In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Thomas Jude Baker, 1946-2023

Thomas Jude Baker, 1946-2023
IMB Photo

Thomas Jude Baker, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Spain, died March 2, 2023. He was 76.

Tom was born Nov. 7, 1946, in Kinsley, Kansas, to the late Newton Joseph and Esther Colson Baker. He graduated from Kinsley High School and received the Bachelor of Science from Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, Indiana, and the Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He also studied at Electronic Computer Programming Institute, Louisville, Kentucky; Ft. Knox Community College, Ft. Knox, Kentucky and Jefferson Community College, Louisville, Kentucky.

He served in the United States Army from 1965 to 1968 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Fort Knox, Kentucky. After his time in military service, he worked with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, First National Bank of Louisville and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.

In October 1969, he married Phyllis Smith. Tom was raised in the Catholic faith. While seeking appointment with the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) he wrote, “It was not until I met Phyllis that I began to see the true meaning of being a Christian and what it meant to be saved.”

He attended Southern Seminary in preparation to go to the mission field, a call he’d felt for a while.
In 1980, the Foreign Mission Board appointed Tom and Phyllis missionaries to Spain. Later they would serve in the United Kingdom. In addition to their ministry duties overseas, Tom worked as a business manager and in logistics roles. After 32 years with the now International Mission Board, Tom and Phyllis moved to McCalla, Alabama, in October of 2011 to be near their sons and their families.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Phyllis; sons David and Paul Baker; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A funeral service was held March 10, at Grace Life Baptist in McCalla, Alabama.

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.