Archie Cameron, a missionary pioneer with the United Brethren church, passed away at 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning, September 29. He was 87 years old. His death occurred at the hospital in La Ceiba, Honduras. Archie had lived in Honduras since 1952.
For much of this year, Archie had been battling physical problems, including an enlarged heart and kidney ailments. Roger Reeck, a son-in-law living in La Ceiba, said Archie was spending several days a month in the hospital. He had gone into the hospital on Wednesday, September 28, and this time he didn’t leave.
The funeral will be held Sunday, October 2, at the Amor Viviente (Living Love) church in La Ceiba. This is not a United Brethren church, but the Bethel United Brethren Church, which Archie founded, wouldn’t be big enough to hold this funeral. Having lived in Honduras since 1951, Archie is extremely well-known and beloved throughout northern Honduras.
Archie will be buried in La Ceiba next to his wife, Maisy, who passed away April 23, 2003. Archie has three daughters–Heather, Sharon, and Marilyn–all of whom were born in Canada and arrived in Honduras with their parents in 1952 aboard a ship. Archie and Maisy also adopted three Honduran children: Robert, Dean, and Arthur. Robert and Arthur live in La Ceiba, while Dean lives in Canada. Marilyn and Roger Reeck, missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators, also live in La Ceiba.
Archie is credited with starting the Spanish-speaking United Brethren work in Honduras. When his family arrived in July 1952, we were working primarily with several English-speaking churches which had affiliated with us in 1945. Those churches, however, chose to go independent in early 1953. Archie immediately cast his full attention to the predominant Spanish-speaking population. He soon founded the Bethel UB church in Honduras, and it became a launching pad for much of the UB work which exists today in Honduras.
Archie, along with family members and laypersons from Bethel, conducted evangelistic meetings in villages throughout northern Honduras. People were won to Christ, and churches arose in those villages. Often, Archie and his group were the first evangelical witness in those villages.
Today, Honduras National Conference has nearly 90 churches, along with a thriving school (which Archie also started), a campground, and other ministries. It is the fastest-growing of the nine worldwide UB national conferences. Honduras oversaw the starting of mission work in Nicaragua in the 1960s, and Honduras and Nicaragua now oversee mission districts in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
A book about Archie’s life, and about the history of Honduras Conference in general, was published in 2001. It is called Tio Archie. Copies can be ordered from the United Brethren Bookstore for $5 each.