In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Barbara Ann Fetters Workman, 77

Barbara Ann Fetters Workman, 1944-2021
IMB Photo

Barbara Ann Fetters Workman, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Malawi and South Africa, died Nov. 22, 2021. She was 77.

Workman was born March 2, 1944, at Randolph Field Air Force Base in Texas to the late Orville C. and Hilda V. Fetters. She graduated from Harlandale High School, San Antonio, Texas, and received the Bachelor of Science in Education from Southwest Texas State College (now Texas State University — San Marcos).

She wrote when seeking missionary appointment that some of her earliest mission involvement came through Baptist student ministry while she was at Texas State, starting with her involvement in a Friday night program for Spanish-speaking children and including service as a summer missionary in Maryland.

At a student missions conference at Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, Waco, Texas, she wrote, “I responded to God’s call to follow His will in my life in whatever field He would lead me.” Through her involvement in Baptist student activities, she met Gerald Monroe Workman Jr., whom she married on Aug. 28, 1964. By then both had answered the call to international missions.

The Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed the Workmans missionaries to Malawi in 1970 and they departed for their new home on Christmas day 1970. While in Malawi, Workman served in home and church. Besides doing evangelism, she worked with the Bible Way Correspondence School and edited children’s materials. The Workmans served 29 years in Malawi before transferring to Johannesburg, South Africa. For nine years, they worked primarily with the Baptist Guest House, where Barbara ministered to missionary couples staying there.

After retiring, they lived for 14 years in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where they were members of Vista Grande Baptist Church.

Survivors include Gerald, her husband of 57 years; two children, Philip Workman of Waco, Texas, and Deborah Mullenix of Colorado Springs; six grandchildren; and a brother, Doug Fetters of Louisiana.

A memorial service was held Dec. 18, 2021, at Vista Grande Baptist Church.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at Generosity Resource Center – IMB Generosity.