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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Anne Beall - a pastor's wife extraordinaire

Anne Beall, James Lee Beall, and their daughter Analee (circa 1952)
by Archibald Thackeray

There is no shortage of ministers who refer to the late James Lee Beall as a "pastor's pastor". He even wrote a popular book on pastoring - Your Pastor, Your Shepherd. But serving right alongside him for 57 years at the Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit, Michigan was his wife Anne. Her graciousness, wit, and wisdom in the role of a pastor's wife were also remarkable. Anne was a pastor's wife extraordinaire. Today, she still attends the church, now located in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights and known as Bethesda Christian Church. Her daughter, Analee Dunn, is the current senior pastor of Bethesda (Note: she is now pastor emeritus). Anne wrote the following for the church's newspaper, Bethesda Parade, back in December 1980:

"Recently, someone asked me if I believed God had planned or ordained my marriage to my husband, Jim. Was our marriage 'Made and ordained in heaven?' My reply! 'I'm not sure we really asked God about it. I doubt if God could have changed our mind and plans.'

"Love - it is still the name of the game. There is no question in my mind that Jim and I have a greater and deeper love today than we had 34 years ago when we said, 'I do.' [the Bealls were married in 1946] As love matures, one person's thoughts become the thoughts of the other. In future columns I will discuss this matter more fully, but from this point in history, I'm sure God in His all-wise providence, knew Jim needed me. Jim was the fulfillment of all my dreams: tall, dark, handsome, a football player; and so romantic!

Anne, Myrtle, and Patti Beall (1962)
"I have always believed when a person's life is totally committed to the Lord, God does guide our life. The Lord leads us day by day, and step by step. Usually it is not in some dramatic way, but the 'still small voice' of assurance saying, 'This is the way, walk ye in it.'

"In the 1920s my parents, Sam and Daisy Broyles, resided in the State of California. On a beautiful May morning, their third child entered the world - me. This date is not important for you to know.

"During the seven years of my parents' residence in California, both of them received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Their visitation with God took place in a Brethren Church. This experience produced a life of total commitment to their Lord. My spiritual life developed in this intimate and blessed atmosphere.

"Every person's life is molded by a series of decisions. My parents decided to move to the State of Tennessee, their home state, in the late 1920s. They were greeted by the GREAT DEPRESSION. My sister, Lois, was born at this time. We have accused her of being the cause of it!

"With the move to Tennessee, Mother and Dad saw the tremendous need for spiritual life in the community. Our relatives were Methodist. Consequently, one Sunday morning church service was started in a local school. On Sunday afternoon another school was secured for services in a Baptist community. I learned early that God is not confined to any one group. Mother did the preaching; Dad the organizing. Attendance at each of these meetings grew, and in time beautiful church buildings were erected in each community. My Mother was the first woman licensed to preach by the Methodist Church in Tennessee. It helped to have a brother on the Selecting Committee!

"All of us are products of History. Our childhood becomes our history. This part of history is something over which we have no control. God teaches and guides us in ways and at times unknown to us.

"In May of 1944 I graduated from the White County High School. The Broyles family moved to Michigan. On the first Sunday of June of the same year we attended our first service at Bethesda.

"Jim was serving with the U. S. Navy in Brazil!"

Anne Beall wrote a chapter entitled, "When Death Takes a Child"
James Dunn, the Beall's son-in-law, continues the story, "While home on leave in 1945, another monumental change took place [in Jim Beall's life]. Meeting Anna Mae Broyles, whose family had recently joined the church, was akin to being struck by a thunderbolt. With only a few days to get to know each other, both knew they had met the love of their lives. Writing daily during the rest of the war cemented their feelings, and marriage came four months after his discharge on July 3, 1946. They became the very picture of marital fidelity. Their love never wavered in 67 years together" (from "In Memory and Tribute to a Great Man," Heartbeat of Bethesda, October 2013).

Anne and Jim's daughter Analee is married to James Dunn, and she is pastor emeritus of Bethesda Christian Church. [She retired June 12, 2016, handing over the senior pastorate to Patrick Visger.]

The Bealls also had two sons, Jimmy and John (who lives with his wife Heather in California).

In 1983, James Broyles Beall - Jimmy - died at 36 after a long, debilitating illness. Anne wrote movingly of his illness and passing in a book entitled, Help! I'm a Pastor's Wife. Jamie Buckingham's daughter-in-law, Michele Buckingham, edited the book, which has chapters by thirty well-known pastor's wives, including Anna Hayford (Jack), Freda Lindsay (Gordon), Barbara Green (Charles), and a preacher in her own right, Anne Gimenez (John). Anne Beall's chapter is entitled, "When Death Takes a Child".
Anne Beall (left) and Kathryn Kuhlman (right) at a reception for special speakers at the World Conference on the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem in 1974. Anne's husband, Jim, was one of the speakers along with Miss Kuhlman, David du Plessis, Corrie ten Boom, Pat Robertson, Jamie Buckingham, Charles Simpson, Arthur Katz, Willard Cantelon, Gen. Ralph Haines, Costa Deir, and Charles Farah.


  1. I loved to hear her Father and and i loved to here her Minister the Word.The good Lord bless her retirement.