In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Gerald Pinkston, 90

Gerald Pinkston

Gerald Pinkston, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel among Southeast Asian and African peoples, died March 28, 2019. He was 90.

Pinkston was born July 27, 1928, in Lueders, Texas, to Jodie and John Dennis Pinkston. In 1950, he received a bachelor’s degree from Wayland Baptist College in Plainview, Texas. Pinkston later earned a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Pinkston married Florence Goldston in July 1952. After pastoring churches in Texas and Arizona, the Pinkstons served with the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (now IMB) from 1957 until their retirement. During almost 40 years of service, Pinkston taught at a seminary, directed a publishing house and served as a pastor to an international congregation. At the end of their missionary career, the Pinkstons transferred to South Africa, where he served as a business manager and lecturer at a seminary and oversaw maintenance for the campus

“Everywhere we went we saw people, people, people, of every age, every occupation, and with nearly every human need that one can think of,” Pinkston wrote in a newsletter during his missionary service. “But the greatest need that any of them have is the need of salvation. These are a happy, friendly people but too many are burdened with the heavy work and toil, loads on shoulder poles that seem humanly impossible to carry, but burdened under a load of sin and guilt that can only be lightened by a Loving God of which the majority of the people know nothing.”

Pinkston’s desire for people to know Jesus was the motivation in how he lived his life. As his obituary quotes him to say: “The so-called sacrifices we think we have made will fade away when we reach our heavenly home and see some whose lives we touched. Together we will share in Christ’s glory.”

Pinkston is survived by his wife, Florence; daughter Vicki (Tom) Wells; son Jim (Jill) Pinkston; seven grandchildren; three great-grandsons; and brother Ronnie (Marge) Pinkston.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at

Read an obituary here.

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