In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Donald Richards, 1928-2023

Donald Richards, 1928-2023

Donald Richards, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Brazil, died Jan. 31, 2023, in Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas. He was 94.

Donald was born April 29, 1928, in El Paso, Texas, to the late Wyatt and Irene Love Richards. He received the Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, and his Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He also studied at New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts (now New Mexico State University, , in CITY, New Mexico, and Texas A&M, in College Station, Texas.

He met Shari Sherman in the summer of 1950 and married her the following summer in a double wedding with his sister, right before his college graduation. Before the Lord called him to missions, he pastored Rosamond Baptist Chapel in Anna, Texas, First Baptist Church in Estancia, New Mexico, and First Baptist Church in Mesilla Park, New Mexico.

In 1958, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Donald and Shari missionaries to Brazil.

The Richards spent 21 years with the FMB in Brazil. During his time with the FMB, he served in multiple evangelistic roles, including that of an educational director at Capunga Church in Recife, working closely with local Baptist associations, and as a pastor and teacher at Sao Paulo Seminary.

In a newsletter, Donald wrote, “To us, it is a miracle God let us come to Brasil; we have never ceased to be thankful for this opportunity that is ours in serving our Master here. … We have never been happier, even though there have been trying times, as we have been here in Brasil.”

Donald is preceded in death by his wife, Shari, of nearly 53 years.

He is survived by his children Kenneth, Michael, Chrystal and Joy and their spouses; his sister; nine grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.

A funeral service was held at First Baptist Church, Possum Kingdom Lake, on April 22, 2023.

Read an obituary here.