NEWTON -Funeral services for Reverend J. B. Costilow will be held Tuesday, December 8, 2009, at 11:00 A.M. at Liberty Baptist Church in Newton County with Reverend David Jay and Dr. James Read officiating. Internment will follow in Liberty Church Cemetery. Visitation will be at Webb Funeral Home in Newton from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM Monday, December 7, 2009. James F. Webb Funeral Home in Newton is in charge of arrangements. Rev. Costilow was born in Grenada, Mississippi September 14, 1922. He accepted Christ at age 26 and was called to the ministry a year later. After earning degrees from Clarke College and Mississippi College, he received his Master of Theology degree in 1956 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He was ordained into the gospel ministry by First Baptist Church in Grenada on February 25, 1951. After seminary, Bro. Costilow assumed duties as director of the Baptist Student Union at Clarke College and remained in that position for 34 years. He also pastored at Smyra Baptist Church in Indiana, Goodwater Baptist Church in Meehan Junction, Bolton Baptist Church, and served as interim pastor in Newton and Decatur. He spoke in many churches to promote Clarke College and BSU work in the state. He was called as interim pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Newton County and remained as their pastor for 35 years. His love for missions was evident throughout his life. He instilled the Acts 1:8 challenge to go and serve to everyone he met. He was the Barnabas to many young people as he encouraged many to accept the call to the preaching ministry, mission fields at home and around the world. He set the example for local missions by conducting a weekly Bible Study for the residents of Congregate Senior Citizens Complex in Newton for many years. Rev. Costilow was preceded in death by his father Edward Jefferson Costilow and mother Martha Bell Collins Costilow, one brother Ed Costilow; seven sisters, Lottie Gant, Myrtle Taylor, Etta Little, Viola Perry, Octavie Perry, Louise Howell, and Lois Clemons, one grandson Joseph Michael Alford. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Virginia Beck Costilow of Newton; one son, Larry Costilow (Becky) of Meridian; two daughters, Gail Birdsong (Bill) of Edwards, and Sherry Alford (Mack) of Philadelphia; three grandchildren, Dawn Crosby (Thad) of Clinton, Jason Alford (Rhonda) of Vicksburg, and Jennifer Walker (Glenn) of Macon, Georgia; and 5 great grandchildren. Serving as pallbearers are his sons-in-law and grandchildren, Jason Alford, Mack Alford, Bill Birdsong, Phil Chisolm, Brennan Crosby, Thad Crosby, and Glenn Walker. The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering to support International Missions for Southern Baptists.