Lyle Ralph McCoy began his missionary service in Mexico in 1964. He accomplished the incredible feat of being the first to reach three Indian tribes with the Gospel. His rugged ministry logged many thousands of miles on foot, by mule and horseback, and in his later years by all-terrain vehicle.
He was legend in his physical conditioning and as a young missionary won top honors in the one body-building event he entered. He never competed again, but continued his exercise until health issues would no longer allow starting his day with a thousand pushups and another thousand sit ups. His chiseled physique was always covered with loose-fitting clothing. He simply wanted to be ready for the rugged conditions of mountain life among the tribes and the people he loved so deeply. The real mark upon his life was his fervor in the Lord’s service and his love for the indigenous people he served.
Lyle was married to Eileen Swartz McCoy for thirty-six years. She was a faithful wife, missionary, and the mother of their three married sons. She preceded him in death in 1998 after spending most of their lives together in Tlapa, Mexico. His ministry was responsible for recruiting all of the first children who came to the famed Bethesda Homes for Tribal Children.
In 1998 Lyle was married to Josefina McCoy. To this union were added three more sons as his ministry among the tribes continued to expand to village after village.
Dr. Lyle McCoy was a graduate of Baptist Christian College, Tennessee Temple Bible College, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity by Baptist Christian College in recognition of his life achievements in as a front line missionary.
Lyle is survived by his wife Josefina and their three young sons Abdiel, David and Jose. He is also survived by his son Steve and wife Sherian McCoy, son Tim and his wife Ishel McCoy; son Dan and wife Barbra McCoy; six grandchildren: Elisabeth, Drew, Timothy, Lyle, Isabella and Lara. He will be deeply missed by his family that will reunite with him in Heaven by the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Dr. Lyle McCoy lived a life of sacrifice and service. He was humble in his manner and a faithful preacher of the Gospel. He is now resting in the arms of his Savior and enjoying the fruit of a life lived in the ministry. When the history of missions is written on Mexico, his chapter will be an especially lively and exciting one.