In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Patrick “Pat” Parker Mulligan, 84

Patrick “Pat” Parker Mulligan, 1938-2023 . IMB Photo

Patrick “Pat” Parker Mulligan, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Russia and Turkey, died Feb. 6, 2023. She was 84.  

Pat was born Dec. 2, 1938, in Belton, South Carolina, to the late Jasper and Louise Parker. She graduated from Belton High School and received an associate degree from Anderson College in Anderson, South Carolina, the Bachelor of Arts degree from Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina, and the Master of Education degree from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.  

Before she started college, she knew foreign missions was in her future. Though an illness that left her bedridden for a year set her college plans back a year, she completed her education, began teaching at Belton High School and then moved to Hanna High School in Anderson.  

In 1960, Pat married Kenneth “Ken” Paul Mulligan.  

She worked for the Department of Social Services in 1961. When Pat and Ken moved to Georgia, she began teaching at Stephens County High School in Toccoa, Georgia. In 1971, they moved back to Belton, and Pat joined the faculty of Anderson College as a professor and director of international programming. 

In 1982, Ken died of congestive heart failure. 

Her calling to missions was renewed after visiting Russia on two short-term projects and hearing several workers share about their service. Pat took early retirement from Anderson College after 28 years of service to answer the call to missions. 

In her letter seeking missionary appointment, Pat wrote, “Examining my life, I see a straight line of preparation and events leading to this point, God’s timing has been fulfilled, and I must obey His call.” 

In 1999, the International Mission Board appointed Pat as a missionary to Russia.  

“It is amazing to me that what I felt called to do at 16 is being fulfilled at the age of 60. It just goes to prove that God’s timing is not ours and that we are never too old to be used by Him if we are willing,” Pat wrote in a newsletter.  

She served as an educational projects coordinator and developed, managed and oversaw educational projects. She helped promote and establish relationships between local schools and universities and U.S. educational institutions. Pat also was involved in church planting.  

Pat kept close ties with Anderson College, and volunteer teams frequently came and partnered with her in ministry. One team came and helped her with the Tatar-American Festival in her city. Pat hosted other cultural events in her city.  

She connected Russian exchange students with friends in Anderson. Volunteer teams from the college brought books that allowed Pat to open a lending library. She opened a center that taught English, Tatar, Arabic and Russian and provided teacher worship programs. 

Due to the security situation in Russia, Pat moved to Turkey, where she served until her retirement. After 14 years on the mission field, Pat retired and returned to the U.S. 

Pat was a long-time member of Belton First Baptist Church. 

Pat is preceded in death by her husband of 22 years, Ken.  

She is survived by her children, Patrick Mulligan (Dawn), and Malura Shady (Nick); five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.  

A memorial service was held Feb. 8, 2023, at First Baptist Church of Belton.  

Read an obituary here.