Beloved missionary robbed, murdered

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (Christian Examiner) -- An 82-year-old beloved missionary who served in Brazil for more than half a century was murdered in her modest home, but the impact of her life and death continues to inspire and today.

Marjorie Browning needed little more than God and the Gospel to get by from day to day. The simple Missouri woman who worked for a Springfield attorney before heading to the coastal country in 1960 was born on farm near Monett, according to a Feb. 11 Springfield News-Leader report.

A graduate of Baptist Bible College and a missionary through the Baptist Bible Fellowship Browning received support from several congregations including her sponsoring church, the 900-member High Street Baptist Church in Springfield.

Over her 54 years of ministry in the remote areas of the Brazilian nation she eventually called home, Browning faced cancer and experienced the typical challenges of age.

"This church for years has loved this lady," said Eddie Lyons, senior pastor at High Street Baptist. "For three generations we have supported her. She does not realize how powerful her life has been as an example to us."

Though her possessions were few and included little more than her old worn clothes, a horse and her Bible, a 16-year-old boy tried to rob her on two separate occasions.

It was that same young man who entered her mud hut residence and attacked her from behind as she kneeled to pray one night in November, according to High Street staff who also claimed she previously chose not to report the boy. Her hope had been that the kindness of refraining to do so would lead to repentance and knowledge of Christ, they said.

Sharing the message of salvation was her life's work.

"She was there to be a missionary and she was there to share the love of Jesus," Gary Wilson who oversees missionaries at High Street told the News-Leader. "That was her purpose in life."