In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Bobby ELL Adams, 1929-2023

Bobby ELL Adams, 1929-2023
IMB Photo

Bobby ELL Adams, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Argentina, died July 11, 2023. He was 94.

Bobby was born June 27, 1929, in Sulphur Spring, Oklahoma, to the late Eldred Egbert Adams and Ida lrene Walker Adams. He graduated from Gentry High School in Gentry, Arkansas, and received the Bachelor of Arts from Northeastern State College, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the Bachelor of Divinity from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Kansas, studied at Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School, and received an advanced degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Bob married his college sweetheart, Catherine La Verne James, on Sept. 29, 1950. They had three daughters, Catherine Jane Adams, June Elaine Adams and Barbara Anne Adams. After La Verne’s death, he married Sheri Dawson Adams, and had one daughter, Rachel Caroline Adams.

In 1959, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Bob and Catherine missionaries to Chile and Colombia. He served as a missionary to Chile, Colombia and Argentina, and a theological educator at the Baptist seminaries in Cali, Colombia, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

He was proudest of a “night school” seminary in Spanish he and former students started for pastors from Latin America, who had not been able to get an education in their home countries.

Before and after his time as a missionary, he served as a pastor in the United States and taught at New Orleans Baptist Seminary, Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and Gardner-Webb University divinity school, in North Carolina. He was also a chaplain at Pharr Yarns in McAdenville, North Carolina.

He is preceded in death by his first wife, Catherine La Verne James.

He is survived by his wife, Sheri; his daughters (named above); two sons-in-law, Elaine’s husband, Hussein El-Lessy, and Rachel’s husband, Alexander Byers; and one grandson.

A funeral service was held July 30, at First Baptist Church, Rutherfordton, North Carolina.

Read an obituary here.