Carrie Valerius served as a missionary to Brazil. IMB/GETTY IMAGES
By Catherine Finch
HAWKINSVILLE – First Baptist Hawkinsville member Carrie Valerius, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the Gospel in Brazil, died Oct. 27 in Hawkinsville, Georgia. She was 91.
Valerius was born in Smith’s Station, Alabama, on July 18, 1928. Before and after serving overseas, Valerius was heavily involved in ministry and teaching. From camp counselor to high school home economics teacher, Sunday School teacher, and more, she was actively involved wherever the Lord led her.
When she was about 13 years old, Valerius sensed the Lord’s direction towards overseas missions. “From this time on this was my goal in life and I attempted to develop a life that could be used on the mission field,” she said.
During her first year at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1952, Valerius met her future husband, Erling Valerius and they later married in May 1953. The Valerius family moved to Brazil in 1964 and spent the majority of their time there in the Brazilian state of Maranhão and the city of Bauru. During their time in Brazil, the Valerius family was heavily involved in evangelistic crusades and had a hand in the development of many churches.
In newsletters written to those back in the U.S., the Valerius family encouraged their friends and church family to remember the responsibility of sharing the Gospel with those who have not heard.
“Let us remember the world of people in darkness waiting for a light. For Christians that light is Jesus Christ, The Light. Through our prayers and giving, we can help the peoples of the world know that the light is a person — Jesus Christ,” they wrote.
Valerius’s husband was a minister and after serving overseas in Brazil for 28 years, they spent the rest of their years serving in their local church. According to her family, Valerius was hospitable and had a soft spot for those in need.
Valerius is survived by her five daughters, Carol Ann, Janet, Marian, Gail, and Julia, and their respective families. Her husband of 61 years, Erling, preceded her in death.
A memorial service was held Nov. 2 at First Baptist Church of Columbiana, Alabama.