In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Grover Francis Tyner Jr., 97

Grover Francis Tyner Jr., 1923-2020

Grover Francis Tyner Jr. of Culloden, Georgia, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among the Southeast Asian Affinity Peoples in Singapore and the Philippines, died Nov. 26, 2020. He was 97.

Tyner was born Sept. 8, 1923, in Davisboro, Georgia, to the late Grover F. Tyner Sr. and Nellie Whelchel Tyner. The family moved to Augusta, Georgia, when he was 5 years old.

Tyner received the Bachelor of Arts from Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, and the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky. He was given honorary doctorates by Mercer University and Dayspring University.

Tyner enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and served in Corsica and Italy as a medical administrative officer. He remained in the active army reserves as a chaplain and retired with 30 years of service as a lieutenant colonel.

Ordained as a Baptist minister in 1946, he was a pastor in Kentucky during his seminary training. Later he was pastor of First Baptist Church of Garden City, Georgia, and First Baptist Church of Bremen, Georgia. He married Libby Zane Alexander in 1948.

The Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed the Tyners in 1963 as missionaries to the Philippines. He taught and served as president at the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary for 22 years. He served concurrently for 10 years as president of the Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary. He also served a year as a guest professor at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Singapore.

Upon retirement after more than 26 years, Tyner served as interim pastor of several churches and as a deacon of the churches where he lived.

He is survived by his wife of almost 18 years, Rosanne Oxford Branan Tyner; three daughters, Tere Tyner Canzoneri, Joy Tyner Jolliff (Brad), and Gaye Tyner Rountree (Wyc); one stepdaughter, Sheryl Branan Mills (Jeff); three stepsons, John Branan (Liz), Martin Branan, William Branan (Krista); four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; and five step-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters, Nell Tyner Bowen, and Thera Tyner McElmurray.

He was preceded in death by his first wife of 54 years, Libby Alexander Tyner.

A private memorial service was held with burial in the Melwood Cemetery of Stone Mountain, Georgia.  A celebration of Tyner’s life was to be scheduled later.

Read an obituary here.