In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Albert Hampy Dyson Jr., 90

Albert Hampy Dyson Jr., 1929-2020

Albert Hampy Dyson Jr., an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among the Sub-Saharan African Affinity Peoples in Nigeria and Sierra Leone, died Nov. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 90.

Dyson was born in Mobeetie, Texas, Nov. 25, 1929, to the late Albert and Thelma Dyson.

Dyson received the Bachelor of Arts from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; the Master of Education from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, Nashville; and the Doctor of Education from the University of Georgia, Athens. He also attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

Dyson wrote when seeking missionary appointment that he became a Christian at age 9 and became more and more involved in Christian service, which led him to “increasingly identifying myself with world areas where the needs for Christ were not being met.”

One summer during college, he publicly gave his life for full-time Christian service. Although he had wanted to teach as long as he could remember, he knew God had a special job for him somewhere.

After college, he served as a home missionary and an assistant pastor of a church in New Orleans, where he met Ruth Widick, a fellow missionary. They married on May 23, 1953.

From 1955 to 1990, Bert and Ruth served as International Mission Board missionaries to Nigeria and Sierra Leone, where they were involved in teacher training and literacy work that covered the continent of Africa. After retirement they continued to serve Africa and Nepal with the International Literacy Training Institute.

As an active member of Woodmont Baptist Church, Dyson taught Sunday School, served as the director of 55 Unlimited and volunteered with a TV/phone prayer line for many years after retirement. Dyson impacted countless lives as he published adult literacy materials which were translated into multiple languages all over the world. He was passionate about helping adults learn to read so that the gospel of Jesus Christ could go forth. Throughout his life, according to his family, he often referred to Africa as his real “home.”

Dyson was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Ruth. He is survived by his children; Danlami (Garba Elizabeth), JoEllyn Dyson and Brandon Dyson (Darlene); 10 grandchildren; and 14 great grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Dec. 5 at Woodmont Baptist Church, Nashville.

Read an obituary here.