In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Max Taylor Furr, 81

Max Taylor Furr, 1940-2021

Max Taylor Furr, 1940-2021

Max Taylor Furr, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among the American Affinity Peoples in Peru and Honduras and through Spanish-language publications from El Paso, Texas, died Apr. 17, 2021, at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He was 81.

Furr was born Feb. 13, 1940, in High Point, Guilford County, North Carolina, to the late Cyril Worth and Mildred Inez Taylor Furr.

He received the Bachelor of Arts from High Point College (now University) and the Bachelor of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina. During his college years, he met Joan Evon Fisher when he spoke at a youth retreat in Danville, Virginia. They were married in 1961.

Furr served as pastor of four churches.

In 1967 the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed the Furrs as missionaries to Peru. During their 22 years in Peru, Furr worked in evangelism and as mission treasurer and business manager for Southern Baptist missionaries and directed the Baptist seminary. He then worked two years in publications at IMB’s publishing house for Latin America in El Paso, Texas, and finished his missionary career in Honduras.

According to a 1999 Baptist Press article by Wally Poor, Furr was coordinating IMB field strategy in Honduras when Hurricane Mitch struck on Halloween night 1998, killing more than 5,600 people. Furr and his fellow Southern Baptist missionaries, along with Honduran Baptist partners, worked tirelessly to witness and minister in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch. Scores of Southern Baptist volunteers also went to help.

As a result, Honduras Baptist churches reported decisions for Christ, baptisms and new mission points in larger numbers than ever before

“In 32 years of missionary service, this is the most unprecedented thing I have ever seen,” said Furr. “We have people coming not asking for food or a building but asking us to bring the Word of God to them.”

Furr was preceded in death by his first wife, Joan Fisher Furr, in 2011, and by his infant son, Byron Fisher Furr.

He is survived by his wife, Bonnie Collins Furr; two sons, Scott Furr (Diana) of Oak Ridge, North Carolina, and Bryan Furr (Jocelyn) of Abilene, Texas; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Jimmy Furr (Mary Lou) and George Furr (Linda).

A funeral service was held April 22, 2021, at Salem Baptist Church in Dobson, North Carolina, with burial in High Point, North Carolina.

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.