Object of the Day

Balboa Baptist Church Sunday School

This photograph was taken around 1961.


Did you go to the Balboa Baptist Church?

Can you identify anyone in this photograph? Were you photographed in this photo?

Please share with us in the comments section below!


  • Nina Brown Kosik

    Lovely church. I remember especially associating the Lee family (Fred, Kenny, Angela), & the True (Mildred & Bruce) & Forbes (Jim & Joan) famiies. I was often the guest when Pastor Beebe held “Fill the Pew” Night. Mildred (True) & Webb Hearne were the spectacular soloists.

    • Judi

      I was googling Pastor Beeby, because my sister and I and our husbands are going to Panama in June to visit our missionary friends Sara Watkins and Edel Rasmussen and we are going to visit Balboa Heights Baptist Church where we used to go. Our father was stationed at the Panama Canal Zone from 1968 to 1972. I ran across your note and was wondering if you knew my family. My Dad and Mom have both passed. Their names are LeRoy C. Smith and Mellie Smith.

      • Mimi Stratford Collins

        I’m sorry, Judi, I would have missed your family. I left in ’63 to finish college, and my family left in ’65. I’m glad you’re returning; if this will be your first visit, it will be bittersweet, with a lot of changes, but it will be wonderful!

      • Tamara

        Dear Judi, I am trying to track down an Emberá grammar book by Edel Rasmussen…and was so pleased to see that you know him! I would be so grateful if you were to contact me at “info (at) onecommonheart.org, if you see this message. Thank you dearly!
        -Tamara Kellogg

      • Charles Marsh

        I went to church at Balboa Baptist, around 1962. My dad was stationed there. I remember Pastor Beeby. Always wore a white suit.

    • Norma Barkman

      Judi, I saw this several months ago and then lost the link so I am wondering if you have been back to Panama and visited with Sara Watkins. She was a friend during our tour in Panama from 1963-1969. She often stayed with me while my husband was in Viet Nam. I was living in Diablo Heights that year and welcomed her visits when she came in for supplies. I also visited with her in the jungle during the spring of 1968. So long ago but remember it like yesterday!
      would love to hear from you.
      Norma Barkman

      • chinyere97

        Hello Norma! I do desk research for the organization One Common Heart that works with the Embera people that Edel and Sara were so fond of. Right now, we need resources for our indigenous language classes, and we looking for a book written by Edel Rasmussen. Do you know any way we could contact her? (Or Sara Watkins?)

  • Cheryl Russell

    This church had a significant impact on my life. My parents were active members of First Baptist Church, Balboa Heights. My sister and I went there through high school and still talk about the friendships made there, church camp, youth fellowship, Sunday School, etc. We both accepted Christ as our Savior and were baptized there. My sister got married at this church in 1958. This photo was taken during Vacation Bible School but I am unable to recognize anyone. The pastor, William H. Beeby and his wife, Jean, raised their son Paul, and three daughters – Judy, Mary Jean, and Ruthie (who was born at Gorgas Hospital) – they all attended Canal Zone schools. During our adult life my husband and I were members of this church while working in the Canal Zone from 1972 – 1998 when we moved to Florida. Pastor Beeby had retired before that timeframe,

  • Bill Snyder

    The picture is not the Sunday school, it is the summer vacation bible school. They took a picture each year. I have two of them. One is the 1949 and the other is 1952. My brother a myself are in both oh those along with my mother who taught. This picture is not 1961 because the Palm tree on the right was taken down some time before that. It was not there in a April 1960 picture I have of the church. And I think that a picture I have may have been taken in 1957 and it is not there in that photo. It is the same size as my bible school picture from 1952 and the clothing styles are the same. I guess it is 53, 54 55 or 56. We lived across the street from the church from 1955 until the 1970’s.

  • Ricardo (Rick) Lay Jr.

    This church was where may parents took me and my sister Mei-Ling when we were about 9-10 years old. I sang in the choir, participated in youth activities and made the best friends in my life. Pastor Beeby was a wonderful shepherd and the one who introduced all of our family to the wonderful message of the gospel. I remember the Wed. night prayer meetings and the new year service in a very special way, as well as the camp at Taboga island and then in Santa Clara. Can’t wait for the BIG reunion in heaven. To God be the glory !!

  • Norma Barkman

    This picture brought back wonderful memories of our time in the CZ from 1963-1969. It was here that life really began for Charley and me as we committed our life to Christ soon after arriving in the CZ and were baptized by Pastor Beeby. John & Jayne Owens, Ken & Dottie Manthorne and Bob & Helen Slaven were special friends to us along with the Snyders, Keigleys, Petersons, Lays, Hamptons, Cottons and many others.
    Someone in an above post commented on Sara Watkins and Edel Rasmussen. Sara stayed with me when she came into the CZ for supplies during the year that Charley was in Viet Nam. I have lost contact with her and would love to have her address. I am on Facebook and would like to befriend any of you from Balboa Heights Baptist Church.

    • Linda Edginton Prieskorn

      Linda Edginton. .Barbara was my mother and she taught Sunday School. ..Mr. Snyder was the Jr. Pastor. .I will NEVER forget. It was due to him..I was saved.Pastor Beebe also Baptized me.Looking for anyone who knew us.Mother also sang in the choir..I was adopted from Costa Rica and my Mother went back and adopted another girl. .Virginia who became my sweet sister.I wanted to add..Mother taught at the camp and I remember the Snyder’s, Hamilton’s,Dolly Clinched was “my aunt Dolly “,Peterson’s (saw them right before losing Mama, Keighley and the Cotton”s.I was flower girl for Nancy? Saw them at last reunion. Would love to hear from anyone. ..That was a family church. I loved Pastor. Daddy worked on Canal so we were all over til he passed in1965..we then moved to Fl.

    • The Stovers

      1st Baptist was a special time for us, 1972-1975. Yes, it was a welcoming family church even for those of us who were there for military assignments. Pastor Bill Beeby had great impact in our lives as did his son-in-law, Pastor Gary Inman, We still think of 1st Baptist every time we hear or sing “Wonderful Grace of Jesus”. We were able to participate in a couple of the church’s ministries in the Chiriqui Provence and out on the San Blas Islands. Sweet time.

  • Blanche Hartman

    my name is Blanche Newkirk, my father was station at Albrook AFB, went to Balboa Baptist Church from 2nd thru 6th grade and have wonderful memories ,bible studies, church camp, wonderful friendships. My fathers name Robert C. Newkirk, mother Joann Newkirk. Im returning to Panama June of 2020, very excited.

  • Melinda Card

    Apparently my grandparents were married by a minister of this church (Alfred Carpenter) in November 1929. ISO anyone whose relatives might have been around at that time- or photographs or other records (we have the marriage license)- to connect us to these ancestors.
    Their last name was Carter (Nick/Howard and Marianne). Please P.M. me on FB if you can help.

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