Obituary: Jesse Kidd

Jesse L. Kidd, retired Baptist missionary to Brazil, died Sept. 24, 2020, in Robert Lee. He was 97.

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Jesse L. Kidd, retired Baptist missionary to Brazil, died Sept. 24, 2020, in Robert Lee. He was 97. He was born to Ida Kidd and John Kidd on Sept. 20, 1923, in their farmhouse near Urbana, Ark. He was inducted into the U.S. Army on May, 10, 1944, and served in the China/Burma/India Theater. He was honorably discharged April 14, 1946. Kidd surrendered to the gospel ministry while he was a student at Ouachita Baptist College and was ordained by Urbana Baptist Church on Jan. 11, 1948. He served two student pastorates while completing his undergraduate degree at Ouachita. He studied at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary while traveling each weekend from Fort Worth to El Dorado, Ark., to serve Ebenezer Baptist Church as pastor. At seminary, he responded to God’s call to serve as a foreign missionary. He completed the Master of Divinity degree at Southwestern Seminary, and he began service as a missionary to Brazil beginning in March 1958. He served in Volta Redonda in the state of Rio de Janeiro nine years, supported by churches of Liberty Baptist Association in Arkansas. He met Wilma Alice Gemmell, associate missionary with the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, who was working in the mission board’s financial office in Rio de Janeiro. They married Oct. 14, 1967 in St. John’s Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. They were named associate missionaries of the Foreign Mission Board on March 13, 1969, and returned to Brazil in July. They served six years in the state of Santa Catarina in pioneer evangelism before health reasons compelled them to move to the state of Minas Gerais, where he became director of missions of the North Association of Baptist Churches, serving the area around Montes Claros. He was granted honorary citizenship by the city council of Montes Claros on Sept. 22, 1988—the first time the council had so honored a non-Brazilian. Missionary service in Brazil continued until 1989 when the Kidds retired to Baptist Retirement Community in San Angelo. They wrote The Kidds of Brazil, their joint autobiographies. Kidd continued ministry by preaching, promoting the Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions and teaching the Bible in the chapel of Baptist Retirement Community. He was preceded in death by siblings George Kidd and Willie Mae Pelham. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Wilma Alice Gemmell Kidd. Memorial gifts may be made to the Wilma Alice Gemmell Kidd and Jesse Kidd Endowed Scholarship at Howard Payne University.


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