Dr. George W. “Billy” Baugham, Sr., went to be with the Lord on April 5, 2018, at the age of 77 due to Vascular Dementia. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 48 years, Eva and their children: Billy Baugham, Jr., (Jennifer), Bradley Baugham (Becky) and Holeigh Geer (Alan). Billy will also be fondly remembered by his ten grandchildren: Lindsey, Ashley, Emily, Katherine, Carson, Haddon, David, Caleb, Eva and Sophia, by his brother, Irvin (Sytha) Baugham, and by his sister and brother-in-laws Doug (Sue) Weldy, Glenda Weldy, Bruce (Jody) Weldy, Elaine (Mark) Truex. He was preceded by his brother-in-law Roger Weldy. He will also be remembered by his numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, chaplains and dear friends.
Billy was born in Rich Square, NC. He came to faith in Christ in his late teens through a Billy Graham crusade. He pastored Grace Baptist Church in Panama City, FL. In July 1974, Billy left Grace Baptist Church and entered Chaplain Basic Course at Ft. Hamilton, NY. He proudly served his country as an Army Chaplain for twenty years and retired as a Major. His assignments included duty in Korea and Germany, Ft. Monmouth, Ft. Jackson, Ft. Gordon, Ft. Hamilton, Ft. Campbell, Vint Hill Farms Station and Ft. Hood. Before his service in the Army, Dr. Baugham also served briefly in the Air Force in the Drum and Bugle Corps until he was medically discharged. He led multiple trips to Israel. He also held services in the ancient Roman Coliseum in memory of the Christian martyrs where he preached the message of Christ. This is the same spot the Pope stands for Mass when he visits the Coliseum.
Chaplain Baugham fought well for “the faith delivered to the saints.” He gave testimony to the Staff of the Army and others about serious issues in the military regarding discrimination against Bible-believing Chaplains. Chaplain Baugham also faced strong retribution by an Army Command Chaplain for his refusal to teach anti-biblical, immoral doctrine to soldiers. As a result of Chaplain Baugham’s stand against this immoral program, the program was shut down after Congressional inquiry by the late Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. Chaplain Baugham was later exonerated by a high Army Court. Chaplain Baugham also gave testimony to the late Senator Strom Thurmond regarding illegal conduct and compromise at Vint Hill Farms Station (VHFS), VA. VHFS was later closed.
Chaplain Baugham received many awards. The highlight of his awards came at his retirement ceremony on March 31, 1994, in Ft. Hood, TX. Chaplain Baugham was awarded the Legion of Merit, among the highest medals of military heraldry. The prestigious award denotes excellence in performance and exceptional meritorious service during an officer’s career.
Chaplain Baugham served as Vice President of the Associated Gospel Churches (AGC) from 1985 to 1991. He served as the AGC President from 1991 to 2012, placing chaplains into the military, the Veterans Affairs, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Additionally, Dr. Baugham served on the Executive Committee of the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF), was the Chairman of the Endorsers Conference for Veterans Affairs Chaplaincy (ECVAC), and served as the Executive Director to the International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers (ICECE).
Chaplain Baugham received his BA and MDiv degrees from Bob Jones University (BJU), where he also completed PhD work (ABD). Chaplain Baugham also received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from BJU. He was a recipient of the Bob Jones Memorial Award for the Defense of the Faith and the Leadership Award from Tennessee Temple Baptist Seminary. Chaplain Baugham was president of the Nikonian Literary Society and president of the Graduate Class at BJU. While serving in the Army, he also received an MA from Pepperdine University and did further doctoral work at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Chaplain Baugham graduated from the Army Chaplains’ Basic and Advanced Courses and the Clinical Pastoral Education School at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
“After he served the purpose of God in his own generation, he fell asleep,” (Acts 13:36). Billy Baugham was ushered into the presence of Jesus Christ, his Savior and Lord. “The just man walketh in his integrity; his children are blessed after him,” (Prov 20:7). He was a godly husband, father, and grandfather. He grew in faith and grace continually and became an example of strong and unwavering Christian character. He was a man of unconditional love. Billy spoke often of the marvelous works of his Lord. He was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ and quick to share the “Good News” to all who would listen.
The viewing will be held at 11:00 AM at Heritage Bible Church located on 2005 Old Spartanburg Rd., Greer, SC 29650, on Tuesday, April 10th. The funeral service will follow at 12:30 PM. The committal service—with full military honors—will be held at 3:00 PM at the M.J. “Dolly” Cooper Veteran’s Cemetery at 140 Inway Dr., Anderson, SC 29621.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Associated Gospel Churches (AGC), 215 Pine Knoll Drive, Greenville, SC 29609.