James Gordon Vestal, 89, passed away on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, with his loving wife and family at his side.

Gordon was born on December 21, 1931 in Dallas, Texas to Clarence and Annie Marie Vestal. He met the love of his life, Ella Bond Reeves, at East Texas Baptist College and they married prior to his attending Southwestern Baptist Seminary School. After graduation, they moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he served as Minister of Education from 1958-1963. Following his call to foreign missionary service, his family moved to Chile in 1963, and remained until 1970. On his return to the states, he again served as Minister of Education in Houston, Texas from 1970-1973. He then moved to McAllen, Texas serving as a home missionary. Finally, in 1977 he came back home to Dallas where he served with the Texas Baptist General Convention until his retirement in 1999.

Gordon was passionate about his faith and his service for the Lord. During his ministry, he was a gifted preacher and teacher as well as a compassionate counselor to others. He was an amazing, strong and hard working faith-filled man. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He cherished teaching his loved ones how to fish and he enjoyed various fishing trips in Texas and Costa Rica. There wasn’t a story or joke that he didn’t love sharing.

Gordon is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Calvin and Clarence Vestal, sister Hazel Vestal, and daughter Susan Vestal Patrick. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Ella, and their children and spouses: Clif Vestal and Kelly Cavanaugh, Clay and Lola Vestal, and Marilyn and Andy Krofchalk. He also leaves behind thirteen grandchildren whom he truly adored. 

Memorial donations may be made to the Foreign Mission Board, The American Heart Association or East Texas Baptist University.

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