Texas Baptist evangelism leader Bailey Stone dead at age 86

Even after his retirement in 2001, Bailey Stone continued to preach throughout the United States and in Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Peru, Hong Kong, Australia and Columbia. (Baptist Press File Photo)

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Bailey Stone, former evangelism director for the Baptist General Convention of Texas and pastor of churches in McKinney, Bryan and Odessa, died Aug. 26. He was 86.

Bailey Stone 200Stone was born June 21, 1930, in Houston, to Hugh Bailey Stone Sr. and Elizabeth Ballard Stone. He became a Christian at age 16 through the witness of a friend at San Jacinto High School, Henry SoRelle, and his father, A.C. SoRelle Sr. Soon after his conversion, he committed his life to the gospel ministry.

He turned down football scholarships at three state universities to attend Baylor University to study the Christian Scriptures.

After graduating from Baylor, he attended and graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

He met Joyce Pearson when she was a senior at Baylor, and they married in 1954.

Stone served full-time as an evangelist several years before becoming the pastor of Longview Heights Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn.

He and his family later returned to Texas, where he became pastor of First Baptist churches in McKinney, Bryan and Odessa.

In 1992, he was named director of evangelism for the BGCT.

After his retirement in 2001, he continued to travel and preach throughout the United States and in Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Peru, Hong Kong, Australia and Columbia.

He returned to First Baptist Church in Odessa, where he had been pastor 14 years, to serve two years and four months as interim pastor. The church honored him by naming him pastor emeritus.

He served 11 years on the board of trustees at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, where he was awarded a doctor of divinity degree.

Stone is survived by his wife of 62 years, Joyce Pearson Stone, and three sons, Bailey III and his wife, Maria, of Coppell; Tim of Nashville, Tenn.; and John and his wife, Robin, of Huntsville, Ala.; his four grandchildren, Harrison and Abigail of Huntsville, Ala.; and Margaret and Reagan of Coppell; and a cousin, Susan Scott of Monaville.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Sept. 2 in the chapel at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.

Memorial gifts may be sent to the Salvation Army at 5302 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75235; Prison Fellowship at 44180 Riverside Parkway, Leesburg, VA 20176; or Dallas Life at P.O. Box 130116, Dallas, TX 75221.

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