Douglas Beason, a GARBC pastor for more than 63 years and a former general director of the Committee on Missionary Evangelism, has died. He was 87.

Pastor Beason was born on Nov. 29, 1922, in Bellefontaine, Ohio, to Oscar and Grace Beason. He trusted Christ as his Savior while a young boy and pointed the rest of his life to serve the Lord. Upon graduation from Bob Jones College, he served as pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in Springfield, Ohio. From there he became the assistant pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Toledo, Ohio.

On June 3, 1949, he married Arlene Marcella Reinhold. In 1954 they, with their two children, Paul Douglas and Joy Ann, moved to California to further his studies at Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary while pastoring Bible Baptist Church in Santa Monica, Calif. Starting in 1960 he served as pastor of First Baptist Church, Sedro Woolley, Wash. After six years of ministry he moved to Kalamazoo, Mich., to become the visitation and interim pastor of Bethel Baptist Church. In 1976 he became the pastor of Maplelawn Baptist Church, Wyoming, Mich. He served as interim pastor of Leonard Heights Baptist, Grand Rapids, Mich., for a few years before becoming the visitation pastor of First Baptist Church of Middleville, Mich., from 1997 to 2008, completing some 63 years in the ministry.

Along with his pastoral ministry, Beason served as general director for the Committee on Missionary Evangelism from 1983 to 1995. The independent Baptist organization was organized as a mission agency for evangelists and Bible teachers, with the organization’s home office located in Beason’s home for about 10 years. When Beason retired as general director, he was appointed general secretary of the mission, a position he held until his death.

His ministry was characterized by four words he wrote as a young man in the margin of his Bible, next to “the harvest is plenteous, but the labourers are few” in Matthew 9:37:

“Do I really care?” became a lifelong challenge.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Arlene; a daughter, Joy Ann Bell; two sons, Paul and Timothy; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson.