William Boyd Pearce, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among the Sub-Saharan African Affinity Peoples in Tanzania and Kenya, died June 22, 2020. He was 89.
William Boyd Pearce was born on July 12, 1930, in Hamilton, Texas, to the late Mr. and Mrs. Wade Pearce. He grew up in Fort Worth and graduated from high school in Brownfield, Texas.
During World War II, his father’s job took the family to Berkeley, California, where Pearce was influenced by missionaries studying language there who attended Golden Gate Baptist Church in nearby Oakland.
“Under such influences, it was not long before I began to feel God’s hand heavy upon my heart,” he wrote when seeking missionary appointment. “And soon, while I was 14 years old, I surrendered to be a missionary.”
Pearce received the Bachelor of Arts in English from Baylor University, Waco, and the Bachelor of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth. He was pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Brownfield and of Prospect Hill Baptist Church in San Antonio.
He married Sydney Brewer on June 4, 1954. The Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed them as missionaries to East Africa in 1958. They served as missionaries in Kenya and Tanzania for close to 30 years. In 1973, they returned for a few years to the United States, where he was pastor of First Baptist Church, Shallowater, Texas, and Trinity Baptist Church in Aurora, Colorado. They returned to Africa in 1980, where they served until retiring in 1994.
After retiring, he was pastor of the Cross Timber Baptist Church, Burleson, Texas. He concluded his formal ministry by leading worship services at a local retirement complex.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Syd; one daughter, Sheri Harris (Glenn); two sons, Dirk Pearce (Libby) and Randal Pearce (Janelda); 12 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
A graveside service was held in Laurel Land Memorial Park, Fort Worth, June 27, followed by a memorial service at Cross Timber Baptist Church.
Read an obituary here.