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Missionary, publisher J.C. Choate dies

Shortly after his baptism at a gospel meeting in rural Mississippi, J.C. Choate decided he wanted to spend his life preaching.
For nearly 60 years, he traveled the country — and the globe — doing exactly that. He refused to retire, said Betty Choate, his wife of 52 years.
Choate, a pioneering missionary, evangelist and prolific publisher, died of cancer Feb. 1. He was 75.
Born in Tishomingo County, Miss., Choate preached on weekends to work his way through college, eventually earning a master’s in missions from Harding University Graduate School of Religion in Memphis, Tenn.
While preaching in Shafter, Calif., he and his wife decided to pursue foreign missions. The couple did two years of mission work in Minneapolis to prepare, and originally planned to work in India. The Indian government rejected their visa application three times, so the Choates chose neighboring Pakistan. The family moved to Karachi in February 1962.
“We knew our work would not be easy in a country where almost 100 percent of the people are Muslims, but we came to do a job and we intended to do it,” Choate wrote in a 1966 missionary directory. The Choates helped establish churches in Pakistan and later worked in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and New Delhi, India, before returning to the United States in 1975. Choate continued to spend half of each year in India and other Asian countries, working with church members to produce literature and programs for radio and television.
Cancer stopped the Choates from returning to India in 2005. “The following two years were spent in preparation for the program of work to continue after his death,” Betty Choate said.
An ardent supporter of ministry training, Choate published more than 200 books, many of which he provided below printing costs to Bible correspondence course teachers and sent in bulk to Africa and Asia.
He published The Voice of Truth International, a quarterly magazine that he shipped to church members overseas free of charge. Recently, Choate launched Global Harvest, a missions news magazine.
He encouraged other Christians to publish their work, including Glover Shipp, a former managing editor of The Christian Chronicle. Shipp was a missionary in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, when Choate visited in 1975. He saw Shipp writing in a prayer journal and said, “That needs to be published.”
“The result was my first book, which he published, ‘God Answers His Mail,’” Shipp said. Shipp has since published 38 books.
Choate’s survivors include his wife, a daughter, two sons, seven grandchildren and two brothers.

  • Feedback
    I am the preacher in the Lords Church ,I fact Choate publications has help me alot.
    Prince Addae
    Diaso church of christ
    Ghana- Accra, Accra
    January, 18 2013

    i have been wanting to meet bro choate. it said to here of his death now after years of wishing to meet him. he has actually contributed a lot to the knowledge i have in christ. May his soul rest in perfect.
    hilton terry kessie
    church of christ.
    kumasi, ashanti
    September, 8 2012

Filed under: International

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