Former Baptist editor dies

‘Missionary journalist’ and railroad enthusiast Theo Sommerkamp died Friday afternoon, according to a forwarded e-mail from a family member.

By Bob Allen

Theo Sommerkamp, 84, a longtime Baptist journalist known to friends for his strong love for railroad trains, died April 19.

theo sommerkampSommerkamp, of Columbus, Ohio, met his wife of 60 years, Jean, while attending Oklahoma Baptist University. They married in 1951. She preceded him in death on Christmas Day 2011.

After earning a master’s degree at Florida State University in 1954, Sommerkamp worked many years as assistant director of Baptist Press, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention, in Nashville, Tenn. He later worked at European Baptist Press Services, then based in Switzerland, and at the SBC Annuity Board before becoming editor of the Ohio Baptist Messenger in 1976, where he worked until retirement in 1994.

He referred to his himself as a “missionary journalist.”

Sommerkamp is survived by a sister, two sons, a daughter and four grandchildren. His funeral will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in his memory to the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.