Dorothy Jean Latham

Funeral services for Mrs. Dorothy Jean Latham were conducted at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 25, 2018 from the Bethlehem Baptist Church with Rev. Matt Armstrong officiating. Interment followed in the Bethlehem Baptist Cemetery under the direction of Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Morton.

Visitation was from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at the funeral home and on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. at the church.

Dorothy Jean Lathan was born October 9, 1928 in Rosedale, MS to her parents Lawrence and Gertrude Latham. Four years later the family moved back to their home community of Forkville, MS where they owned and operated Latham’s Country Store. Dorothy J. graduated from Forkville High School, and later Mississippi College and New Orleans Baptist Seminary.

She became a Christian at 10 years of age and from that time on exerted a Christian influence among her peers. This was very important to her. During college years, the call to foreign missions became more prominent in her thinking and her life was then surrendered to whatever the Lord led her to do. During one of those summers while in college, she worked with the State Baptist Training Union Department teaching Vacation Bible School in Scott County.

After college graduation, she felt led into the public education field where she taught for eight years in the following places: Sunflower, Carthage, Jackson and Madden. During the teaching years, the call to foreign missions still remained. She served two of those summers with the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, serving in Arizona and Ohio. The experiences of these summers served to clarify her calling to foreign Missions. The next step was to the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in preparation for that service.

It was on October 13, 1959, she was appointed by the Foreign Mission Board, SBC to serve in the country of Brazil. On December 31, 1959 she sailed out of New York on her way to that country.

After one year in Campinas to study the Portuguese language, she traveled to Manaus, Amazonas where her work was located for the remaining years there. Through those 23 years, some of the job opportunities were: Director of Ida Nelson Baptist School, organizer and Director of Baptist Goodwill Center, State WMU Director and with Religious Education in local churches.

In August 1982, Dorothy resigned from the Foreign Mission Board to remain in the USA to take care of her mother who was ill. During this time, she taught school in the Morton School System and was very active in the Bethlehem Baptist Church in the community where she made her profession of faith. There she served as Sunday School Teacher, WMU Director and pianist/organist for many years.

She served for several years as Scott County WMA Director and served on committees as needed. It was her goal to serve the Lord in whatever part of the world where she was located. A line from her favorite song expresses her feelings, “I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today”. 

She passed away on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at the Baptist Medical Center in Jackson at the age of 89.

Preceding her in death are her parents: Lawrence & Gertrude Latham and her foster brother: Verner Baker.

Survivors include her brother: William Lawrence “Sonny” Latham and his wife: Dreta Latham; her sister-in-law: Robbie O’Neil and her husband: Ron O’Neil; nieces and nephews: Jean and Terrell Harvey; Henry Latham; Joe and Theresa Latham; Julie and Richard Latham; Laurie and Brad Callaway; Sandra and Stan Evans; and a host of great-nieces, great-nephews, great-great nieces, and great-great nephews and many friends.

Serving as pallbearers were Will Hamilton, Chris Harrell, Max Harvey, Terrell Harvey, Andrew Latham, Erik Latham, Jon Latham, Henry Latham, and Richard Latham.

Honorary Pallbearers were: Mac Baker, Stan Evans, and Brad Callaway.

Memorial donations may be made to Bethlehem Baptist Church 8055 Hwy. 13 N., Morton, MS 39117, the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 3806 Monument Ave. P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23230-0767  or to the Gideon’s International, Scott County Camp, P. O. Box 804, Forest, MS 39074.