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PCC’s Co-Founder Beka Horton Honored through Memorial Service

  • Guest pointing out photo in funeral brochure.
  • The view from the balcony of the Crowne Centre stage and casket.
  • Rhonda Autrey speaking from stage balcony.
  • Hearse pulling onto campus.
  • Pallbearers carrying the casket up the aisle.
  • Funeral home staff members moving the casket to the hearse.
  • Ray and Ann Gibbs singing for the funeral service.
  • Woman in a black dress singing during the funeral service.
  • Pastor Redlin speaking on stage at the memorial.
  • Portrait of Beka Horton.
  • Dr. Joel Mullenix speaking on stage.
  • Close up of a guest holding the funeral program.
  • Digital rendering of the burial site grounds.
  • Digital rendering of the burial site grounds.

“My innermost thought is to look at what God’s done. It’s unbelievable what He has done. We certainly cannot take any credit ourselves; we’ve just been doing what our job is. He’s done it, and so it is just beautiful to behold. It’s beautiful to behold.”

Dr. Beka Horton spoke these words when reflecting on the ministries that she and her husband, Dr. Arlin Horton, had been blessed to lead before their retirement in 2012. Having served God faithfully throughout her life, Rebekah Leah Horton went home to be with the Lord on June 27, 2020, at the age of 90.

Both Arlin and Beka credited the blessings of their 60 years of ministry in Pensacola to simply answering God’s calling and letting Him work through their lives. Reflecting on this, she said, “Well, to be truthful, I’m not sure that I could do what I have done except that the Lord says as we give Him our talents and abilities and are obedient, He multiplies them. I think that if I had not gone into the Lord’s work, and we had not followed the Lord’s leading, I’d be very short-changed in my abilities.”

A memorial service, celebrating Beka Horton’s life of ministry and her joy in sharing Christ with others, was held in the Crowne Centre on the campus of Pensacola Christian College. The service respected her wishes and honored the Lord through Scripture readings from Campus Church pastor Dr. Jeff Redlin; selected song performances by Alisha Burke, Drs. Ray and Ann Gibbs, and Luann Mutsch; a eulogy by Dr. Joel Mullenix; and a dramatic reading of the poem “Go Down Death” from Rhonda Autrey.

As Dr. Mullenix recounted stories about Beka Horton during the eulogy, he chose to focus on one quality that defined her to thousands across her lifetime—her love of introducing people to Jesus. “As I think back on the life of my friend and colleague, Beka Horton, I think of a woman who loved souls and who wanted and actively sought to introduce people to Jesus,” he said. “I was not there, but I heard on one occasion as a young bride and just married, out in the home state of her new husband, Arlin Horton, she set up and taught Bible lessons to children in the city park so she could introduce them to Jesus—right out at the start of their ministry.”

As requested, Beka was laid to rest on the campus of Pensacola Christian College.

Years earlier, the Hortons planned to be buried on the College campus out of the love they shared for the ministry. “We are doing our best to honor them in a distinctive way,” said College President Troy Shoemaker. “A memorial garden has been designed that conveys the admiration and lasting respect of the entire PCC community. It’s more than they penned in their humble requests, but their faithfulness and leadership deserve a beautiful place of honor.”

The burial site, designed by Dr. and Mrs. Shoemaker together with longtime campus architects Strobel and Hunter, took inspiration from the gravesite of Ronald Reagan. When complete, the memorial will comprise a garden-like atmosphere and will feature a 14-foot circular enclosure. The site is located under stately live oak trees south of Four Winds and faces west toward the Crowne Centre and MacKenzie Building. Two pathways leading to the area will make it a peaceful destination for guests to pay tribute and thank God for the legacy of our Founders.

Please continue to pray for the friends and family of Beka Horton, and especially Arlin, her husband of nearly 70 years.

Those wanting to honor her legacy through financial contributions can make a donation in her honor toward PCC scholarships.