Baptist missionaries Larry Thomas Elliot and Jean Dover Elliot will not go unremembered after they were killed in a drive-by shooting in Mosul, Iraq, on March 15. Nearly 800 people attended their funeral Thursday at the First Baptist Church in Cary, N.C. to celebrate the missionaries’ lives of service to the Lord.
Scott Elliot, the son to the slain missionaries, even testified his parents’ Christian life during the service.
"Thank you for living for the Lord, I am so glad you came," he said, looking upward. "I'm a life that was changed."
The congregation sang the missionaries’ two favorite hymns: "Because He Lives" and "How Great Thou Art."
"The children asked that it be a day of celebration and a day about the Lord Jesus," said the Rev. Stephen Rummage, First Baptist's interim pastor. "I think we succeeded."
The Elliotts were in Iraq researching for a location to build a water purification system. Even though they knew of the dangers in Iraq, their obeyed God’s call. While they were in Iraq, Jean Elliot wrote an e-mail message to her daughter, Dr. Gina Kim, affirmed their mission trip was under the providence of God.
"We are happy to be here and our call has been confirmed. This is a very special time for us. God is REAL. No matter what happens, we are in His hands and know that we are where we should be,” wrote Jean.
Jean Elliott’s sister Nancy Ellis agreed. Ellis showed how their faith was revealed through the online conversations they would have with each other every day. "We talked about how she just loved being in Iraq and felt that that's where the Lord had put them. She was not afraid."
Before the couple was serving in Iraq, they were missionaries in mainly Honduras, since 1978. They were working on mission projects, conducted by the Southern Baptist International Mission Board in Richmond, Va., which resulted in 12 Baptist churches for worshippers in Honduras and 82 wells to provide them safe drinking water.
A pastor who worked with the Elliotts for 16 years in Honduras flew to Cara for the funeral. Rev. Cesar Pena read the Beatitudes in Spanish during the service and expressed his gratitude for what the Larry Elliott did for the believers in Honduras.
“He brought so much leadership to our church," said Pena, pastor of Communion Baptist Church in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. "He was loved and will be missed."
Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board, described the lives of Larry and Jean Elliott as ones devoted to the Gospel. They believed that "spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ was worth living for, and it was worth dying for," said Rankin.