where he taught New Testament Greek and literature and served as academic dean of the Baptist International Theological Seminary of South Africa.
“Joe was truly a professional educator and missionary,” said Clyde Berkley, an associate director of IMB work in southern Africa. “He made a tremendous contribution to developing leadership in the churches of South Africa. He will be missed by the seminary and the missionaries in Capetown and in all of South Africa.”
“Joe was one of the best scholars we have ever known,” said Will J. Roberts, a missionary colleague of Barrow’s in Tanzania. “He was a perpetual student of the Scriptures.
“A few years ago at a seminary graduation party, the students mimicked the faculty. The one playing the part of Joe came to class carrying two very large briefcases filled with books, ‘just in case he needed to look up an answer to a question he might not know.’”
Barrow was a graduate of East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.; Dallas Theological Seminary Graduate School; Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.; and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Prior to missionary appointment, Barrow taught public school and served as pastor of churches in North Carolina. He was a schoolteacher and church developer for the Africa Evangelical Fellowship in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) from 1969-71.
Barrow is survived by his wife, Faye; two daughters, Sheila Parr and Sharon Davis, both of Arlington, Texas; and a son, Jared Barrow, of Raleigh, N.C.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete. Faye Barrow will be returning to the United States on June 27.