Hal Upchurch, 1918-2008, born of humble beginnings as one of six children in a Central Texas sharecropping family, died in West Texas three days short of his 90th birthday. Between the dashes, he became husband to Jerry, father to Hal Rhea and Mary Kay, friend, pastor, teacher, and example to countless others.
Responding to “The Whisper” that told him to “stand before the people with a Bible in your hand”, he was admitted to Wayland Baptist College in 1940, a few years after completing only eight grades in a one-room country school. (He continued to work on the farm while his younger siblings completed high school.) An endowed scholarship in his name continues to help equip Wayland students for their ministries.
He served churches in Texas, Wyoming, and Colorado across the intervening decades. For more than twenty years, he preached in the summer Cowboy Camp Meetings throughout the western states. In 1963, he preached in the New Life Crusade in the Far East. In 1966, he went on a one-month Around the World preaching tour. He remained actively involved in preaching revivals and Bible studies in the Central and Western United States until retirement in the Hill Country near the place of his birth.
Tales from a Texas Preacher, written in 1998 and republished in 2017, contains 140 flashback vignettes from his ministry, friendships, adventures, and misadventures, related with humor, warmth, wit, and wisdom in a format that can be picked up at any point without losing continuity. This website will house additional stories from his mission trips, along with some of his Bible study guides, poetry, family history and childhood reminiscences.
In Lieu of an Obituary