JC and Betty ChoateUpdated 17:35 p.m. UTC, Feb. 4, Monday

WINONA, Miss. (BNc)- J.C. Choate, long-time missionary to India, Pakistan and the Far East, passed away at his home Feb. 1 at 12:20 p.m. CST, at age 75. He had been fighting cancer for some time.

Co-worker Louis Rushmore sent funeral arrangements at 6 p.m. CST.

J.C. would have been 76 on Feb. 6.

The text of the email is as follows:

“J.C. Choate passed away early this afternoon (CST, 2/1/08). J.C. and his wife Betty dedicated the last 45 years of their lives to reaching souls in Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and various nations in Africa with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through their efforts and the efforts of co-workers, radio, television, Internet, Bible schools, massive literature distribution and campaigns have contributed to the salvation of countless souls.

“The viewing will be on Monday, Feb. 4, 2008 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Oliver Funeral Home in Winona, Miss. The funeral will be on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 2:00 p.m. at the Winona church of Christ.

“The family asks that flowers not be sent. Cards and emails are welcome, and if one wishes, he or she may make a memorial contribution for the World Evangelism School of Missions, sent to the Liberty church of Christ, 689 Highway 25, Dennis, Miss. 38838.”

J.C. received doctorate from HCUChoate and his family were missionaries in several countries and have worked heavily in India, especially in radio, television and print.

The family would appreciate the prayers of the brotherhood.

An earlier story provided some background as to J.C.’s battle with cancer.

J.C. founded World Evangelism Foundation as a base for his and his co-workers efforts around the world.

In May 2007 J.C. was awarded an honorary doctorate from Heritage Christian University, Florence, Ala., for his many years of dedicated service to missions.

Also in May 2007, J.C. was instrumental in inaugurating the first May Missionary Retreat at Maywood Christian Camp, designed to be an annual event.

Plans were also being formed for the World Evangelism School of Missions to train future missionaries.

For the full obituary, see this page.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

25 thoughts on “Veteran Missionary J. C. Choate Dies

  1. Brother Choate has done so much to further the kingdom of God. This is a great loss for his family and the church. “Well done My good and faithful servant” comes to mind.

    Our prayers are with J.C.’s family.

  2. The long march for J.C. ends, and it hurts. J.C. DID while others THOUGHT. He was a friend, but best he was a friend of Jesus. I will miss knowing he is doing something on earth for the Lord.

    I saw him one week ago in his bed in Winona, and he knew what I meant when I said, “I will see you again.” He smiled. He knew when we see each other again it will be then an eternal friendship. God be with Betty and the family. Don

  3. Brother Choate was a very unique individual. He always made you feel welcome and important. He blazed the trail in mission work, going where others were not willing to go. His work in Malaysia and India will not be forgotten. His ability to write has made a difference in mission fields.
    Edmund Cagle

  4. I was saddened to hear of brother J.C. Choate’s passing. He will be missed by so many around the world. As one who has labored in India for over 20 years I know first hand what a great work he did for the Lord in India. He loved the souls of men and his influence will continue for many years to come. He lived all his life for this day and it is wonderful that he can now go home to be with his Lord. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”
    My sincere sympathy to Betty and all the family.
    In Christian love,
    John R. Vaughan

  5. I was given the honor to scan all the past issues of The Voice of Truth International, edited by brother Choate, and to put them on a CD in PDF format. I just finished volume 55 today so they would be ready for the FHU lectureship next. The CD is now more special than ever.

    I am very sad for the family’s loss, but rejoice that his suffering has ended and he is with the Lord. Our prayers are with Betty and the family.

