Lovell Cary, Mr. World Missions
To have known Lovell and his wife, Ginny, was to know missions inexplicably. They truly sought to win the world during their lifetimes. The couple lived, moved, breathed, thought, and exemplified missions 24-7.
A statement was once made that states: “If one is called to be a missionary, do not stoop to be a king.” Truly, Lovell Cary’s life epitomized that philosophy. His lifelong service to World Missions confirmed his heart’s passion for lost souls. The Carys served as missionaries for more than 32 years in Asia and fulfilled the Great Commission for 51 years. At one point, Lovell and his two brothers, Robert and Ernest, were also serving on the mission field.
Born in Logan, West Virginia, Lovell was saved in high school and afterward attended Bible Training School and College in Sevierville, Tennessee. From the outset, his mission was to be a missionary and go into all the world. Lovell’s missionary journey began in 1954 when he was appointed to serve as overseer in Hawaii. He was later overseer of the Philippines, superintendent of the Far East, superintendent of Asia/Pacific, World Missions Assistant Director (twice), World Missions Director (twice), Missionary evangelist, Associate Missions Representative, and then directed the Lovell Cary Ministries.
A distinguishing mark of Cary’s leadership was the dramatic change in the financial structure of World Missions. Prior to 1988, the department sent missionaries to the field as funds were available in the budget—this procedure limited the number of missionaries due to the relatively small budget. Since his desire was to send missionaries, he proposed a change in the method of funding them. Thus began the itineration to raise their support directly from individuals and churches.
During his tenure, Lovell felt the denomination lacked a world conscientiousness; he would be ecstatic at the progress the general church as made since then. He said, “The church must not withdraw its burden, its compassion, and its finances from the world that is lost and in desperate need of God!”