Obituary for J.C. Choate

J.C. Choate(BNc)- J.C. Choate was born to J.F. and Hollis Choate in Corinth, Miss., on Feb. 6, 1932. He was baptized while still in high school and began preaching shortly thereafter.

He held a B.A. in Bible, a Master’s in Missions, and D.Min. in Missions. He attended Freed-Hardeman College, David Lipscomb College, Alabama Christian College (B.A.), and Harding Graduate School (M.A.)

He wrote numerous books, among them A Missionary Speaks (1983), A Missionary Speaks Up (1984), A Missionary Speaks Out (1986), How to Begin the Church of Christ Where You Are (2002) and Sermons from Matthew (2003).

He was founder of World Evangelism Foundation and J.C. Choate Publications, as well as Editor-in-Chief of The Voice of Truth International, a quarterly magazine published for churches of Christ in the interest of evangelism world-wide.

J.C. was the leader in the brotherhood for publishing missionary accounts on the field and missions studies.

In 1955 J.C. married the former Betty Burton of Winona, Miss.

Before moving overseas, J.C. preached for churches in Corinth, Gulfport, Tupelo and Belzoni, Miss., Shafter, Calif., and Minneapolis, Minn.

J.C. and Betty moved in 1962 with their infant daughter to Karachi, Pakistan, to begin the church in that city. In succeeding years their work has included planting New Testament Christianity in Colombo, Sri Lanka and New Delhi, India, as well as extensive publication and broadcasting efforts in the U.S., India and Asia.

The Choates traveled two times a year to India, three months at a time.

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.

After a long battle with cancer, J.C. passed away at his home in Winona Feb. 1, 2008, at 12:20 p.m. CST, at age 75. He would have been 76 on the 6th.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Burton Choate of Winona; a daughter, Sheila Gibson of Kotzebue, Alaska; two sons, Steven Burton Choate of Searcy, Ark., and Bradley Shannon Choate of Pleasanton, Calif.; two brothers, John Choate of Phoenix, Ariz., and Don Choate of Corinth; seven grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

His funeral will be held Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 2:00 p.m. at the Winona church.

Wayne Barrier, L.D. Willis, Gordon Hogan, Colin McKee, Loy Mitchell and Dennis Larson will officiate at the services. Pallbearers will be Louis Rushmore, Jerry Bates, Charles Brymer, Will White, Joseph Barrier and Jeremy Barrier. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Winona.

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

7 thoughts on “Obituary for J.C. Choate

  1. J.C. was a great man of God who inspired everyone he met to look beyond themselves to the teaming millions of lost souls around the world. May God raise up generations of men just like him. I would also like to thank Betty and her children for all the work for Jesus that they have done (and, I know, will continue to do). Thank you for sharing. Bless you all.

  2. J.C.’s life is an example for us all. I personally know that he worked until he was too ill to do so. My heart goes out to Betty, the family and the World Evangelism staff. He is now experiencing what we all hope and strive for in our own lives.

    NASB James 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

  3. I was saddened by the passing of bro. Choate. We’ve never met in person but his writings exemplify his Christian characteristics.
    I am from the Philippines and his scholarly writings I perused from his books, tracts and the Voice of Truth International.
    My sympathy to sister Choate and family. Be strong and firm, knowing that bro. J C has just received a heavenly home.
    God bless!

  4. JC is a strong and dynamic and dedicated Christian who lived most of his life to tell Jesus to the world. We are previleged to work with him from Madurai city in South India. We will miss him a lot, but will surely live to honor his vision for Christ. He is a perfect role model for many evangelists and i can simply say that ” He is a man like Jesus”. Our heart goes out to sister Betty and we pray for her.

  5. I have just returned from participating in the Celebration of J.C.’s life prior to his burial in Winona, Mississippi.

    I first met J.C. during a missions workshop at the Hampton Place church of Christ, Dallas, Texas in 1960. He and his family were planning to serve as missionaries in Bambay, now called Mumbai, India. My family and I were planning to serve in New Delhi, India. We were both denied visas to India. By the providence of God we were granted visas to live and serve in Pakistan. My family and I arrived in Lahore, Pakistan in February 1961, J.C., Betty and daughter Sheila in 1962. They lived with us for three months before moving to Karachi 800 miles south to plant the church.

    He and I preached together in many places in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia. When I called on him to come to work with us in Lahore he never failed to come, never asking why, he just came, and I did the same for him. We were 800 miles apart and would fly to each other on th least expensive flight which was in the middle of the night. On arrival we would talk about our respective joys and difficulties until after daylight. J.C. know that by staying up all night he would be sick and throw up but he did it anyway.

    He has no doubt published more books concerning missions than anyone in our brotherhood. He was the first among to produce and broadcast Gospel radio and televison programs in South Asia using Asians. First from Colombo, Sri Lanka and the Maldive Islands.

    He lived a life of unquestioned integrity. He always carried little note book in his shirt or coat pocket to record expenditures in order to provide all things honest in the sight of men and God.

    He was always very clear about sound doctrine. There was never compromise with the non-negotiables of God’s word, but at the same time he understood how to present the Gospel cross cultures. He was single minded in doing his part in carrying out the commission Jesus has given us all.

    J.C. recognized that the Gospel would never be preached to the whole world by a small group of “specialists”, but rather the primary carriers of the Gospel message are the
    “ordinary” members of the church. Like the Apostle Paul, J.C.’s missionary journeys are living monuments to his desire to teach the Gospel where Christ had not been preach (Romans 15:15-21).

    Our brother has graduated to glory having spent his life on earth doing what the Lord Jesus Christ instructed him to do. What a wonderful legacy he has left for us all.

  6. I met Brother Choate and his lovely wife many years ago and they both left me wonderful examples of Christian living. I have read many of Brother Choates books and the world will be all the poorer for not having more. I look forward to seeing him in Glory

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