Wayne Paul, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Zimbabwe, Uganda and Cyprus, died March 4, 2023. He was 86.
Wayne was born Oct. 18, 1936, in Lincoln, Nebraska, to the late Lester J. and Johanna D. Paul. He graduated from Biggs Union High School in Biggs, California, and received the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Arts from California State University, in Chico, California.
He married Roberta (Bertie) Evans in 1957. They were high school sweethearts, and they married in Wayne’s junior year of college.
Prior to his appointment with the International Mission Board, he worked as a teacher, a principal, a realtor, and a part-time minister of outreach in Chico and Riverside, California.
After Wayne and Bertie became empty nesters, they began to assess what God really wanted them to do with their lives. Wayne stopped teaching and began his career as a realtor. In June 1981, they attended a Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, where they felt God leading them to international missions. They soon went on a nine-month, short-term assignment to Malawi. God used this experience to confirm their call to international missions.
“We have waited for the ‘tug’ of Africa to go away,” Wayne wrote while seeking appointment. “Instead, it gets stronger.”
In 1982, the Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board) appointed Wayne and Bertie missionaries to Zimbabwe. While in Zimbabwe, he served as a conference encampment director. Their ministry eventually took them to Uganda and Cyprus. They served with the FMB for 21 years.
He is survived by Bertie, his wife of 65 years; children, Randall Evans Paul (Chrystal), and Paige Burtch (Matthew); and four grandchildren and one great-grandson.
A funeral service was held March 11, at Magnolia Church in Riverside, California.