Educator and editor Basil Overton passes

Basil Overton

Basil Overton

FLORENCE, Ala. (BNc) — Basil Overton passed away at about 2:30 this morning, according to reports.

“He was a gentle giant of a man. Effective, stately, kind, positive, gentle, knowledgeable and innovative all come to mind when I think of brother Basil. His work at International Bible College (later Heritage Christian University), and through The World Evangelist was outstanding. May his memory linger long and may others imitate him as he did Christ,” Dale Jenkins, minister with the Spring Meadows church, Spring Hill, Tenn., said.

According to the HCU website, Overton moved in 1968 to Nashville, Tenn., and served as associate editor of The Gospel Advocate. He taught in the Nashville School of Preaching and the Great Commission School.

In 1972, at the invitation of Charles Coil, Overton began serving as vice president of IBC and as an instructor of Bible and Christian apologetics. The first issue of The World Evangelist, a paper Overton edited for nearly 32 years, was published in August of that year. The magazine reported on foreign mission work and served as a teaching tool in many countries.

Steve Vice, former missionary to the Pacific Islands and elder with the Forest Park, Ga., congregation, wrote, “He was one of my teachers at IBC. Brother Overton was a preacher’s preacher, a Christian’s Christian, a friend’s friend, and a humble and faithful servant of the most high God. He was a true scholar in overalls.”

Former Florence native Richard Mansel, preacher with the Allenhurst, Ga., congregation, called brother Overton “one of the kindest people I have ever met.”

When I was a teenager in Florence, Ala., my grandmother asked me to pick up brother Overton to take him to an event at his school, International Bible College. Looking back, I have no idea why he needed a ride, but it’s a treasured memory that I will never forget. He graciously apologized afterward that he had a ride back home. But the imprint was made in my heart. He was one of the kindest men I have ever met and his service to the kingdom is immeasurable.

The HCU website concluded its page on Overton with these words:

Overton has often said, “One reason I enjoy my work is that I do not know what I am doing. By that I mean that I have no way of knowing what the long-range results of what I’m doing will be.” Indeed, only God Himself knows the scores of people who will be in heaven because of the faithful work of Basil Overton.

Visitation and funeral will be at Stony Point church in Florence, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Sat.

Brother Overton is the latest in a series of elderly servants of God who died this week: Jane McWhorter, Perry Cotham, and Wilson Wallace (son of Foy Wallace), among them.

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

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7 Comments

  1. Bro. Overton edited and published my writing in “The World Evangelist” in the 1980s and 1990s. He was always kind, instructive and encouraging. He will be missed.

  2. I have learned that Brother Overton’s visitation and funeral will be at Stony Point church of Christ in Florence, AL beginning at 2:00 p.m. Saturday. I cherish the days when I was working daily just a few steps from this kind Christian gentleman. His wisdom could light any subject; his humor would bring you sweet delight for days on end. His biblical insight was refreshing and solid.

  3. When I was baptised in 1999, I was exposed to brothers Basil Overton and J.C Choate writings and they helped me to differentiate between the church of the Lord and the denominations that I was coming from. And I managed to grow quickly in the Lord. We have lost a great brother, but Christ has gained. We will follow him soon.

  4. I often relied on him for advice when I was doing full time work.

  5. Glann M. Lee

    I first met Basil and Margie when I was a student at Freed-Hardeman College (University). He spoke in chapel one day. He invited five of us to meet with him at the residence of Charles Coil for the formation of The World Evangelist. He published my articles as long as the paper continued. At his invitation I was one of the speakers at his wife Margie”s funeral. He was a loyal friend, great encourager, and mighty in the scriptures. I cherish the times he and his wife spent in our fome. Glann M. Lee

  6. McDonald virginia & Aaron

    Bro. Overton was on of my favorite teacher at IBC. He and his wife (Margie) were also our biggest encouragers as I prepared to attend this college to become a minister of the gospel. I have used his illustration many, many times over the last 35 years. He was a great Christian man with awesome Biblical knowknowlge and did so much good over his years as editor of “The World Evangelist”. He and Margie will always be missed by those that loved them and were influenced by their examples.

  7. Lonel Braswell, M.Div.

    Basil Overton was a man of God. He had seemingly infinite time for the student and fathomless wisdom for the journey. What made him so rare in this world was his genuine faith in a world which contradicts God continuously. He is a retired warrior I hope to see again. I am grateful for the man and the way he lived his life. I thank God for such men.

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