In memoriam: Missionary emeritus James Oscar Teel Jr., 94

James Oscar Teel Jr., 1927-2022
IMB Photo

James Oscar Teel Jr., an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Ecuador, Argentina, the Dominican Republic and Canada, died Feb. 9, 2022. He was 94.

Teel was born Dec. 9, 1927, in Electra, Texas, to the late Mr. and Mrs. James O. Teel Sr. He graduated from Electra High School and received the Bachelor of Arts from Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas, and the Bachelor of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

At Hardin-Simmons, Teel began dating fellow student Georgie Lee Williams, who was already feeling called to missions. They were married in 1949.

Teel wrote when seeking missionary appointment that while working his way through college as a hospital orderly he began to see that God might use him to meet people’s physical and spiritual needs through medical missions.

But also feeling a call to preach, Teel became pastor in Stamford, Texas, and the couple moved to Fort Worth to attend seminary. During their first year there, Teel publicly surrendered to missions.

As Teel served as a pastor in Azle and then Olney, Texas, the couple felt a growing conviction that God wanted them in Latin America. On May 10, 1956, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed them missionaries to Ecuador. There, James worked in evangelism and starting churches. In Argentina, where they moved in 1960, he also served in radio and television outreach and associational administration.

In 1983 the Teels moved to the Dominican Republic to again help grow churches. In 1984, they moved to Canada, where he helped establish the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College in Cochrane, Alberta.

Between terms of service as a missionary, Teel worked at the Baptist General Convention of Texas Cooperative Program, the Stewardship Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and in Hardin-Simmons’ Development Office. He also served as interim pastor in several Abilene area churches. The last 19 years of his working life were spent as a chaplain at Hospice of the Big Country at the West Texas Rehabilitation Center, Abilene.

Following his retirement, James and Georgie moved to Fort Worth and were active members of Travis Avenue Baptist Church and volunteers at its Mercy Clinic.

James is survived by his wife of 73 years Georgie Lee; four children: Linda Farell (Dan); Judy Simon (Jerry); Pam Teel and Jim Teel; seven grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; one sister, Mary Hyink; and two brothers, Oren Teel and Al Teel.  He was preceded in death by a daughter Shirley Ann Teel.

A service was held Feb. 23, 2022, at Elmwood Funeral Home in Abilene, Texas.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Baptist Spanish Publishing House Foundation, 130 Montoya Road, El Paso, TX 79932, or to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at Generosity Resource Center – IMB Generosity.

Read an obituary here.