    Tom

  6. Our hearts go out to Betty and family as we know JC will be deeply missed. However, we REJOICE in knowing that he MADE IT, he fought the good fight and kept the faith. Thanks for your wonderful example brother JC, you will continue to live on here on earth in our hearts and the many good works that you’ve started. Blessed to have known him on earth and looking forward to being with him in eternity one day.
    Love and prayers to the Choate family at this time, Antony, Jeanette,
    Kevin & Jeremiah Raine Wellington, New Zealand

  7. J.C. Choate came to New Zealand a number of times and gave seminars. He distributed literature about the Lord here. I remember him first when I met him in South Africa. I was just a young girl and it was exciting to have a missionary to India visit our house. He was looking for missionaries to write books about life on the mission field, and influenced my mom (Donna Horne) to write about the time they were missionaries in Tanganyika. He published her book.

    Not only was he a missionary, but he was a friend of all missionaries. Why was he a friend of all missionaries? Because he loved the Lord and wanted to see the message of our saviour Jesus spread to all the corners of the world.

    J.C. did his part. There was no doubt that he loved the Lord. He can now say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7) The Lords reply most certainly will be: “J.C., there is a crown of righteousness to be awarded to you on that day – and not only to you, but also to all who have longed for my appearing.”

    J.C. himself, and the literature he produced, spread the word to many. Those who accepted the Saviour because of J.C.’s work have crowns stored up for them also. His work stands for eternity.

    A great man of God has gone home.
    J.C. – We salute you here in New Zealand.

    In eternal love, Lynda Staiger and family, and with appreciation for all the
    blessings J.C. brought to the Lord’s kingdom in New Zealand.

  8. J. C. and I were students together at David Lipscomb College (University) back in the early 50’s. He was a serious student who seemed to know, even then, exactly what he aimed to accomplish in life. When he and Betty married, we used to tease him about ‘robbing the cradle,’ but Betty and J. C. made an ideal couple and a perfect team in the Lord’s work. In mission work, J. C. excelled. Through his studies and wide experience, he probably knew more about evangelism and mission work than anyone in the brotherhood. He was always optimistic and a promoter of any work that was true to God’s word. He always encouraged me and the work of Restoration Radio Network as well as many others. Yet, I felt that he did not receive the recognition he deserved from much of the brotherhood. When he received his honorary doctorate from Heritage, I told him that I didn’t know of anyone who deserved it more than he, and asked: “J. C., must we now call you ‘Doctor Choate?’ He replied, “Don’t you dare!”

  9. Part of the grace of God for our generation has been the blessing of having Brother J.C. Choate born into it. In a time of liberal encroachment troubling the body of Christ he has been a Sherman Tank for the Lord. The entire world has been made a little better because this soldier of the cross has fought battle after battle and has now passed through sundown to see the dawn of New Life. I look forward to seeing him among the saved and the blessed. God bless sister Betty and the rest of the family.

    An old friend
    Fenter D. Northern, Dean Emeritus Magnolia Bible College, Recently retired Prof. of Bible at V.P. Black School of Bible Studies, Faulkner Univesity

  10. Part of the grace of God for our generation has been the blessing of having Brother J.C. Choate born into it. In a time of liberal encroachment troubling the body of Christ he has been a Sherman Tank for the Lord. The entire world has been made a little better because this soldier of the cross has fought battle after battle and has now passed through sundown to see the dawn of New Life. I look forward to seeing him among the saved and the blessed. God bless sister Betty and the rest of the family.

    An old friend
    Fenter D. Northern, Dean Emeritus Magnolia Bible College, Recently retired Prof. of Bible at V.P. Black School of Bible Studies, Faulkner Univesity

  11. A great prince of God has placed his armour at the feet of his Master. What a privilege to have known J C Choate.

    J C could be very innovative when he needed to be. When we served the church in Taiwan, J C and Betty would stay with us sometimes en route to and from Singapore and India and other places. Once, when I took them to the airport for the next leg of their trip, he attempted to check in with entirely too much luggage. Not only were the bags overweight, but there were too many of them as well. At least one bag was full of recorded tapes for his radio broadcasts. After several minutes of pleading with the airline attendant, he finally realized that she seemed to be paying more attention to the number of bags than the amount of weight. J C looked at her and said, “Do you mean that the main problem is too many bags? We will be back in a few minutes.” J C asked me where we could get some rope. We secured a great length of plastic string and began to tie two large and heavy suit cases together into a single but somewhat clumsy unit. We returned to the airline check-in desk and with a twinkle in his eye, J C heaved the “suitcase” on the scales, and she with proper seriousness dragged it across the scales and tagged it for flight.

