In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Broadus Hale, 91

Broadus David Hale

Broadus David Hale, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel among American Peoples in Canada and Brazil and among Sub-Saharan African Peoples in Zimbabwe, died May 31, 2019. He was 91.

Hale was born March 13, 1928, in Tulsa, Okla., and lived in Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah while growing up.

Hale earned a bachelor’s degree in English and history from University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. He earned the Bachelor of Divinity and Doctor of Theology degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Hale wrote in his missionary application that while teaching at Union Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans in 1955, “I became concerned about the vast numbers of people who had no opportunity to hear about Christ.” He surrendered for missionary service at one of the school’s missionary day programs.

He had been corresponding all year with Margaret Owens. She felt a similar call and the two were married on Aug. 31, 1956.

The Hales were appointed as IMB missionaries in August 1967 and served 29 years.

For many years, Hale taught and served in leadership roles at the Baptist Theological Seminary of South Brazil and the Women’s Training School in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also served as pastor of the International Baptist Church in Rio, as interim pastor of Igreja Baptist Church in Camboata and as president of Guanabara State Mission.

During their first year at the Brazilian seminary, he and Margaret saw a new church born.

“Our little church has been a blessing to us this past year,” they wrote in December 1969. “We shall have our first baptismal service the Sunday before Christmas. … Our church is composed of very poor people, some of whom receive less than thirty dollars (equivalent) a month, too poor to buy a Bible —even if they could read. But they are joyful crentes (believers) and know … joy in their salvation.”

In 1985, the Hales served a short time in Zimbabwe, where he supervised the Portuguese Department of the Baptist Theological Seminary of Zimbabwe in Gweru for one semester and served as pastor of Gweru Baptist Church.

The Hales transferred in 1988 to Canada, where he taught history, polity and missions strategy at the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary in Cochrane, Alberta, until 1996.

Hale also influenced generations of Portuguese-speaking students through his book, Introdução ao Estudo do Novo Testament (Introduction to the New Testament Study). 

Hale was survived by his wife of 56 years, Margaret, and their children. Margaret died July 4, 2019, and a joint memorial service was conducted on July 19 at Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Albuquerque, N.M., with Interment at Santa Fe National Cemetery.

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