In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Nadine Lovan, 89

Nadine Lovan

Nadine Lovan

Nadine Lovan, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel among the Sub-Saharan African Affinity people in Ghana, died Aug. 21, 2019, in Bowling Green, Ky. She was 89.

Lovan was born on Feb. 10, 1930, in Calhoun, Ky., to Rev. George and Lila Mae Lovan. Beginning in her teens, she took leadership roles in churches where her father was pastor and was involved in various mission organizations sponsored by WMU.

Lovan received the Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown (Ky.) College, and the Master of Religious Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Although she had surrendered to God’s call to Christian service in high school, Lovan wrote when seeking appointment that she resisted a specific call to international missions until seminary. “It took less than a month of the atmosphere of the campus, Missionary Day, and the mission emphasis of the classrooms to make me realize that I was running away from God’s real purpose for me,” she wrote. “One Saturday on my knees I told the Lord that I would go anywhere He directed.”

After brief stints as a schoolteacher in Adairville, Ky., and with the Home Mission Board in California, Lovan was appointed a Southern Baptist international missionary July 19, 1958, and served in Ghana more than 30 years until her retirement in 1992.

Her devotion to the Great Commission and her dedication to the Ghanaian people resulted in countless decisions for Christ, changed lives, and lifelong friendships in both Ghana and in the United States. Many Ghanaian girls carry the name of Nadine and boys carry the name. Many of those children refer to her as their “grandmother.”

After her retirement, Lovan continued to travel to churches across the United States visiting Sunday School classes and WMU groups (many named after her), relating her experiences and the powerful work being done by IMB missionaries throughout the world. Nadine was a member of the First Baptist Church, Bowling Green.

She is survived by sisters, Dorothy Dillingham and Martha Offutt; sisters-in-law Lena Lovan and Mattie Lovan; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Read an obituary here.