Funeral service set for Baptist pastor, leader Paul Powell

Paul Powell (courtesy photo)

Funeral services for the late Paul Powell have been set for 2 p.m. Monday in the chapel at Green Acres Baptist Church, 1607 Troup Highway in Tyler.

Visitation is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Stewart Family Funeral Home, 7525 Old Jacksonville Highway.

Powell, a longtime Baptist pastor known for his outgoing personality and visionary leadership, died Wednesday at 83. His health had declined recently and he suffered a stroke earlier this month.

Powell served for 17 years as pastor at Green Acres Baptist Church, but his influence stretched much further to some of the highest leadership levels in the Baptist world.

He worked as CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annuity Board (now called GuideStone Financial Resources), an organization that manages the retirement accounts of ministers and missionaries worldwide.

For six years, he served as dean of Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, more than doubling its enrollment to almost 400 students and increasing the endowment to more than $38 million.

For two years, during the 1980s, he served as president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.  

Though he officially retired almost 10 years ago, Powell continued to perform funerals and weddings, to serve on the boards of Southside Bank and the Robert M. Rogers Foundation, and to preach when asked.

“There wasn’t really an aspect of life that he didn’t touch,” said Dr. Gary Kimmel, founder and chairman emeritus of the Cancer Foundation for Life and a longtime friend of Powell’s. “And it was always in the spirit of being a servant. If he felt he was serving the Lord, he would do it. Everything was a calling. Everything he did was a calling and he looked at it from that perspective.”

Powell was preceded in death by his son, Kent. He is survived by his wife, Cathy; son, Mike; daughter, Lori; and three grandchildren, Jordan, Katie and Matthew.

In accordance with the Powell family’s wishes, Baylor University has set up an online link at bit.ly/2hxCLKw for those wishing to honor Powell’s legacy of service and Christian witness.

Gifts made in Powell’s honor will be used to create the Paul W. Powell Preaching Fund at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

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