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Joy McMillon
Photo provided by Lynn McMillon

Christian Chronicle mourns, celebrates life of Joy McMillon

The longtime writer and editor for the nonprofit newspaper dies at 81 after a brief illness.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — “I’m so blessed, and I’m ready to go home.”

Joy McMillon, 1941-2022

Joy McMillon, 1941-2022

Those were the final words that Joy McMillon said to Scott Young, worship minister for the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, when Young visited her in the hospital.

McMillon, a counselor, teacher and encourager of countless Christians worldwide, suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with leukemia just before her death on Dec. 10. She was 81.

“Joy was one of the greatest women our church has ever known — a pillar in this church, in this community for many, many, many years,” said Phil Brookman, preaching minister for the Memorial Road church. For those who knew her, McMillon provided a “breathtaking portrait of the gentleness and the wisdom of God,” Brookman said.

Among her many roles — in teaching and in ministry — McMillon served as a reporter and editor for The Christian Chronicle. As recently as last month she proofread pages for the newspaper. She also helped with processing gifts for the Chronicle, an international newspaper for Churches of Christ.

She was born Oct. 15, 1941, in Wichita Falls, Texas, and grew up in Midwest City, Okla. She attended Oklahoma Christian College (now University), graduating in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree. She earned a master’s from Central State College (now the University of Central Oklahoma).

Joy and Lynn McMillon in 2021.

Joy and Lynn McMillon in 2021.

She married Lynn A McMillon on Sept. 1, 1962. She taught English and supported her husband as he attended graduate school in Memphis, Tenn., and later at Baylor University in Texas.

Her husband’s career brought him to Oklahoma Christian University, where Joy served in a variety of roles and ministries, accumulating nearly 40 years of service spread across seven decades. She worked as an instructor of English and a public relations officer. For nearly a decade she served as coordinator of the Oklahoma Christian Women’s Association (OCWA).

Joy McMillon and R. Scott LaMascus work on an edition of The Christian Chronicle in November 1989.

Joy McMillon, with Scott LaMascus, during her time as managing editor of The Christian Chronicle.

Shortly after the university acquired The Christian Chronicle in 1981, Joy served as the newspaper’s managing editor and later as associate editor. After stepping back from that role, she continued to serve as an administrative assistant.

She was an active member of the Memorial Road church. For 16 years she directed and delivered the main weekly lesson for the church’s Center for Women’s Bible Study. She was a widely sought-after presenter at women’s conferences and national events. She and her husband also conducted marriage enrichment seminars for church groups nationally.

She made 32 international trips, most of which involved teaching, mission oversight and encouragement. She and her husband led four international campaigns of Oklahoma Christian students to Australia, Greece and England.

She and a friend once owned and operated a consignment dress shop, dubbed The Snooty Fox. They joked that they wore more of the clothes than they sold.

Lynn and Joy McMillon with their family in 2021.

Lynn and Joy McMillon with their family in 2021.

She and her husband recently celebrated their 60th anniversary. Other survivors include their sons, Jeff (Sydney) McMillon of Tulsa and Greg (Regina) McMillon of Edmond, Okla.; grandchildren Shelby (Michael) Cooper of Oklahoma City, Savannah (Jordan) Phillips of Edmond, Hannah McMillon of Edmond, Haley McMillon of Edmond (engaged to Walker LaRue), Caden McMillon of Edmond, Sydney Massey of Shawnee and Kaylea Massey of Edmond.

Oklahoma Christian President John deSteiguer hugs Joy McMillon after announcing that a conference room on campus will bear the McMillon name.

In 2019, at a dinner celebrating Lynn McMillon’s retirement as president and CEO of The Christian Chronicle, Oklahoma Christian University President John deSteiguer hugs Joy McMillon after announcing that a conference room on campus will bear the McMillon name.

Joy McMillon had a heart for missions and was a longtime supporter of the Village of Hope, a ministry that serves orphans and at-risk children in Ghana, West Africa. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be sent through Heartbeat for Hope, a nonprofit that supports the Village of Hope. Make donations online or mail checks to Heartbeat for Hope, P.O. Box 2071, Edmond, OK 73083.

Filed under: Christian journalism Joy McMillon Lynn and Joy McMillon Endowment National Obituaries Oklahoma Christian University The Christian Chronicle Top Stories

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