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.