In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Bobbie Lee Caperton, 92

Bobbie Lee Caperton, 1928-2021

Bobbie Lee Caperton, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among American Affinity Peoples in Colombia, died Jan. 13, 2021. He was 92.

Caperton was born to the late William and Carrie Caperton on March 26, 1928, in Corpus Christi, Texas. He attended high school at the consolidated school district of Pharr, San Juan and Alamo, Texas, and graduated from Wichita (Kansas) High School East, where he excelled in tennis, making it to the state finals.

Bob met Joan Newcomb in 1946 at North Park Baptist Church in Sherman, Texas. They married May 9, 1948. They started life together in Sherman, where Bob did electrical work and flooring. They later moved to Fort Worth and then to Alvin, Texas, where Caperton was a master electrician.

In 1962, South Park Baptist Church in Alvin started Chocolate Bayou Baptist Mission and asked Bob to lead the new mission. According to his family, he had preached for the pastor on several occasions and the church showed confidance that the Lord could take his inabilities and use him. When the mission was formed into a church, South Park Baptist Church ordained Bob to the ministry on Nov. 24, 1963. During this time Caperton also owned Caperton Electric and returned to college. He received the Bachelor of Arts from Houston Baptist University.

In 1974, the Capertons made a volunteer mission trip to Venezuela for Bob to do electrical work across the country. Joan was introduced to the small medical clinics there. According to the family, God showed them the needs beyond their small world at home, beginning their journey to foreign missions.

In 1978 both returned to school. Joan received a nursing degree from Alvin Community College and passed her state boards. Bob earned the Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In 1981, Bob resigned as pastor of Chocolate Bayou Baptist Church, where he had been pastor more than 19 years. The Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) named them missionaries to Colombia, and in 1982, they started their journey with six months of language school in Costa Rica. They arrived in Columbia that fall.

While in Columbia, Bob was pastor of two English chapels in Barranquilla and at a large coal mine in the Guajira region and completed construction at the Baptist Hospital in Barranquilla. Joan worked at the hospital, in health clinics for poor communities and in meeting medical needs after the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano destroyed the town of Amero. Bob’s ‘Water of Life’ ministry, funded by Southern Baptist world hunger funds, drilled water wells for the indigenous Guajira missions. While doing that, Bob also built church buildings in Riohacho, Maicao and Piromano. Bob and Joan retired from the Foreign Mission Board in 1993.

They settled in Rosenberg, Texas, ministering to senior adults at First Baptist Church. Bob was a supply preacher, and both talked about missions at churches and camps and went on volunteer mission trips to countries including Peru, Colombia and Mexico. After a few years, they moved to Houston and then to Webster, Texas, in 2004.

At age 76, Bob served as general contractor and built a new home for him and Joan. In 2005, he became pastor of The Terrace Chapel of the Brookdale Retirement Living Facility. He retired again in August 2014 at age 86 when Joan became ill with dementia.

After 71 years of marriage, Bob was preceded in death by Joan in 2019. He is survived by his children, Joe Bob Caperton (Mary), Danny Caperton (Jeanne); Annie Knape (John); seven grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; and six great-great grandchildren.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at

Read an obituary here.