    J C and Betty Choate fit the term “legends in their own time.” In 1983 or 1984, Tennessee, J C and Betty stayed with us for a couple of days. It happened to be a Wednesday and J C did not have a speaking appointment, but I did–so they went with us. As the large church (where I had never spoken before) had invited me to speak on Taiwan mission work, I mentioned that J C and Betty Choate were with us. As was their custom, after the dismissal the elders invited me to a pow-wow in their conference room. “And bring Brother Choate with you too,” they said. In the meeting they hardly heard a word I said–they were so excited to meet and talk to this man about whom they had heard so much for so long!

    May God bless the memory and legacy of this great man who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.”

    Respectfully,

    Edward and Sharon Short

  12. “With loving sympathy from Al and Donna Horne, Missionaries to South Africa.

    We were heartbroken to hear the news yesterday of the passing of our dear brother in Christ, J. C. Choate. A great soldier of the cross has fallen and our brotherhood is surely diminished by his death. Among churches of Christ, he was a legend!

    We first met the Choates when they passed through South Africa and were guests in our home. We were so impressed with their single-minded devotion and commitment to mission work. So J.C.’s passing is our loss but heaven’s gain.

    Because “Christians never see each other for the last time”, we look forward to seeing him again one day around the throne of God. Meanwhile, we pray that Betty and family will be held close to the heart of God and find comfort there.”

  13. J.C. was truly a giant among men. He undoubtably touched more lives than any could number. His work through the printed page will continue to bless and inspire many people for years to come. I believe that it can be said of J.C. as Paul said of himeself; “He fought a good fight,” “He kept the faith,” and now he has gone to “receive the crown that is awaiting him” in the presence of the Master.
    Our heart goes out to Betty and to the family.

  14. J.C. was truly a giant among men. He undoubtably touched more lives than any could number. His work through the printed page will continue to bless and inspire many people for years to come. I believe that it can be said of J.C. as Paul said of himeself; “He fought a good fight,” “He kept the faith,” and now he has gone to “receive the crown that is awaiting him” in the presence of the Master.
    Our heart goes out to Betty and to the family.

  15. My heartly condolences to Bro J. C. Choate’s family and his congregation members. We lost a faithful worker. India lost a good missionary. God be with his family.

    Benhur

  16. J. C. Choate published a couple of my books when I was a very young preacher. He took me with him to India in 1985. We stopped here and there to visit missionaries along the way — Hong Kong, Thailand. As Ed Short noted, J.C. was an expert at getting lots of luggage through airports.

    It took me a couple of weeks to figure out what he was trying to do as a missionary. I finally realized that he was trying to be (1) a good missionary in one location, (2) the Gospel Advocate publishing house for the whole mission field, and (3) the Herald of Truth for as much of the mission field as possible. While he wrote and published probably 50 of his own books, he also published many dozens of books by others. He had a hard time saying, “No,” to any good project and to a request for help. If a missionary needed help, J.C. would try to raise some money for him, get him some books, or do whatever he could. He always traveled economy, stayed in the homes of other missionaries if possible rather than a hotel, and was very frugal in spending money for himself. He will have no worry over the heavenly CPAs going over the financial books of his ministry.

    Another preacher who was my mentor as a young preacher said that he knew J.C. when he and Betty went off to the mission field. This other preacher said to himself, “That won’t last long.” He told me, though, that year after year he kept on reading reports of J.C. from the mission field. After many years went by, he realized that J.C. would give his life to world evangelism and that his earlier hunch about him had been very wrong. J.C. will be missed.

