Jim Newton, Baptist journalist, dies at 75

Longtime Baptist journalist Jim Newton died Jan. 16 at Baptist Hospital hospice care in Clinton, Miss., after a battle with leukemia.

Jim Newton

By Bob Allen

Newton, 75, was born in Kingsville, Texas, into the third generation of a family of weekly newspaper editors. After graduating from Baylor University in 1958, he worked as associate editor of The Bishop News until he became press representative of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in 1959.

He was assistant director of the Baptist Press in Nashville, Tenn., from 1965 to 1973. After that he worked eight years as editor of World Mission Journal, published by the SBC Brotherhood Commission in Memphis, Tenn. In 1980 he joined the staff of the Home Mission Board in Atlanta, retiring in 1992 as public relations director to accept a communications position with the U.S. based-office of World Vision International in California.

After retiring to Clinton, Miss., Newton worked with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi, and was a member of Trace Ridge Baptist Church in Ridgeland, a Jackson suburb.

He also served as a news and media consultant for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He authored or edited five books, traveled to over 70 countries and all 50 states, and earned 33 awards from the Baptist Public Relations Association and the Religious Public Relations Council. Newton was an ordained minister and deacon serving in various capacities in the local churches where he lived.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Patricia Tullos Newton, two daughters and five grandchildren.
Visitation is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Jan. 18 at Lakewood Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Jackson, Miss. Services will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 19 at Trace Ridge Baptist Church in Ridgeland, Miss., following a noon visitation.

Online condolences and a guest registry are available at www.lakewoodfuneralhomes.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Trace Ridge Baptist Church, 238 Lake Harbor Drive, Ridgeland, Miss. 39157.