Kenneth Becker

Obituary of Kenneth Becker

Reverend Kenneth Dale Becker (“Ken”) went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, April 8, 2018 at his home in Jeffersonville, Indiana.  He was 82 years old.

Ken was born to the late Alvin Becker and Martha Foster Becker, a Mennonite pastor/missionary and homemaker respectively, in Woodburn, Indiana on October 10, 1935.  He professed his faith in Christ for salvation at age 5 and was immersed in the Christian community from an early age.  He graduated from high school in Woodburn, Indiana, from Bob Jones University in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in Bible, and from Bob Jones University in 1959 with a master’s degree in Bible. 

Ken was blessed with a loving family.  He married his best friend and faithful wife of 60 years, Marilyn Yvonne Holley, on December 21, 1957 in Thomaston, Alabama.  Ken helped Marilyn raise his four children with patience, discipline and humility.  From the beginning, he taught them the importance of a life lived for our Lord and consistently modeled his own walk with the Lord.  He dedicated his children to God and encouraged them to explore His way for them, leading his children into various areas of Christian work and service.

Ken’s life work and ministry was rich and varied.  After college, he travelled with various evangelistic teams.  His first position was as pastor of a Mennonite congregation in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Shortly thereafter, he became Executive Director of Gospel Fellowship Association mission board in Greenville, South Carolina.  He served in this capacity for 13 years, travelling extensively throughout the United States raising support for the mission board, and internationally in support of missionaries throughout the world. 

In 1976, Ken transitioned from missionary work to the position of senior pastor of Calvary Bible Church in Columbus, Ohio, where he served for 12 years.  During this time, he led the church congregation and presided over a Christian school, seminary, and Bible institute.  Subsequently, he served as pastor of Hendrix Road Baptist Church in Florence, Alabama, where he also taught high school English at Florence Christian Academy; and pastor of Peoples Baptist Church in Albany, New York.

In the late 1990’s, Ken set out on a new chapter of life, securing credentials as an instructor of English as a second language, and embarking on service abroad.  He first served for 3 years as an English instructor at a university near Taipei, Taiwan.  Following a brief return to the United States, he embarked on a several-year stint in a similar position at a vocational college in Chengdu, Sichuan Provence, China.  In both locations, he was active in seeking out and ministering with local, and in some cases, underground churches.  He developed a deep love for his students, friends and fellow Christians in both Taiwan and China.

It was after this time Ken settled into his real retirement in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where he and Marilyn resided for several years and ministered actively with his beloved church family at Maranatha Baptist Church, where he could be found leading worship, teaching Sunday School and transporting those who had no way of getting to church.  He was known locally for his daily walks through the nearby city park, where he picked up litter every day. 

Of unique note in Ken’s life, was his lifelong quest of creating his own translation of the Bible.  Over the course of several decades, he continuously worked on his meticulous translation of the Bible to modern, readable English.  This project began for his personal study and enrichment with select passages, and ended with the translation of the entire New Testament, which was self-published as the Majority English Bible.  He also wrote and self-published a devotional commentary on Psalms 1-21 titled Everyman’s Bible Commentary.

Ken was an avid lover of music, both as a trumpet and piano player himself, and as a provider and supporter of music education for both his children and grandchildren.  He had an equally strong passion for travel, particularly creating detailed and unique itineraries.  In early years, he often took his family on long trips to see the natural beauty throughout the United States and Canada.  This continued in later years with many interesting trips throughout the United States and abroad.

Kenneth Becker was, at his core, a rare and devoted disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Every aspect of his life was lived in the following of his Master’s leading, which was without question his highest priority.  This permeated all areas of his life as missionary, pastor, scholar, teacher, husband, father, and neighbor.

Ken Becker is survived by his wife Marilyn Becker; daughter DeLayne (Dee Dee) Jordan; sons Jonathan Becker, David Becker and Chad Becker; sister Lois Fisher; nine grandchildren; and various nieces and nephews.

Ken will be buried at Walnut Ridge Cemetery in Jeffersonville, Indiana.  A public visitation will take place at Legacy Funeral Center from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Thursday April 12 and Maranatha Baptist Church from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM on Friday April 13.  A public memorial will take place at the Maranatha Baptist Church at 1:00 PM on Friday April 13. Reverend Kurtis Clifton will preside over the service.