In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Eva Elouise Lovelace, 94

Eva Elouise Lovelace, 1928-2022 . IMB Photo

Eva Elouise Lovelace, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Japan, died Nov. 19, 2022. She was 94. 

Elouise was born in Greenville, Texas, on July 27, 1928, to the late Coral Venson and Mittie Roberts. She graduated from Thayer High School in Thayer, Missouri, and received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard Payne College (now University) in Brownwood, Texas. 

During Elouise’s childhood, she met many missionaries who were on home assignment in the U.S., and through these encounters, she learned of the great need for more workers on the mission field. 

She met Beryle Lovelace at Howard Payne and the two married in 1952. 

Elouise taught English and music in a public school in Saltillo, Texas, and was later a music teacher in Wolfe City, Texas. She was a private music instructor in San Angelo, Brownfield, Dallas, and Littlefield, Texas. She served as the organist for First Baptist Church, Okmulgee, Oklahoma, First Baptist Church, Corsicana, and Corley Funeral Home in Corsicana.  

Elouise used her piano talents in ministry in the U.S. as well as in her missionary career. 

During the summer of 1959, the Lovelaces went as sponsors on a mission trip to work with the Navajo in New Mexico. It was on this trip that the Lovelaces realized the Lord could use them in missions.  

Their missions journey began when they assisted in three revival meetings as a part of the Japan New Life Movement.  

In 1985, the International Mission Board appointed the Lovelaces missionaries to Japan. 

The Lovelaces first served as music and education ministers in Kanto Plains Baptist Church, an English-speaking church on the outskirts of Tokyo. The church was begun by servicemen of the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. Elouise played the organ in Kanto Hills and played for churches in the Tokyo area as requested.  

Elouise directed the junior choir in the church and was involved in many activities. In their newsletters, the Lovelaces wrote that their revival meetings at Kanto Hills, where Elouise played the organ, were a highlight of their year. Many people committed their lives to Christ at the revivals. 

Elouise served in the Adult Training Union department and was the mission study chairman for one year for the Woman’s Missionary Union. 

Elouise and Beryle assisted multiple churches in the Tokyo area that requested help. In 1976, the couple moved to downtown Tokyo to serve as the business managers for the Japan Baptist Mission. Five years before their retirement, the Lovelaces moved to Okinawa, Japan, to serve at Koza Baptist Church in Naha, Okinawa. 

Throughout her years in Japan, Elouise taught conversational English to students and professionals. She enjoyed discipling a group of young adult professionals.  

“It is thrilling to watch them grow spiritually as the Lord works in their hearts,” Elouise wrote in a newsletter. 

The Lovelaces retired after 27 years of service.  

In their retirement, Beryle and Elouise served part-time at Creekside Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas.  

Elouise is preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Beryle.  

She is survived by her two children, Byron (Gail) Lovelace, and Laura Bracken (Michael); two grandchildren, three step-grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. 

A funeral service was held Dec. 3, 2022, at Peters Funeral Home in Greenville, Texas. 

Read an obituary here.