In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Sallie May Cook Lanier, 1926-2023

Sallie May Cook Lanier, 1926-2023
IMB Photo

Sallie May Cook Lanier, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Israel, died on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, 2023. She was 97.

Sally was born on Jan. 20, 1926, in Sparta, Tennessee, to Homer Cook, Sr., and Annette Granger Cook. She graduated from Covington High School in Covington, Georgia, and received the Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The Johns Hopkins ‘ Hospital School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland.

She married William Chandler Lanier on March 14, 1948.

From an early age, she felt a call to missions, specifically as a medical missionary. While she served as a pastor’s wife, her husband also felt that call.

“My heart was overjoyed when Chandler told me that he felt a definite call to foreign mission service in May 1960, while attending the Southern Baptist Convention in Miami,” she wrote while seeking missionary appointment. “It seemed too good to be true that at last my prayers had been answered.”

She continued, “The Holy Spirit has been leading us and our children, who are most anxious to be missionaries, too. The week we spent at Ridgecrest during Foreign Missions Week made the call seem even clearer as Dr. West told us of the needs in Israel. We both feel led to this field of service.”

In 1960, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Sallie and William missionaries to Israel. In Israel, she served as treasurer and Hebrew linguist for 29 years. After retirement she was a co-founder of the Soque River Watershed Association in Clarkesville, Georgia.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William Chandler Lanier, Sr., and her daughter, Sallie Lanier.

She is survived by her children, William C. (Joy) Lanier, Jr., of Jonesboro, Georgia, Sarah A. Lanier, of Clarkesville, Georgia, Homer Cook (Miriam) of Lebanon, Georgia; four grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.

A funeral service was held Dec. 9, at the Clarkesville Baptist Church, Clarkesville, Georgia.

Read an obituary here