In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Helen Green Myers, 84

Helen Green Myers, 1937-2021 IMB Photo

Helen Green Myers, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Nigeria, died July 11, 2021. She was 84.

Myers was born Jan. 23, 1937, in Prentiss, Mississippi, to the late Leroy E. and Lou S. Green.  She received the Bachelor of Science in Education from Mississippi College, Clinton.  At Mississippi College she met Shelby Payton Myers, whom she married in 1957, which “made a preacher’s kid a preacher’s wife,” she wrote when seeking missionary appointment.

Helen taught school in Mississippi and Louisiana while Payton attended seminary and served as pastor of several churches. Although Payton had begun feeling God might be calling him into missionary service, Helen wrote, she was not at all sympathetic at first.

But while attending a district Woman’s Missionary Union meeting, she heard a missionary to Korea speak. “I tried not to listen,” she wrote, “but at the end of her address, she made an appeal for those who were able to go to foreign mission service to do so, and I finally submitted my life to the call which the Lord had been giving me so long and said that I would go wherever He led, even if it meant into missionary service.”

She slept well that night for the first time in a long time, she wrote.

In 1963, the Foreign Mission Board appointed the Myerses as missionaries to Nigeria, where they served until retiring in 1997. They worked at the Baptist Pastor’s School (now the Baptist Theological Seminary) at Kawo, Kaduna. After retiring, the couple lived in Brooksville, Mississippi.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Shelby Payton Myers, who died in 2020.