Albert “Sonny” Hamilton was born on November 6, 1934 in Kansas City, MO to Albert Watson Hamilton Sr. and Frances Ozella Reid Hamilton.
Al is survived by his wife Annette and three daughters Fran Laughren and husband Pete of Hampton, Georgia, Sonja Hawkins and husband Dale of Bethel, MO, Karen Nguyen and husband Toai of Southeast Asia; six grandchildren Denzil Laughren, Jonathan, David, Tiffany, Caleb Albert, and Joshua Nguyen. He is also survived by one sister, Frances “Tanny” Clark of Marceline, MO, and one daughter-in-law Teri (Layman) Hamilton of Hurst, TX, two nephews and a niece.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, John Marshall and Jonathan Lee; and one brother, John Lee.
Sonny was a graduate of Marceline High School. He graduated from Johnson Bible College of Knoxville, Tennessee with a BA and from Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona with a MA in education. On October 12, 1957 he was united in marriage to Annette Coppess in Phoenix, Arizona where they worked together on a ministry team starting a church, and this was just the beginning of their life together in ministry. Al often credited his wife, Annette for making his ministry possible.
In 1960, Al & Annette went to South Africa where they served as missionaries until 1969. Al also served as the director of Missions Services, founded Pioneer Bible Translators in 1974, Outreach International in 1977 and in 1994 Youth Educational Services. He served as a minister at Bedford Christian Church in Bedford, Texas, Bethel Christian Church of Bethel, Mo and as an evangelist to Marceline Church of Christ. He traveled throughout the United States preaching in Revivals, Faith Promise Rallies and camps recruiting missionaries to serve in the unreached people groups of the world. He has personally served in several countries including South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, and Sudan East Africa. By the grace of God, he inspired, taught, mentored, discipled, and led many to be faithful in proclaiming the Gospel of Christ to the nations. While seen by many as great accomplishments for the Lord and the Kingdom, all Al would say is “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13 (NASV)
On April 28th heaven received a lifelong servant of the Gospel - Al Hamilton passed from this earthly shell and entered into glory where he will get to see the fruits of his lifelong labor. Because of his passion for the lost, many have found their calling for cross-cultural ministry. To God be the glory!
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, May 3, 2014, at the Bethel Christian Church at 10:00 am with burial to follow at Marceline Cemetery in Marceline, MO. Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Friday, May 2, 2014, at the Greening-Eagan-Hayes Funeral Home in Shelbina, MO. Memorials continuing his legacy may be made to one of three organizations Al started - Outreach International, Youth Educational Services or Pioneer Bible Translators.