Wayne Foust died June 11, 2013

The Rev. Dr. Wayne Luther Foust, former Director of Publications for the General Association of General Baptists and Editor of The General Baptist Messenger (1975 – 1993), passed on ahead of us on Tuesday, June 11. Wayne was born on December 1, 1928, to Loy and Edath Foust, in their family home atop Brock Mountain, in Wilburn, Arkansas. After graduating from Wilburn High School and serving as a member of the Military Police, in the Korean War, he received training as a linotype operator and was employed by The General Baptist Press in Poplar Bluff, Missouri (now Stinson Press) where he met Hazel Ketcherside. Wayne and Hazel were married on October 11, 1953.

In 1959, Wayne entered pastoral ministry serving congregations for 35 years; from 1959 to 1975 and in his “retirement,” 1993 to 2012. He served congregations in Poplar Bluff, Missouri; Livermore, Kentucky; Spurgeon, Indiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; Kansas City, Missouri and Calhoun, Kentucky. In 1962, at the age of 34 and with three children, he entered Oakland City University, in Indiana. During college, he pastored a church while working multiple other jobs to support his family. Following his completion of university studies with a degree in religious studies, he attended Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Kansas City. During the 1960s, Wayne guided the Kansas City congregation to become racially integrated by building relationships of trust, focusing on dialogue and mutual understanding and using strategies of social justice and peace-making.

Because of Wayne’s insightful and compassionate approaches to pastoral ministry and personal relationships, he became a trusted and influential leader among General Baptists. One of his most cherished affirmations was to be considered a pastor to pastors. He was often asked by pastoral colleagues and their families to serve as the minister for their memorial services. He served as Chairman of the Christian Education and Publications Board for two terms; helped re-write the Doctrine and Usage and Articles of Faith for the denomination; served several terms on The Historical Society; helped raise funds for construction of the General Baptist Headquarters and Stinson Press; guided architectural designs and plans for the construction of Stinson Press; initiated new camping programs for children and youth and served on camping boards; presented lectures to young ministers at Oakland City University; served as Moderator for the General Association of General Baptists in Tampa, Florida, in 1984; served as Music Director and Parliamentarian for the General Association for several years; wrote hundreds of positional editorials which spoke to significant spiritual issues among General Baptists; edited thousands of publications which shaped congregational leaders; taught congregational leadership seminars, teacher training workshops and music schools in more than 300 local churches and associations across the country; and served on the Polity and Doctrine Board. He was listed in Who’s Who in America, in 1986, and awarded “The Good Shepherd Award” by the Boy Scouts of America, in 1989. In 2000, Wayne was presented the degree, Honorary Doctor of Divinity by Oakland City University.  

Wayne enjoyed people, stories, jokes, music, bird watching, travel, history, reading, preaching, teaching, caring, writing, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, Arkansas Razorbacks basketball and football and his family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister and brother-in-law, Veda and Leonard Ness of Tuscon, Arizona. He will be deeply missed by family, colleagues and friends. He is survived by Hazel, his wife of 59 years and 9 months; four children – The Rev. Dr. Dennis Wayne Foust (Paula) of Charlotte, North Carolina; David Loy Foust of Orlando, Florida; Carol Sue Foust of St. Louis, Missouri, and Kenneth Leonard Ness (Dee) of Fayetteville, Arkansas; five grandchildren – Nathanael Wayne Foust of Charlotte, North Carolina; Rachael Caroline Foust of Santa Monica, California; The Rev. Caleb Stone Foust (The Rev. Mary Beth) of Richmond, Virginia; Adam Ness and Monica Ness of Fayetteville, Arkansas; a brother – Alfred Foust (Judy) of Petersburg, Indiana and twenty-four nieces and nephews.

Visitation was June 17 at Cotrell Funeral Chapel, 701 Vine Street, Poplar Bluff, Missouri with a Worship Service of Remembrance and Celebration that convened at Fellowship General Baptist Church, 3581 North Westwood Boulevard the following Tuesday with The Rev. Byron Beck officiating. Interment was in Missouri Veterans Cemetery, 17357 Stars and Stripes Way, Bloomfield, Missouri. Memorial donations may be made to: Dr. Wayne Foust Scholarship Fund, Advancement Office, Oakland City University, 138 North Lucretia Street, Oakland City, Indiana 47660 or to the congregation of your choice. Family and friends may share online condolences or memories at www.cotrellfuneralservice.com.