In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Harold Thomas Cummins, 1932-2023

Portrait of Harold Cummins. IMB Photo

Harold Thomas Cummins, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Kenya and Bangladesh, died Dec. 17, 2023. He was 91.

Harold was born Nov. 11, 1932, in Calion, Arkansas. He graduated from El Dorado High School in El Dorado, Arkansas, and received the Bachelor of Arts from University of South Carolina, and the Master of Divinity from Golden Gate Seminary (now Gateway Seminary) in California.

He married Betty Noe Cummins in 1955. After Betty’s death, he later married Phyliss Miller, a pastor’s widow. Phyllis also predeceased him.

In 1959, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Harold and Betty missionaries to East Africa.

His obituary describes he and Betty as “devoted lifelong Christians.” They served a handful of years in Bangladesh before spending nearly 30 years as missionaries in Kenya.

His obituary also stated: “Harold had a voracious appetite for such wide-ranging topics as language (he spoke two fluently and many well enough for conversation), history, geography, archaeology, astronomy, world religions, travel, genealogy and many more. Harold’s daughters remember his intense study of Scripture. He was a devoted, loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. His kindness, gentleness and love of Jesus will live on long after him.”

Harold is preceded in death by both his wives, Betty and Phyllis.

He is survived by daughters, Cathy Palmer (Tim) and Libby Bennett (Andy); grandchildren; his brother, Jim; nieces and nephews; and many who loved him in Kenya and the U.S.

He was buried in Maple Park Cemetery, Springfield, Missouri.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at Generosity Resource Center – IMB Generosity.

Read an obituary here.