In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Georgia LaVerne Hutchens Arnold, 91

Georgia LaVerne Hutchens Arnold, 1930-2021 IMB photo

Georgia LaVerne Hutchens Arnold, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in the West African nations of Ghana, Nigeria and The Gambia, died Sept. 1, 2021, in Louisville, Kentucky. She was 91.

LaVerne Arnold was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on March 14, 1930, to the late Martha Esible Hutchens and John Dewey Hutchens. She graduated from Louisville (Kentucky) Girls’ High School and attended Georgetown (Kentucky) College.

Arnold wrote when seeking missionary appointment that she made a public commitment to full-time Christian service when she was 15.  While touring the churches of Louisville to create interest in discipleship training among other young people, she met William Arnold. They soon discovered that they both were planning to attend Georgetown College.

The couple married in 1951 and LaVerne began working as a secretary as Bill continued his education. After he completed studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, the couple moved to Campbellsville, Kentucky, where Bill was a pastor.

LaVerne and Bill talked more and more about missions, she wrote later. “I, frankly, feared the thought and so tried to evade the subject, but I could not. I began to pray that the Lord would remove my fear and help me to be willing to go with my husband anywhere in the world.”

In 1956, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed the Arnolds as missionaries to Ghana. They retired after serving 18 years in West Africa. Following their retirement, they lived in Louisville, Kentucky.

Arnold is survived by her husband of 70 years, William E. Arnold; three daughters, Donna Arnold Rees, Susan Arnold Riordan and Karen Arnold; and a brother, Charles M. Hutchens of Brandenburg, Kentucky.

Funeral services were held Sept. 3 at Owen Funeral Home – Jeffersontown, Louisville, with burial in Resthaven Memorial Park, Louisville.

Read an obituary here.