Artie Farris Collins
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15)
God, in His infinite wisdom called our beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, A. F. Collins, from labor to reward.
Artie Farris Collins was born Dec. 28, 1928, in Breckenridge, Texas, to Artie and Oda Mae Collins. He was born again April 1947, after hearing and responding to the message of salvation while attending a revival meeting with his sweetheart Cora Mae Morrison at East Sabine Baptist Church in Kilgore, Texas. Art Collins laid his earthly body aside and went home to be with his Savior on March 21, 2017.
Art grew up in east Texas and graduated from Kilgore High School at the age of 16; then he joined the Texas State Guard. Art worked at a dairy farm during his youth to help support his family after his father passed away. At the age of 17, he began a career with the U.S. Postal Service.
On Friday, June 13, 1947, Art married his sweetheart and the love of his life, Cora Mae Morrison in Kilgore. Their union was blessed with three children. After six years with the post office, God changed Art’s career plans. In June 1953 at Shell Fundamental Baptist Church in Kilgore, Texas, he surrendered to God’s call to preach the gospel.
Rev. Collins moved his young family to Fort Worth, Texas, and enrolled in the Bible Baptist Seminary. He graduated in May 1956 with a Bachelor of Divinity. Upon graduation and ordination into the ministry on May 23, 1956, he moved his family to Bartlesville, Okla., where he began laboring to plant a church. Bartlesville Baptist Tabernacle was organized Oct. 14, 1956. Rev. Collins pastored in Bartlesville until July 1965 when he accepted the call to become pastor of Grace Baptist Tabernacle in Fort Scott. The family moved to Fort Scott where Rev. Collins pastored for thirty-two years. On Aug. 30, 1997, he resigned the pastorate. Rev. and Mrs. Collins joined Iola Baptist Temple in Iola, Kansas, as he entered the ministry of evangelism. For years he traveled the country preaching and witnessing until his health failed.
Artie Farris Collins is survived by his wife of 69 years, Cora Mae Collins; his daughter, Melanie and husband Gary Wilson, Fort Scott; his son A. F. (Chip) and wife Lori, Loveland, Colo.; and his son Roger and wife Mary, Iola. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. Preceding him in death were his father Artie Farris Sr.; mother Oda Mae; and brothers Stanley, Maurice, and Cecil.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Grace Baptist Tabernacle in Fort Scott. Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Scott. Pastor Paul Rooks of Grace Baptist Tabernacle will be officiating the memorial. The graveside service will be conducted by Rev. Robert Cockrell, retired pastor, evangelist, and long-time friend. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorials are suggested to Iola Baptist Temple Missions which will be designated for Matt and Apryl (granddaughter) Haynes, missionaries to Kurdistan, Iraq; and Phil and Jessica Coolbaugh, missionaries to Muslims in Canada. Memorials may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.
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