In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Birdie “Sue” Worthington Carter, 92

Birdie “Sue” Worthington Carter, 1929-2022. IMB Photo

Birdie “Sue” Worthington Carter, an International Mission Board emeritus who shared the gospel in Brazil, died Oct. 14, 2022. She was 92. 

Sue was born Oct. 17, 1929, in Winters, Texas, to the late Thomas Howard Worthington and Birdie Wood Worthington. She graduated from Winters High School and received the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. 

Sue worked as a secretary for several companies, including Tracy-Locke Advertising Agency in Dallas, Texas, First Baptist Church of Abilene, Texas, Humble Oil and Refining Company in Abilene, Baptist Radio and TV Commission in Fort Worth, and First National Bank in Fort Worth. 

She committed her life to Christ at a young age, but after college, she attended a revival and rededicated her life to Christ.  

“On my knees, I told the Lord I was ready to do anything or go anywhere He wanted me to go, that I realized I would not be happy otherwise,” Sue wrote. 

Sue met her husband, Jimmie Dale Carter at a wedding. She was the maid of honor, and he was the best man. They married in 1954.  

In her letter seeking missionary appointment, Sue wrote that they quickly came to the conviction that the Lord was calling them to international missions.   

In 1957, the Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board) appointed the Carters as missionaries to Brazil. The Carters served in a remote area of Brazil at a Baptist school, the Instituto Batista Correntino. 

Sue was known for her passion for education. Her parents had not finished high school and worked hard for her to be able to attend university. At the Instituto Batista Correntino, she taught psychology and sociology using textbooks sent to her from the U.S. 

There were no phones where they lived, so Sue learned how to be a ham radio operator so she could communicate with her children after they graduated and attended university in the U.S. She hosted a radio show called “Momento de Paz,” which means moments of peace. Her obituary shared that people in the town loved the messages. She played the piano and sang duets in church. 

Sue wrote a memoir, “Two Countries, Two Families, One God,” that shared how two families from two different countries minister in the interior of Brazil.  

The Carters retired from missionary service after 36 years. They ministered at First Baptist Church of Abilene and led a choir trip to visit the church they were involved with, Corrente Baptist Church. 

Sue is preceded in death by Dale, her husband of 64 years. 

She is survived by her children, Timothy Carter (Ivonette), Rebecca Macedo (Walter), Joel Carter (Renee), Jonathan Carter (Joana); and 10 grandchildren.  

A visitation was held Oct. 18, 2022, at Hamil Family Funeral Home, in Abilene. A memorial service was held Oct. 19 at First Baptist Church of Abilene.  

Read an obituary here