In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Mary Louise Clark, 89

Mary Louise Clark

Mary Louise Clark, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel among Sub-Saharan African Peoples in Zimbabwe for 30 years, died March March 1, 2019. She was 89.

Clark was born June 7, 1929, in Franklin, N.C. She graduated from Sardis High School in Gainesville, Ga.; Middle Georgia Hospital School of Nursing in Macon; and Northwestern State College (now University) in Natchitoches, La., with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She also studied at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and at a midwifery school in Harare, Zimbabwe.

In 1959, Clark began work at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Shreveport, La., and soon afterward began her studies at Northwestern. After visiting several churches, she transferred her church membership to the Highland Baptist Church.

“The church began its emphasis on the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®,” Clark wrote in her application for missionary service. “I did not know who Lottie Moon was, but I had learned a lot about her before the emphasis was over and my interest in foreign missions was aroused. After Christmas, the president of the W.M.U. invited me to a Circle meeting and I became an active member of that organization.”

“An incident occurred in August, 1961, that eventually altered all my plans,” she continued. “After a period of Bible study I turned to the daily requests for prayer made by the missionaries in the Royal Service magazines, A special request was made for nursing personnel and it affected me as none other had. I prayed for the personnel needs of the mission field and especially for the need for nurses. I was shocked when the thought came to me, why not me? For months, I tried to dismiss the thought from my mind but it was impossible. I began seeking God’s will and guidance. After nine months of debate, much time spent in prayer, and my first contact with the Foreign Mission Board, I made my public commitment for special service.”

Clark was appointed as a Southern Baptist medical missionary to the Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) mission on Oct. 14, 1964. She served in that Sub-Saharan mission field until her retirement.

Following retirement, she was an active member of Northlake Baptist Church for 30 years.

She is survived by one adopted son, Richard Musiyawa of Zimbabwe, Africa; two granddaughters, Mrs. Ruth Mukono (Hopewell) and Mary Mugiano; one grandson, Mukunde Musiywa, also of Zimbabwe, Africa; and several great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister, Mrs. Mildred Dougherty of Gainesville; one brother-in-law, Russ Zears of Peoria, Ill.; and a host of nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was conducted March 4, 2019, at Northlake Baptist Church in Murrayville, Ga., with interment at Cool Springs Baptist Church Cemetery.

Read her obituary here.

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® is a registered trademark of Woman’s Missionary Union.