In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Frances Bibb Raley, 92

Frances Raley

Frances Bibb Raley, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among East Asian Affinity Peoples in Taiwan, died Feb. 7, 2020. She was 92.

Raley was born on June 11, 1927, in Moorhead, Mississippi, to the late S.D. and Helen Jennings Bibb and grew up in Drew, Miss. She attended Clark College in Newton and received the Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Mississippi College.

Raley’s first exposure to missions was in 1948, when she served as a summer missionary in Hawaii. At Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, she met Harry L. Raley of Bethune, S.C. They were married in 1951. The Raleys served in churches in North and South Carolina before being appointed missionaries to Taiwan under the Foreign (now International) Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Their work in Taiwan spanned the years 1955 to 1991 and involved many areas of Mandarin Chinese ministry. Raley’s primary work involved developing and growing churches, even as she was raising her family while living in Tainan and Taipei. She worked with Taiwanese women, taught English Bible classes, and mentored generations of younger missionaries over the years.

Not long after retirement, the Raleys returned to Taiwan for six months to serve the Grace Baptist Church English congregation. Then they spent two summers working among Chinese congregations in Fairbanks, Alaska. When they settled in Jackson, Miss., they continued ministry, volunteering in the Chinese Christian Church of Greater Jackson.

Raley was preceded in death by Harry, her husband of 61 years. She is survived by her brother Ed Bibb; son Harry L. “Lynn” Raley Jr. (Rachel Heard); son Bruce Raley (Maureen Valenza); son David Raley (Frances Usrey); daughter Beth Raley Harris (Scott); six grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.

Her funeral was held Feb. 10, 2020, at Alta Woods Baptist Church in Jackson.

Donations may be made in her memory to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at

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