In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Wilma Alice Gemmell Kidd, 1922-2023

Wilma Alice Gemmell Kidd, 1922-2023
IMB Photo

Wilma Alice Gemmell Kidd, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Brazil, died June 24, 2023, in Robert Lee, Texas. She was 101.

Wilma was born January 26, 1922, near Winside, Nebraska, to the late Robert and Ellen Gemmell. She graduated from Carroll High School in Carroll, Nebraska, and received the Bachelor of Arts from Howard Payne College, Brownwood, Texas, and the Master of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

Wilma taught rural school; was educational secretary at First Baptist Church, Stephenville, Texas; secretary at the national headquarters of the Woman’s Missionary Union in Birmingham, Alabama; and worked in sales of office systems.

In 1963, Wilma was appointed as a single missionary to serve in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board). She worked in the Board’s financial office in Rio de Janeiro. She sang in church choirs and in the Association for Singing of Choral Music.

Wilma met Jesse L. Kidd, a Southern Baptist missionary working in the Baptist School at Volta Redonda in the state of Rio de Janeiro and they were married Oct. 14, 1967. On March 13, 1969, they were appointed by the Foreign Mission Board and returned to Brazil.

They served in the state of Santa Catarina in pioneer evangelism. In 1976, they moved to the state of Minas Gerais. There Jesse was director of missions of the North Association of Baptist Churches, in the geographical area centered by the city of Montes Claros. The couple lived in that city, the agricultural center for over one million people. Alongside her husband’s ministry, she guided children’s and adult choirs in the churches.

Missionary service in Brazil continued until 1989 when the Kidds retired to Baptist Retirement Community in San Angelo. They were members of Immanuel Baptist Church and First Baptist Church, where she was a member of the Mary/Martha Sunday School class. She taught adult Sunday School classes and sang in sanctuary choirs and in the San Angelo Symphony Chorale. At Baptist Retirement Community she sang in the chapel services.

Wilma is preceded in death by Jesse, her husband of 53 years.

She is survived by nieces and nephews and their families.

A funeral service was held July 1, at the chapel of Baptist Retirement Community in San Angelo, Texas.

Read an obituary here.