In memoriam: Missionary emeritus John Mark Carpenter, 92

John Mark Carpenter, 1929-2022
IMB Photo

John Mark Carpenter, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Liberia, died Jan. 19, 2022. He was 92.

Carpenter was born Oct. 16, 1929, in Toccoa, Georgia, to the late Oscar and Lina Burgess Carpenter.

Carpenter received the Bachelor of Arts from Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, and the Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. In 1949, he married Betty Hawkins of Gainesville, Georgia.

After college, he served as pastor at Ellaville (Georgia) Baptist Church; First Baptist Church, Hogansville, Georgia; First Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia, and Oakland (Kentucky) Baptist Church.

In 1961, the Foreign Mission Board (then International Mission Board) appointed the Carpenters missionaries to Liberia in West Africa. Carpenter began in Sinoe County as church planter and director of pastor training. While on medical leave from Africa, he served as pastor of LaBelle Heights Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia. After five years away, they were re-appointed to Liberia, where he developed the Theological Education Extension program in conjunction with the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary in Monrovia, Liberia. He also served as church planter for the greater Monrovia area, was president of the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary and established 25 churches.

After retiring from missionary service, Carpenter served as pastor of churches in Rayle, Washington, and Hoschton, Georgia. He continued to be involved with his home church, First Baptist Church of Gainesville.

He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Betty Sue Hawkins Carpenter from Gainesville; five children: Mark Carpenter (Marti), Nancy Hulsey (Tommy), Kim Abrams (Steve), Barbara Clement (Jeff) and Chris Carpenter (Janice); 16 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson. He also is survived by his sister in-law Joanne Hawkins of Gainesville.

A memorial service was held Jan. 29, 2022, at First Baptist Church of Gainesville.

Read an obituary here.