In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Robert Covington, 90

Bob Covington


Robert C. “Bob” Covington, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel among Southeast Asian peoples in Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia, died Jan. 12, 2019. He was 90.

Born on April 15, 1928, in Montgomery, Ala., Covington served in the United States Navy from 1945-1947. He later graduated from the University of Alabama with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. The university awarded him the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Medallion for both his strong character and academic performance.

While at the University Baptist Student Union he met his first wife of 52 years, Gerry. Upon completing university, Bob pursued his calling into pastoral and missions work and earned a doctorate in theology from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He served as pastor of churches in Louisiana and Mississippi until he and Gerry answered God’s call to international missions. The Covingtons were appointed in December 1960 to serve in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. After serving on the field, and then serving in IMB’s home office, the Covingtons were reappointed in December 1986. Covington served as a professor at seminaries in each of these locations.

After returning to the United States upon his retirement, he served as interim pastor of several churches in Alabama. After the passing of Gerry, Bob married Ann (Poe) Covington. He was a member of Cedar Bluff (Ala.) First Baptist Church.

Covington was father to four children: Dan Covington, John (Debbie) Covington, Timothy Poe, and Jennifer (Terry) Jones. He had four grandchildren: Robert Covington, Rebekah Covington, Matt Jones, and Rachael Jones (Chris) Flynn.

Memorial services were conducted Jan. 15, 2019 at Kirkwood by the River. Graveside services were conducted at Tuscaloosa Memorial Gardens.

A full obituary can be read here.