Dellanna O’Brien, former vice president of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), died on
September 7 in Texas in the United States.
O’Brien held numerous positions with the BWA, serving terms on the General Council, the
Executive Committee, the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, the Congress Program Committee,
the Budget and Finance Committee, the Personnel Committee, the Baptist World Aid Committee
and the Baptist Heritage and Identity Commission. She was a vice president of the BWA from
2005 until her resignation from the post for health reasons in 2008.
She was also a member of the General Secretary Search Committee that nominated Neville
Callam for the position in 2007.
BWA General Secretary Callam lauded O’Brien for her life and ministry and her contribution
to the work of BWA. “She had a heart for mission to the world, and a grace with which she did all
things,” said the BWA leader. “We are thankful to God for her life, and our prayers are with her
family at this time.”
Mission work was a primary focus of O’Brien’s life. From 1963 to 1973, she and her husband,
Bill, along with their three children, were missionaries in Indonesia. In 1989, O’Brien became
executive director of the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), and served in that position for ten
She authored two books, Beyond Belief! Volume 1, published by WMU in 2000, and co-
authored Choosing a Future for U.S. Missions, published in 1998.
O’Brien held an EdD in Educational Leadership, and worked in public and private schools in
the United States, both as a teacher and administrator. She founded a not-for proﬁ t organization,
International Family and Children’s Educational Services (Interfaces), that focused on missionary
kids with learning difﬁ culties.
In retirement, O’Brien and her husband co-directed BellMitra Associates in Birmingham,
Alabama, through which they conducted workshops in missions innovation and conﬂ ict
transformation. In 2005, the couple became directors of Compassion Frisco, an organization
aimed at assisting survivors of the tsunami in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
O’Brien served on the boards of Hardin-Simmons University, the Baptist Theological Seminary
at Richmond, the Evangelical Fellowship of Missions Agencies, and the WMU Foundation.
She is survived by husband, Bill, member of the BWA Commission on Freedom and Justice
and the Church Health and Effectiveness Workgroup, three children, and six grandchildren.
A memorial service was held on Wednesday, September 10, at Preston Trail Community
Church, in Frisco, Texas.
C. HOWARD BENTALL
C. Howard Bentall, pastor and denominational leader in Canada, died on July 13 in
From 1938 to 1946, he served as senior minister at churches in Regina, Toronto and Calgary.
Bentall was president of the Baptist Federation of Canada from 1956-1959, and held positions with
the Baptist Union of Western Canada including acting executive minister from 1975-1976, and
assistant to the executive minister from 1976-1992. He also fulﬁ lled an interim role as the principal
of the Baptist Leadership Training School, and was a former vice-president of the Canadian Bible
Society and honorary director of Operation Eyesight Universal.
An ardent supporter of the BWA, Bentall served as a member of the BWA Resolutions
Committee, the Ofﬁ cers Search Committee, the Study and Research Executive Committee, and
the Church Leadership and Christian Ethics Commissions. His wife, Shirley, who died in 2005,
was a vice president of the BWA from 1990-1995.
A celebration of Bentall’s life was held at Grandview Calvary Baptist Church in Vancouver
on July 26.
He is survived by four children and 14 grandchildren.
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