In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Billie Frances Wilson, 91

Billie Wilson

Billie Frances Wilson, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel among American Affinity Peoples in Brazil, died Jan. 23, 2020, in Sherman, Texas. She was 91.

Born July 5, 1928, in Sherman to the late Georgia Jewel and Lacie Lee Haynie, Wilson grew up in the Sherman-Denison area and graduated from Denison High School in 1946.

After she married Ernest Clay Wilson Jr. on Sept. 12, 1947, she served as pastor’s wife at churches in Texas and Kentucky, while earning the Bachelor of Science degree at Southwestern Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.

The Wilsons dedicated themselves to mission service after hearing Foreign Mission Board leader Baker James Cauthen speak at the 1954 Southern Baptist Convention, Billie wrote when seeking missionary appointment. Several years later, while Ernest was pastor of a church in Wheatley, Kentucky, she said, they heard Victor Davis, a missionary from Brazil, speak. What he said about Brazil made them concerned for the people of that country and led them to apply to serve there.

The Wilsons were appointed missionaries in 1959 and sailed to Brazil with two sons. Victor Davis was one of the people who met them at the dock. In Brazil, Wilson taught religious education studies at Goiania Baptist Seminary and mentored countless women in their faith and in life. The Wilsons served there more than 30 years.

Wilson retired from full-time ministry in 1990 and returned to live in Texas. Her passion was serving her family, other women and children in education and serving Jesus.

Billie is survived by her husband of 72 years, Ernest; daughter-in-law Kerstin West Wilson, son Robert Bruce Wilson (Cathy), son Mark Daniel Wilson (Liz) and son Michael Lee Wilson (Donna); 16 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and her sister Elizabeth Strickland.

A memorial service was held at Trinity Baptist Church at 2:00 PM Jan. 26, 2020.

Read an obituary here.