Iva Nell Moseley Knight, 82, died yesterday (Oct. 22) after a long illness. A celebration of her life will be held at 3:00 PM, Sunday, at Oakhurst Baptist Church, (222 East Lake Drive, Decatur, Ga.) where she was a member for 49 years.
Nell was a major factor in her husband Walker Knight’s decision to leave the Southern Baptist Home Mission board at great sacrifice to begin an autonomous news journal in 1983 now known as Baptists Today.
“Her family remembers her unwavering faith in family and church, her intense sense of right and wrong, her gentleness, loving strength, unexpected wit and strong support for (me), especially in starting SBC Today…, now titled Baptists Today,” said Walker.
A native of East Texas, Nell met Walker while he was stationed in Tyler as an Air Force private. Two of their four children (Walker Jr. in 1946, and Kenneth Wayne in 1948) were born while Walker attended Baylor University.
After Walker joined the staff of the Baptist Standard and the family moved to Dallas, daughter Nelda Denise was born in 1954. Then Emily Jill was born in 1959, the year the Knights moved to Atlanta and Walker joined the SBC Home Mission Board and became one of the most respected religion journalists.
Nell and Walker joined Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, Ga., a congregation near and dear to them for nearly a half-century. Nell taught three-year-old children in Sunday school there for 17 years.
Nell was fully supportive of Walker’s sacrificial decision to leave the editorship of the popular Home Missions magazine to start a truly independent, national news journal. She assisted in producing the newspaper in its beginning.
She continued to work at the Home Mission Board in the volunteer missions program, enabling Walker to make the risky vocational move.
Baptists Today honored Walker last April with the Judson-Rice Award for founding the news journal 25 years ago. His only regret, he expressed then, was that his wife of 64 years was unable to attend the celebration due to her poor health.
Nell spent her last five years under the good care of Arbor Terrace in Decatur and with the help of family and friends. Her life is one to remember and to celebrate.
The family will greet friends following the Sunday afternoon memorial service. An obituary with additional information appears in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.