    Joel Stephen Williams

  17. We have learnt much from JC’s lessons and books.
    Now God has taken him to a well earned rest.
    Rejoice he has fought the fight he has kept the faith.
    What an example to us all. We are thinking of Betty
    and the family at this time.
    The Bateman family, Wellington New Zealand

  18. I am the minister at the Bellville church of Christ. My wife and I met brother Choate many years ago when he preached in Benoni. We founf him the most amazing brother who just loved the Lord and wanted everyone to know about Him.
    It is with sadness that we heard that our brother Choate had passed on but we know He is with Him whom He loved and who loved him.
    Betty & we keep you in our prayers. To the church where he served we will ask God to continue to bless you as you work through this grief.
    much love,
    Dereck & Susan Beukes and the Bellville church of Christ

  19. I don’t think sister Betty Choate knows us. I don’t think brother J.C. was familiar with me; we met only once or twice. But throughout the years I have been followings the steps of this man, and of his wife as well, of his journeys for Christ in many places in Asia, of his many efforts to support every work in places where Christ is now named. And as I read of the works he had been doing, my admiration for him grew.

    J C talked about replacement missionaries who took over the work they left behind in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and other places. But JC could never be replaced in the hearts of those whose lives he had touched. There is only like him in the whole world.

    His passing may be a great family loss. But his entrance into the great beyond is a cause of rejoicing among angels and departed saints. Everyone there would be proud of having JC among them.

    Our family’s condolences to Betty, and our prayers as well.

    Ed and Dioly Maquiling

  20. Dear Betty,
    It was with sadness that we learned of J.C.’s death. We loved and appreciated him so much for his work’s sake in the kingdom of our Lord. Only eternity will reveal the good that the two of you accomplished for the Cause we all love. But while we mourn his passing, yet we rejoice in the victory we believe he has obtained in Christ!
    We have been praying for months on end that God would bless J.C. with recovery of his health, but always inserting “if it be Thy will.” Once again we are reminded that our Heavenly Father has something far better in mind for His family, to be realized in heaven! Won’t it be wonderful when all of His children are gathered home!
    May God’s blessings abide with you, Betty, as you make adjustments in your life. Our thoughts, prayers, and kindest besh wishes abide with you.
    In sincere Christian love,
    -Maxie B. & Fran Boren

  21. Mary and I love J.C. & Betty Choate more than we can express in human words. J.C. & Betty nfluenced our lives when we were serving the Lord in the South Carolina mission field about the need for foreign missionaries. As part of our preparation for going on the foreign mission field, we read every one of the books that they had in print on foreign mission work. Mary and I gained much from their knowledge and wisdom about foreign mission work. It is because of the knowledge and influence of J.C. & Betty that Mary and I have lived and served the Lord on the foreign mission field in the Pacific Islands for thirty-five years. J.C. was a gentle giant of a man who loved and gave his life to foreign mission work. We will never forget this gentle giant of a missionary, because he continues to live in our lives and all we do for the Lord in the foreign mission field of the Pacific Islands.

    WORKERS TOGETHER
    for the cause of Christ,
    Robert & Mary Martin
    Missionaries in the Pacific Islands

  22. Betty and J.C. will always be remembered with love and appreciation. They have exemplified the best qualities of our brotherhood, and have stayed above the petty problems that most of us fall prey to. His servant heart, his dedication, his never-give-up tenacity to the work he chose and to the road he had set his feet upon are his legacy to the rest of us. May God bless his memory, and may He give to Betty comfort and heart’s-ease at this time.

  23. I thank the Lord for the pioneering work that J.C. and Betty have done in India evangelism. The effects of their work will live on for many generations. The countless books that he has published will continue to teach the gospel.

    J.C. early on understood the unique challene of preaching the gospel in a poor country and did his best to promote indigenous works. His mission philosophy had a significant influence on me and my ministry in India.

    His faithful life is an inspiration to me.

    Gary and Kathy Walker
    Elder at the Sunset Chuch of Christ
    Director of India City Evenagelism

  24. Sister Betty:

    Be strong and firm. Bro. JC is an excellent example of how God designs us to adore Him.
    He will be in our hearts.

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