Interview With Dr . George Braswell, Former Missionary To Iran And SEBTS Professor Of Missions -- By: Gregory D. Mathias
STR 9:2 (Fall 2018) p. 75
Interview With Dr . George Braswell, Former Missionary To Iran And SEBTS Professor Of Missions
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. George Braswell and his wife Joan were appointed missionaries to the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention on August 17, 1967.1 Dr. and Mrs. Braswell served as the first Southern Baptist missionaries to Iran from 1968 through 1974. After returning from Iran, Braswell served as a professor of missions at SEBTS from 1974–2004, and then at Campbell University from 2004–2016. He has authored eleven books including To Ride a Magic Carpet, which gives a more detailed account of his experience in Iran.2
He and his wife now reside in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where they are members of Wake Forest Baptist Church. Throughout their lives, George and Joan Braswell have exhibited a tenacious trust in the Lord and a fervent missionary spirit. They take every opportunity to inspire people towards missions in general and Iran in particular.
Below is an edited excerpt from an extended interview conducted with Dr. Braswell in June of 2018.
Tell Us About How God Called You And Your Wife Into Missions.
Our journey into missions started in many places, among many peoples, with many prayers. Let me give you a little background of where I grew up and then tell you about my wife and me together. I grew up in Emporia, Virginia. It was a rural agrarian town: cotton, peanuts, and tobacco. I grew up in the ’40s and ’50s, a much different time and culture than now. The reason I say that is because in the 1940s World War II ended. My father and grandfather were builders and I would work with them in the summers, but I also knew that I would be the first one in my whole family to go to college.
Growing up I had two families in a sense—my immediate family and
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my Christian family. My immediate family did not regularly attend church, but I did. I went to Sunday school and worshipped. In those days we also had Baptist Training Union on Sunday evenings. In a real sense, the church became my second family. Main Street Baptist Church in Emporia, Virginia, nurtured me along. I remember Sunday School lessons when we studied the Old Testament and figures like King Cyrus, King Artaxerxes, Esther, and Daniel. All of these figures were associated with Persia—modern day Iran—and that excited me. I think God was speaking to my youthful mind through these teachers. My church would regularly invite a foreign missionary to come and be ...
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