In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Dr. Charles A. Allen Jr., 90

Dr. Charles Allen

Dr. Charles A. Allen Jr., an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel among American Affinity Peoples in Guatemala, Colombia and Argentina, died Dec. 16, 2019. He was 90.

Allen was born Aug. 2, 1929, near Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Charles and Ruth Allen. He received the Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem. There he met Jean Short and they were married June 26, 1954, in High Point, N.C.

After serving in the Air Force for two years, Charles earned the Bachelor of Divinity and the Master of Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Doctor of Philosophy from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Charles and Jean were appointed missionaries July 17, 1958. They served with the International Mission Board in Guatemala and Colombia for more than 27 years. In Guatemala, he served as president of the Baptist seminary and as a professor, teaching Greek, New Testament and church administration. In Colombia, he taught New Testament and Greek at the Baptist seminary.

During several years back in the United States, Allen was pastor of Winter Park Baptist Church, Wilmington from 1977 to 1982 and was chairman of the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Campbell University for five years. He and Jean then returned to Guatemala, where Charles again taught in the Baptist seminary until their retirement and return to the United States.

Allen continued to serve after retirement as an active member and Sunday school teacher at Winter Park Baptist Church. He also returned twice to Latin America to serve short assignments in Argentina with IMB.

He is survived by Jean, his wife of 65 years; his daughter, Celia Fryer (David) and son, Dan Allen (Karen); four grandchildren; his sisters, Joyce Pratt, Sally Allen and brother, Bill Allen (Nancy).

A memorial service was held Dec. 21 at Winter Park Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Winter Park General Missions Fund, Campbell University: Charles & Jean Allen Divinity Endowed Fund for Hispanic Students, or to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at

Read a full obituary here.