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Baptist trailblazer and missionary Pearl DuVall dies at 91

This information comes from an update from CBF of Georgia.

PearlDuVallDECATUR, Ga. – Prominent Georgia Baptist leader and missionary Reverend Pearl Holmes DuVall died on December 26, 2017 in Blackshear, Ga.

DuVall was born December 2, 1926, in New Orleans, La., and was a Valedictorian graduate from Chamblee High School outside of Atlanta, Ga. She attended Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where she served as President of the Student Government Association and was active in the Baptist Student Union. After graduating from Mercer, DuVall attended WMU Training School where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Religious Education.

Following seminary, DuVall and her husband, Wallace, served as missionaries in Nigeria from 1956 to 1971, where She primarily served as a teacher at Newton Memorial School in Oshogbo and Hillcrest International School in Jos, where she taught music and art. She was also an illustrator for WMU publications and did artwork for national Nigerian WMU conventions. DuVall also homeschooled her five children.

PearlDuVall2After returning from Nigeria, DuVall spent ten years as a Chaplain and Director of Student Activities at the Georgia Baptist School of Nursing. She later attended the Chaplain Training program at Georgia Baptist Hospital, earning her Chaplain’s certification. She went on to serve as a Chaplain at Manor Care Nursing and Rehab in Decatur, Ga.

DuVall was involved in women’s prison ministry in DeKalb County for many years as well, and was the 1991 recipient of the Distinguished Churchwoman of the year award. She was active with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship for many years as well, and served as the first female Moderator for CBF of Georgia from 1994-1995, and served as a Trustee of Mercer University.

DuVall was ordained by First Baptist Church of Decatur in the 1970’s, becoming the second Baptist woman ordained in Georgia. She was a strong advocate and supporter of women in ministry, and along with her husband, was on the Founding Committee of McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University.

In retirement, DuVall was active in First Baptist Church of Cordele, Ga., where she taught Sunday school and was a member of the WMU. She served as a Chaplain with Hospice in Cordele as well.

Upon moving to Blackshear Villa, she taught a weekly Bible Study and led hymn sings for residents and ministered to the staff.

She is survived by her five children and their spouses; David (Cindy) DuVall, Ellen DuVall, Richard (Sandy) DuVall, Kathy (Jerry) Harber, Becky (Steve) White, thirteen grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, and sisters Helen Ruchti and Elizabeth Carmichael.

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