In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Jimmie Durr Spann, 92

Jimmie Durr Spann, 1929-2022

Jimmie Durr Spann, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Uruguay and Mexico, died April 16, 2022. He was 92.

Spann was born May 6, 1929, in Houston, Texas, to the late James C. and Annie B. Spann. He graduated from Grapeland (Texas) High School and received the Bachelor of Arts from Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, and the Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. In 1949, he married Norma Sparks.

Beginning in 1950, Jimmie served as part-time pastor of churches in Grapeland and Crockett, Texas, and then as pastor of churches in Crockett, Bonham and Sadler, Texas.

Jimmie wrote when seeking missionary appointment that before he and Norma attended the Southern Baptist Convention in 1956, he had become interested in missions through summer camps and hearing furloughing missionaries. When Baker James Cauthen, head of the Foreign Mission Board, addressed the convention he said that many young pastors in the audience could go to the mission field and urged them to strongly consider it and write him a letter with their decision. When Jimmie told Norma he was feeling a call to missions, she said she had felt a call, too.

The Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed the couple as missionaries to Uruguay in late 1957. During 30 years in Uruguay and Mexico, Jimmie was a church planter, preacher, teacher and pastor.

After retiring, the Spanns lived for 23 years in Hewitt, Texas, and then moved to Texas City, Texas, where Jimmie was a member of First Baptist Church. Norma died in 2016 after 67 years of marriage.

Jimmie is survived by four children, Dr. Steve (Nancy), Claudia (Wayne), Kathy (Noel) and Lynda (Lisa); eight grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren, with two more expected this year.

A celebration of life was held April 22, 2022, at First Baptist Church, with burial at Forest Park East Cemetery in Webster, Texas.

Read an obituary here.