In memoriam: Missionary Betty Jean Freeman Law, 1928-2023

Betty Jean Freeman Law, 1928-2023. IMB Photo

Betty Jean Freeman Law, a longtime International Mission Board missionary and staff member who shared the gospel in Cuba and Spain, died April 16, 2023. She was 94.

Betty was born Nov. 8, 1928, in Fort Worth, Texas, to the late Dailey Lee and Mary Elizabeth Freeman. She graduated from Paschal High School in Fort Worth and received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Texas State College for Women (now Texas Woman’s University) in Denton, Texas. She also studied at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Betty was active in the Baptist Student Union. It was during her time there she felt a call from God to serve Him in whatever He led her to do. Shortly after this, she felt led to missions. Betty began dating Tom Law, who also felt called to be a missionary. They were married in August 1949.

In 1953 the Home Mission Board (now, North American Mission Board) appointed Betty and Tom missionaries to Cuba.

When the US/Cuba relationship became hostile in 1960, Betty and Tom returned briefly to the U.S., where Tom served as the associational missionary of the Lower Rio Grande Valley (TX) Baptist Association.

In 1962, the Foreign Mission Board (now, International Mission Board) appointed the Laws as missionaries to Spain. After language school in Costa Rica, they moved to Spain in 1964 with their four young sons. There they served as church planters, mission team leaders and seminary teachers in Seville, Jerez de la Frontera, and Barcelona until early 1980, when Tom’s health issues made it necessary for them to return to the U.S.

Betty Law served as the regional vice president of the Americas from 1990-93 for the IMB. IMB Photo

Becoming a widow at age 51 did not stop Betty from following God’s call to mission service. Sixteen months after Tom’s death, she accepted a position at the FMB’s headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, with the Western South America office. For the next 12 years, she served the FMB in administrative leadership roles, culminating in her service as regional vice president of the Americas from 1990-93.

After retirement, Betty continued her commitment to missions, being heavily involved in Woman’s Missionary Union and other missions organizations. In retirement Betty was an active member at Gambrell Street Baptist in Fort Worth.

Betty is preceded in death by her husband, Tom, her sister, Dorothy Mae (Freeman) Morrison and by her great grandson Gideon Levi Stegner.

Betty Law, seated on the right, on a tour bus headed for the Christ the Redeemer statue, is attending the Consultation on Global Evangelization for The Americas Region in July 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with then Foreign Mission Board President Keith Parks. IMB Photo

She is survived by four sons, Thomas Lee “Tom” Law III (Linda) of Norman, Oklahoma, John Richard “Dick” Law (Laura) of Austin, Texas, Charles Rush Keith Law (Janet) of Fort Worth, Texas, Stephen Paul “Steve” Law (Jennifer) of Richmond, Virginia; 14 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service to celebrate Betty’s inspiring life of faith will be held July 15, 2023, at 1pm at Gambrell St. Baptist Church (Fort Worth, Texas).

Read an obituary from the family here.