William “Dub” Henry Jackson Jr., the “pioneer” of the partnership missions movement, died on Jan. 19 in Fort Worth after an extended illness. He was 95 years old. The 1998 distinguished alumnus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary began his life on the school’s campus in Fort Worth, where he was born in 1924 while his father was a student, and his last years were spent on Seminary Hill, where he lived investing his passion for missions in students. Jackson saw combat in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II as a P-38 fighter pilot. At the end of the war, Jackson was stationed in Japan during the U.S. occupation, where his firsthand observation of the destitute people turned his heart toward reaching them for Christ. He completed his undergraduate degree at Hardin-Simmons University and seminary at Southwestern. As a student in 1950, he led his first mission trip to Japan and saw about 2,200 Japanese become Christians. Later, he went on to become a Southern Baptist missionary to the Japanese people he once fought and developed a new strategy of missions work—partnership missions, in which laypeople were encouraged to become short-term missionaries themselves, rather than only those called to full-time missions. When the Southern Baptist Convention’s Foreign Mission Board initially resisted the approach, Jackson resigned as a board-appointed missionary and founded the World Evangelism Foundation. During the six-week New Life Crusade evangelistic campaign in April 1963, Jackson led 549 American Christians to travel to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore. More than 45,000 professions of faith in Christ were recorded, including about 25,000 in Japan. Through partnership missions, Jackson led 100 nationwide campaigns in more than 50 countries, resulting in more than 500,000 people professing faith in Christ. In addition to his missionary and pastoral service, Jackson also served at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Dallas Baptist University and the Baptist World Alliance. Jackson was preceded in death by Doris, his wife of 68 years; his son, William H. (Bill) Jackson III; grandson Jered Jackson; and sister May Bond. He is survived by his children, Shirley and Randy Roberts, Lynda and Mike Hughes, David and Darlyne Jackson, and Juanita and Steve Hayden; sister Annette Lipsey; 15 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.
Obituary: William “Dub” Henry Jackson
January 21, 2020