In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Michael James Howard, 67

Michael James Howard, 1954-2022
IMB Photo

Michael James Howard, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Zambia, died May 3, 2022. He was 67.

At the time of his death, Howard was pastor of Frio Canyon Baptist Church in Leakey, Texas.

Howard was born Sept. 24, 1954, in Oakland, California, to James Walter Howard and Jane Dee Wells Howard. He received the Bachelor of Arts from Howard Payne University, Brownwood, Texas, and the Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

Howard wrote when seeking missionary appointment that the strongest influence on his life was his dad, a pastor who “loves his Lord and has expressed that love to me.” His father, he wrote, had a great concern for the lost and a great ministry of teaching.”

Howard wrote that he began to feel God’s call to preach when he was young but resisted for six years, finally surrendering to God’s call during high school.

During college, Howard met Lindy Pemberton through church activities, and they were married in 1977 and began ministry together. While in seminary, Howard was youth and music director at Garner Baptist Church in Weatherford, Texas. After graduation, he became pastor.

“Here and at seminary I began feeling the call to missions, with so many preachers in the States and so few in the rest of the world,” he wrote.

At a missions conference at his next church, Bounds Baptist Church, Powderly, Texas, he felt he needed to do more than just talk about missions.

In late 1988, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed the Howards as missionaries to Zambia, where they served primarily as church planters in a rural area and then in the capital city, Lusaka.

He is survived by Lindy, his wife of 44 years; a son, Jesse; a daughter, Tabitha; and several grandchildren.

A celebration of life and faith service was held May 14, 2022, at Frio Canyon Baptist Church.

Read an obituary here.