Bobby Dale Evans, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Sri Lanka, died on July 28, 2022. He was 86.
Evans was born on Oct. 27, 1935, to the late Clabe and Rachel Bryan Evans. He grew up in Rome, Georgia, and graduated from Pepperhill High School in Lindale, Georgia. He received the Bachelor of Arts from Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, and the Bachelor of Divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (now Gateway Seminary), located at the time in San Francisco, California.
As a high school senior, Evans was moved by the message of a missionary who served in Japan. While studying at Carson-Newman, Evans committed his life to serve on the mission field. That same year, 1957, he met Dorothy Lord Basum, and the couple married in 1958.
Evans served as a summer missionary in San Jose, California, with the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board). Evans was the associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Redwood City, California. Before his appointment to international missions, he pastored Park Victoria Baptist Church in Milpitas, California.
“Unless God closes the door, we are ready and willing to go anywhere that He would have us go in foreign mission work,” Evans wrote when seeking missionary appointment.
In 1965, Bobby and Dorothy were appointed by the Foreign Mission Board, (now the International Mission Board) to serve in Malaysia. The couple first served with the FMB in Singapore before they moved to Malaysia. Evans learned to speak and preach in Mandarin Chinese and Bahasa Malaysian. The Evanses later served in Brunei and Sri Lanka.
On the mission field, Evans served as a church planter, pastor, pastoral consultant and trainer.
One year before they retired, the Evanses traveled around Malaysia to interview leaders from Baptist groups to gather material for a book about Baptist work in Malaysia. Their book is titled “Great Things He Has Done! A Century of Malaysian Baptist History.”
The Evanses retired in 2002 after 35 years of service. The couple moved to Independence, Missouri, but that was not an end to Evans’ missions involvement. Evans made mission trips to multiple countries, including return trips to Malaysia and Brunei. In his retirement, Evans frequented Chinese restaurants to retain his Mandarin.
Evans was known as the “Ice Cream Pastor,” and “Grandpa” and “Brother Bob” by church members in Southeast Asia. Good food and fellowship allowed Evans the opportunity to share the gospel with people, no matter their age or where they were in their spiritual walk.
Evans was preceded in death by his son, Mark Thomas Evans.
Evans is survived by his wife of 64 years, Dorothy Evans; children Jenny Dunham (Art), Cindy Evans, and Mike Evans (Marilyn); six grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life service was held on Aug. 5, 2022, at Coventry Estates Baptist Church in Independence, Missouri.
Donations in his 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 an obituary here.