Merle T. Basden of Granbury, longtime Texas Baptist leader in religious education, died April 26. He was 98. He was born Nov. 23, 1921, in Memphis, Tenn. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II. Basden earned his undergraduate degree from Union University, a Master of Religious Education degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his doctorate from the University of North Texas. He was minister of education at First Baptist Church in Paris and at churches in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas. He became director of education for Tarrant Baptist Association in April 1961 and served the association 27 years. After his retirement in 1988, he was the executive director of the Southern Baptist Religious Education Association nine years. He received the Distinguished Leader Award in 1996 from the Baptist Association of Christian Educators. He was preceded in death by his wife Jane Orr Basden, his daughter Sharon Basden Frankenfield, his sister Ruby Bragg, and his brothers James Basden and Harold Basden. He is survived by his son Michael Basden, son-in-law Gary Frankenfield, grandson Christopher Frankenfield and several nieces and nephews. Memorials may be made to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, Baptist General Convention of Texas, 7557 Rambler Rd., Suite 1100, Dallas, TX 75231-2310.
Obituary: Merle T. Basden
April 28, 2020