In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Betty June Nabors Alexander, 89

Betty June Nabors Alexander, 1932-2022
IMB Photo

Betty June Nabors Alexander, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Chile and Peru, died Jan. 23, 2022. She was 89.

Alexander was born Feb. 29, 1932, in Addington, Oklahoma, to the late Robert and Tommie Nabors. On June 15, 1952, while attending Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Betty married Charles Leroy Alexander.  She later received the Bachelor of Science from Texas Christian University, Fort Worth.

When applying to serve as a missionary, Alexander wrote that she grew up across the street from the Baptist church “and I usually had a part in all that went on there.” At age 10 she accepted Jesus as her Savior and was baptized in a nearby pond.

The next year, she wrote, the pastor took a group of young people to a brush arbor meeting, where Lucy Smith, a missionary to China, spoke each day. There, Alexander dedicated her life to special service to the Lord.

After college Alexander taught in elementary schools in Fort Worth and in Blanchard, Oklahoma. She also worked as a private piano teacher.

While living in Fort Worth, where Charles completed his seminary degree, Betty wrote, she and Charles joined Gambrell Street Baptist Church. There, “I first felt God’s leadership toward the foreign mission field as I worked with furloughing missionaries in the church.”

Later, while Charles served as pastor of First Baptist Church of Washington, Oklahoma, they both felt a growing call to international missions. In late 1966, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed them missionaries to South America, where they served for 26 years. In Temuco, Chile, Betty worked as a pianist wherever needed and a as a kindergarten teacher at the Baptist academy.

During a time of political upheaval in Chile, the Alexanders worked in Lima, Peru. Later, back in Chile, Betty worked with a media missionary to make “The Treehouse,” a series of 26 television programs using homemade puppets.

The Alexanders retired in 1994 and settled in Texas, where Betty continued her puppet and other ministries. In 2011, the Oklahoma Baptist University Alumni Association awarded the Alexanders their Profile in Excellence Award.

Alexander is survived by her husband of 69 years, Charles; by their children, David Alexander (Ann Peters) of Washington, D.C.; daughter, Melanie Alexander (Monty Favre) of Fort Worth, Texas; daughter Patti Gloyd of Magnolia, Texas; two Chilean adopted daughters, Rosa King of Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Ida Rutschow (Ken) of La Vergne, Tennessee; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

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

Read more of the Alexanders’ story here.