In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Ida Mae Hays, 1940-2024

Portrait of Ida Mae Hays. IMB Photo

Ida Mae Hays, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Brazil, died Feb. 1, 2024. She was one day shy of 84.

Ida was born Feb. 2, 1940, in Howell County, Missouri, to Vernon Edward and Clarice S. Hays. She graduated from West Plains High School in West Plains, Missouri, and received the Associate of Arts degree from Southwest Baptist College, Bolivar, Missouri, the Bachelor of Arts degree from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, and the Master of Religious Education degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Before her time as a missionary, she served as program director for Girls in Action camps through the Woman’s Missionary Union in Virginia and as Acteens director for the WMU in Oklahoma. Her time in GAs as a young girl first exposed her to missions and had a deep impact on her life.

While seeking appointment as a missionary, she shared, “God has a purpose for my life. I want to use all my life in the service of my Lord.” Memorials left in her honor attest that she spent her life in such a manner.

The International Mission Board appointed Ida as a missionary to Brazil. During her years in service with the IMB, Ida supervised the building of over 30 churches. In addition, a chapel at a Baptist camp is named in her honor. She retired in 2002 after approximately 30 years of service.

No information is known currently about survivors.

A funeral was on Feb. 24, in Richmond, Virginia.

Read an obituary here.