Members and friends of the Baptist History and Heritage Society mourn the death of Barbara Nell “Babs” Baugh earlier this week in San Antonio, Texas from complications related to Parkinson’s Disease. As President of the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation, she supported a variety of progressive Baptist ministries and institutions, including the BHHS. Executive Director John Finley noted that “following the dissolution of the Southern Baptist Convention Historical Commission in the 1990s, Babs Baugh recognized the importance of our organization, then known as the Southern Baptist Historical Society, asserting its independence in order to continue the work of the Commission and to serve a broad constituency of Baptist churches and individuals. She was a great friend of the Society and it is not too much to say that we would not have been able to maintain our mission to help Baptists discover, conserve, assess, and share their history apart from the generosity of Babs Baugh and her family’s foundation.”
In recent years, Baugh Foundation grants have provided funds for the Society to create new books, pamphlets, videos, and other resources used by local churches, universities, seminaries, and divinity schools throughout the United States and in as many as fifteen other countries. In addition, funding has supported the Society’s peer-reviewed Journal, its annual conference held each May, as well as a popular “young scholars” program designed to encourage Baptist historians just beginning their academic careers.
John Finley observed: “One of God’s greatest gifts was Babs Baugh. She celebrated her own life to the fullest and was the life of every party. Those of us who were privileged to know her and to visit in her home discovered her to be a woman whose life was filled with a strong faith in God as well as a great love for art, music, travel, family, and Baptist people. Thanks be to God for her life.”
Members and friends of the Society join together in remembering the life of Babs Baugh and in praying for her husband John Jarrett, her daughters Jackie Baugh Moore and Julie Baugh Cloud, and the other members of her family.
A private family graveside service will be held in Houston, Texas on Saturday, June 20, 2020. A public celebration of life memorial will be conducted at a later date.