In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Clarence A. Allison, 93

Clarence A. Allison, 1927-2020

Clarence A. Allison, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among the Sub-Saharan African Affinity Peoples in Tanzania, Kenya, France, South Africa and Botswana, died Dec. 30, 2020, at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was 93.

Allison was born on Feb. 13, 1927, near Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, to the late Alvin Allison, a Baptist preacher, and the late Ava Allison.

During World War II Allison served in the U.S. Navy and was a plank owner crew member of the USS Midway, a designation given to those who were crew members when the ship was commissioned shortly after the end of World War II. In 2016, at age 89, he returned to tour the Midway in San Diego.

After the war, Allison received the Bachelor of Arts from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and married Alta Brasell on Nov. 8, 1950. After college, Clarence was pastor of churches in south Arkansas and received the Bachelor of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

In 1960, he and Alta were appointed as missionaries to Africa by the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board). Over the years, they worked in Tanganyika (now Tanzania), Kenya, France, South Africa, and Botswana. As a result, Clarence knew and used six languages–English, Greek, Swahili, French, Setswana, and a little Afrikaans. During this time, he also taught several years at Ouachita Baptist University.

During his mission career, Clarence was a church planter, an evangelist, a radio broadcast producer and for a short time a hospital administrator. He was a ham radio operator (K5TNN) and spoke with people from all over the world wherever he was stationed, long before the Internet.

Allison was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Alta Brasell Allison. He is survived by one sister, Jean Jones of Maplewood, Minnesota; one half-sister, Jimmye Carol Watson of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas; his son, Mark Allison (Becky) of Maumelle, Arkansas; his daughter, Kay Maunder (Steven) of Bahama, North Carolina; and five grandchildren.

Services were private.

Memorial donations may be made to the Lottie Moon Offering, International Mission Board, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at

Read an obituary here.