In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Barbara Smith Hampton, 86

Barbara Smith Hampton, 1934-2021

Barbara Smith Hampton, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among East Asian Affinity Peoples in South Korea, died Jan. 29, 2021. She was 86.

Hampton was born on July 30, 1934, in Chickasha, Oklahoma, to the late James Cullis and Alma Frances Hyatt Smith. She received a diploma in nursing from the University of Oklahoma School of Nursing, Oklahoma City, and was licensed as a registered nurse. She worked as nurse at the hospital after graduation.

While in nursing school, she met a young doctor, James E. Hampton, and they were married in 1955. The couple moved to Clarkesville, Tennessee, in 1962, where Jim opened a medical practice.

She wrote when seeking missionary appointment that training and nurturing their one son and four daughters was a privilege and “my service to the Lord for 28 years.”

Throughout her life, Barbara was deeply involved in her church and community. When she and Jim visited Macao in 1986, she wrote, “I was deeply touched by the need for witnessing and teaching there.”

She wrote when seeking appointment, “I feel that God has specifically called me to teach the Bible and disciple. … My call can be lived out right where I am or any place on earth where God might choose to send me.” The Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) in 1987 named the Hamptons as missionaries to Korea, where they lived in Pusan. They retired and returned to the United States in 1994.

According to her family, whether in Sunday School at First Baptist, Clarksville, or as a Bible Study Fellowship Teaching leader Hampton’s two greatest joys were teaching others about Jesus and being a church pianist. 2nd Mile Church, Clarksville, where her son is the founding pastor, was her last church home, but she was also instrumental in helping to establish Christ Presbyterian Church in Clarksville.

They also said she loved flowers and being a member of Les Candides Garden Club.

Hampton was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Dr. James Hampton. Survivors include her sisters, Frances Shearwood (Bob) Coughran and Martha (Bo) Brown. Her children include Cal Hampton (Diana), Susan Smith (Shan), Dee Ann Pickering (Mike), Ginny Dickson (Dwight Jr.) and Becky Haynes (Dan). She leaves behind 14 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

A funeral service was held Feb. 6, 2021, at 2nd Mile Church.

Read an obituary here.