Obituary: Helen McNeely

Helen McNeely 150Helen McNeely, 78, died June 10 in Waco. He was born June 23, 1937, in San Antonio, grew up in Jarrell and graduated from high school in Bartlett. She attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and served with Texas Baptists’ Invincibles program in the summers of 1956 and 1957, leading in Vacation Bible Schools by day and in revivals each evening. He also attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where she met her husband, Don. They married Dec. 23, 1960. She served on staff at First Baptist Church in Garland, Birchman Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth and Central Baptist Church in Bryan. She taught kindergarten in Birmingham, Ala., and Houston. She was children’s director at Second Baptist Church in Houston before she and her husband served as missionaries in Zambia 15 years. In Zambia, she produced radio and television programs and was director of Baptist Communications Ministry. The McNeelys eventually transferred to Mongolia to minister to an unreached people group. Later, they served with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship global missions in Berlin, Germany, to coordinate volunteers in Europe and the former Soviet Union. Their largest project was a three-year residential training school for pastors and church leaders in Irkutsk, Siberia. In 1997, they accepted an invitation from CBF Global Missions Coordinator Keith Parks to become Texas-based global volunteer coordinators. In that role, they sent a team of volunteers from First Baptist Church in Waco to rebuild homes in Kosovo. She is survived by her husband of 55 years; three sons, Rob of Burleson and his wife, Pam, Wes of Houston and Bart of Fort Worth and his wife, Lisa; six grandchildren; and one sister, Barbara Wills of Abilene.

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