In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Mary Frances Morphis, 1924-2024

Portrait of Mary Morphis. IMB Photo

Mary Frances Morphis, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Germany, Austria and Nigeria, died Feb. 4, 2024. She was 99.

Mary was born June 17, 1924, in Wilmington, North Carolina, to the late Eva Montrose Simms and Stephen Franklin Page. She graduated from New Hanover High School in Wilmington, North Carolina, and received the R.N. at Mather School of Nursing in New Orleans, Louisiana, and her Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown College in Louisville, Kentucky.

In 1950, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Mary a missionary to Nigeria. She served as a nurse at the Baptist Hospital in Eku, Nigeria.

In 1954, she married Luther Morphis while at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. She served as a pastor’s wife in the years that followed.

In 1963 the International Mission Board appointed Luther and Mary missionaries to Germany. Her obituary reports that the family spent the next 34 years raising their family and leading churches in Augsburg, West Berlin, Heidelberg, Nuremberg and Vienna, Austria. They later served in Nigeria and Tokyo before returning to Augsburg, Germany.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband Luther and son Kenny.

She is survived by her daughter Ellen (Steve); daughter-in-law, Beth; and grandchildren Joseph, Jon, and Alex.

A funeral service will be May 1, at Reeds Baptist Church in Lexington, North Carolina.

Donations in her 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.