Sunday, September 30, 2007

In Memory of Miss Mary Baker (1946) Missionary to Africa

In the Fall of 1943 Miss Mary R. Baker entered the grounds of PBTS. It was the Senior year of a gentleman by the name of Floyd H. Barackman, and they would both go out in different directions to serve the Lord in mighty ways.
Even at a young age she was already doing evangelism work as seen above with her in the Gospel Tract Distribution League.
photo above is from

I received an email from a Matthew Dickson who had run across my Davis College History blog and sent me an email about Miss Mary Baker he mentioned that his mom told me she lead four of her hospice workers to the Lord during her last days.) Her brothers Dale and Jerry (Gerald) cared for her and sacrificed much while her health was failing. (Her failing health was due primarily to what the doctor called “jungle liver” which was a result of all of the medication she had to take over the years to combat malaria and other jungle diseases she was exposed to while on the mission field in Africa.)

Below is Mary's Obituary:

Mary Ruth Baker age 81 Veteran Missionary Promoted to Glory [Heaven]

October 16, 1925--September 07, 2007

Mary Ruth Baker age 81 Veteran Missionary Promoted to Glory [Heaven]
October 16, 1925--September 07, 2007

After a lengthy 8 month illness Mary Ruth Baker was peacefully ushered into the presence of her Lord whom she loved and served for over 60 years. “Miss Mary”, as she was affectionately known by so many, was born on October 16, 1925 in Altoona, PA of parents Sidney T. And Mary V. Baker. At age 11 Mary and her family moved to Northumberland, PA where she graduated from Northumberland High School in 1943. At the same age, 11 years, she also surrendered to the call of God to be a career missionary in Africa after hearing Alma Doering speak at the Northumberland Baptist Church. D & D missionary homes of St Petersburg, FL is named after Miss Doering. Mary never forgot her call of God and enrolled in the Practical Bible Training School [now Davis College] in Johnson City, NY where she graduated in the class of 1946. She was accepted by Baptist Mid Missions after one year of nurses training at the Missionary Medical Institute in Toronto,Canada and another year of French language study in Paris, France. Mary began her mission work first in the Central African Republic and soon after in the Tchad Republic [formerly French Equatorial Africa].
Miss Mary served in Africa for 35 wonderful years before returning to the States. For the past 21 years Mary has resided at the Bradenton Missionary Village on Route 64 East. Until her illness this past December 5, 2006 Mary remained active in ministries. She never retired from the ministry of serving her Lord [just re-treaded], since her father ran a tire shop for 30 years in her hometown of Northumberland, PA. One of Miss Mary’s favorite verses in the Bible was Revelation 14:13 “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Mary entered into that rest at approximately 6:55 PM, September 7 at the home of her youngest brother Jerry here in Bradenton where she has resided for the past 8 months. Her brother Dale and his wife Ethel were at her side when she departed from this life. Jerry was returning home from work.
Miss Mary was preceded in bereavement by her parents, Sidney and Mary Baker and her older brother John and her younger brother Howard. She is survived by three brothers, Rev. Thomas E. Baker of Sunbury, PA and Naples, FL, Rev. Dale E. Baker and Rev. Gerald R. Baker, both residing in Bradenton, FL. Mary has five living nephews and six nieces many of which have spent years in the ministry. Aunt Mary impacted all of their lives. Mary had 22 great nieces and nephews and is also survived by one aunt and one cousin.
The verses in the Bible that she chose for her life verses are the following: Prov 3:5-6
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Josh 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

A website has been set up at where there is much more about her life and also you can buy a copy of her book The Calling.

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At 3:45 PM, Blogger Mary Beth said...

Hi, I am writing an article for publication in a Baptist newsletter and would appreciate any information you have about Mary Baker. I would also like to know if her biography "The Calling" is available in e-book format. Thank you!

At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Brenda, and I got my first bible sent to me by a missionary to Africa named Mary Baker in 1969 when I was 10 1/2 years old. I don't know if this Mary Baker is the same person or if this is a coincidence. My after school bible teacher took me, my older brother and several other children to a youth rally in Williamsport, PA in 1969, and the guest speaker was a Mary Baker, missionary to Africa. After she spoke, she prayed, and during the prayer she asked this very packed church full of youth, if anyone would like more information about using their own life to serve the Lord and if so to please stand and she would talk to them after the rally. I slowly rose to my feet with my eyes still closed during the prayer, and when she said Amen, I opened my eyes and looked around and I was the only one standing. She took me aside in a front pew of the church and she cried as she talked to me. A few weeks later I received a package from Africa and it was a King James bible and she had underlined many scriptures for me, and had the to me and from Mary Baker and the date filled out on the presentation page. I am now 54 and the mother of 7 and grandmother of 6(so far). I never did go on to be a missionary to Africa like I thought I would at age 10, instead I grew up and married and had children, one with severe disabilities. But I have taught Sunday School, Bible School, Junior Church, and served on church council through the years, and am still teaching children. I hope I have mentored a few other young mothers/wives through the years. I guess we each have our way of serving the Lord. I was thinking of her this evening and decided to google her name along with the words "missionary to Africa", and I found this blog. Again I'm not sure if this is her or not, I was too young to remember what she looked like in 1969.


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