In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Divina Doris Park, 89

Divina Park, 1930-2020

Divina Doris Key Park, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among American Affinity Peoples in Chile, died July 18, 2020. She was 89.

Born Oct. 17, 1930, in Nortonville, Kentucky, Park was the last surviving child of the late Lambert and Emma Phillips Key. She received the Associate of Arts from Paducah (Ky.) Junior College (now West Kentucky Community and Technical College) and the Bachelor of Arts in English from Murray (Ky.) State College (now University). She also attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

Park wrote when seeking missionary appointment that a youth revival in 1947 at West End Baptist Church in Paducah, where her family was then active, was a time of decision for many young people.

“The deep sense of God directing my life led me to say to him during the last services, ‘Wherever you lead, I’ll go,’” she wrote. God had been preparing her for that decision for four years, she said.

“The sense of direction toward foreign missions has never lessened but constantly grown more intense,” she added.

In 1955, she married James Kenneth Park, whom she had met through church activities in Paducah.

The Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Divina and Ken as missionaries to Chile in 1964. They served 27 years in the cities of Viña del Mar, Antofagasta, Santiago and Copiapó.

Upon retiring in 1992, Divina and Ken set up Park Place, a bed and breakfast in Franklin, Kentucky, where they also served their community through the Good Samaritan Social Ministry. She was a member of Generations Bible Study Class and Highland Baptist Church, Louisville.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Ken. She is survived by five children, Karen Park and Becky Martin (Bill), Laura Park (Jacques), Kenny Park (Leslie), and Jimmy Park (Marianela); and 12 grandchildren.

A private memorial service was held July 23 at Highland Baptist Church with burial July 22 at Maplelawn Park Cemetery, Paducah, Kentucky.

Donations in her memory may be made to Rappahannock Baptist Association’s Hispanic Ministry, C/O 8800 Historyland Hwy. Warsaw, VA 22572 or Highland Baptist Church´s Mission and Justice Ministry Group (

Read an obituary here.