Batsell Barrett Baxter
1916-1982

Sketch On The Life Of B.B. Baxter, Lambert 
Sound Doctrine Mag. Cover Featuring B.B.B. 
Batsell Barrett Baxter, G.A. Obituary, Collins 
Directions To Grave/Pictures 
The Influence Of Baxter, North 

Sketch On The Life Of B.B. Baxter

          Batsell Barrett Baxter was born of Mr. and Mrs. Batsell Baxter September 23, 1916, at Cordell, Oklahoma. He was baptized by his father, Batsell Baxter, in 1925.

          On December 22, 1938, Batsell Barrett Baxter married Miss Wanda Roberts. To this union three sons were born: Scott, Alan and John.

          Baxter began preaching in 1933 at Nashville, Tennessee. He received his training from David Lipscomb College, Abilene Christian College (B.A.), University of Southern California (M.A., Ph.D.), Vanderbilt University (B.D.). While in California he served two churches as minister: Whittier, 1938-42, and Burbank. 1942-45.

          Baxter was well prepared to serve in any responsible position in a Christian College, being the son of Batsell Baxter who served as president of three Christian colleges: Abilene Christian College, David Lipscomb College and Pepperdine College. When Baxter returned from California he was appointed head of the Speech Department at David Lipscomb College. Later he was named to the chairmanship of the Department of Bible upon the passing of his father, Dr. Batsell Baxter, March 4, 1956.

          Baxter preached for the Trinity Lane Church in Nashville from 1946-51. He served the Hillsboro Church as its regular preacher from 1951 until his retirement in 1980.

          He was an excellent and well-known writer. He wrote for the Gospel Advocate, Twentieth Century Christian, and other periodicals. He wrote a number of books: "Heart of the Yale Lectures," "Preachers of Today" (with Norvel Young), Volumes 1, 2, 3, "Speaking for the Master," "If I Be Lifted Up," "Great Preachers of Today," Volume 1, "Churches of Today" (with Norvel Young). Three of his most recent publications were "The Family of God," "The Search for Happiness," and "A Devotional Guide to the Bible Lands." 

Later In Life

          This beloved gospel preacher was the first preacher for the "Herald of Truth" television program in August, 1959. Later he became a regular speaker for the radio series of "Herald of Truth." He produced his last television program in October, 1981, and his last radio program in December, 1981. At one time he served as an instructor at Pepperdine University in California where his father was the founding president.

          In 1962, Baxter received Abilene Christian's Outstanding Alumnus of the Year award.

          In 1961, he led a month-long evangelistic campaign in London, England.

          In November of 1978, a program honoring Baxter at David Lipscomb College brought in contributions and gifts totaling $101,669 to the College.

          This sincere Christian man will be remembered as a Bible scholar, Christian educator and an eloquent gospel preacher. He was the author of 18 books.

          Those who knew Batsell Barrett Baxter loved him. They do not think of him just as a national radio and television figure, but as a just, honorable, sincere, warm-hearted, gentle, kind individual. In his passing the church has lost one of its greatest preachers, teachers, leaders, influential men of the century. Batsell Barrett Baxter died on Wednesday, March 31, 1982, in the Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Funeral service was conducted at the Hillsboro Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday, April 2, at 10:00 a.m. He was survived by his wife, Mrs. Wanda (Roberts) Baxter; three sons: Scott and John of Nashville. Tennessee, and Alan of Stark, Florida; and two grandchildren. Brandon and Will.

          Eddie Montgomery led the congregational singing for the service. Dan Harless, long time associate of Baxter at Hillsboro, read appropriate Scriptures and led in prayer. Talks were made by Harold Hazelip and Willard Collins. The final prayer was led by Larry Van Steensburg, minister of the Hillsboro Church.

          Baxter was 65 at the time of his passing. He fought a long battle with cancer. He underwent surgery a number of times from 1977 until the time of his passing. His great example and good works will live long to influence many to live close to the Lord that we may be together in heaven.

-In Memoriam, Gussie Lambert, Shreveport, LA, page 20,21

back to top


Spring, 1982 Issue of Rex A. Turner's Sound Doctrine Relating 
The Passing Of B.B. Baxter, Spring, 1982

back to top

Batsell Barrett Baxter
Buried April 2, 1982

Willard Collins

          Funeral services for Batsell Barrett Baxter were conducted at the Hillsboro Church of Christ in Nashville on Friday, April 2, at 10:00 a.m. Baxter died on Wednesday, March 31 in Baptist Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Wanda Roberts Baxter; three sons-Scott and John of Nashville, and Alan of Stark, Florida; and two grandchildren, Brandon and Will.

          Eddie Montgomery led the congregational singing for the service. Dan Harless, long-time associate of Baxter's at Hillsboro, read appropriate scriptures and led in prayer. Talks were made by Harold Hazelip and Willard Collins. The final prayer was led by Larry Van Steensburg, present minister of the Hillsboro congregation.

          Baxter was 65 years of age. He had fought a long battle with cancer. He underwent his first surgery for this illness in 1964. He was admitted to the hospital on February 24 of this year. He had undergone surgery a number of times from 1977 until the present.

          This eloquent gospel preacher was appointed chairman of the Bible department at David Lipscomb College in 1957. He came to Lipscomb in 1945 as head of the Speech Department.

          He was very interested in the work of the GOSPEL ADVOCATE. He worked as a member of the Centennial Committee in 1955 with B. C. Goodpasture, and he was a member of the 20th Century Committee with Ira North and Willard Collins for many years.

          Baxter was educated at David Lipscomb College, Abilene Christian University, the University of Southern California and Vanderbilt University.

          His father, Batsell Baxter, was president of three Christian colleges: Abilene, Lipscomb and Pepperdine, and was also a well-known gospel preacher.

          Batsell Barrett Baxter preached for the congregation at Whittier , California from 1938-41. He then served the congregation in North Hollywood, California from 1941-45.

          He became head of the speech department at David Lipscomb College and was later named to the chairmanship of the department of Bible upon the passing of his father.

          He preached for the Trinity Lane church in Nashville from 1946-51, and served the Hillsboro congregation as its regular preacher from 1951 until his retirement in 1980. At the time of his death, he was an elder of the Hillsboro church.

          This beloved gospel preacher appeared first as the preacher for the television program "Herald of Truth" in August of 1959. Later he became a regular speaker for the radio series of "Herald of Truth." He produced his last television program last October and his last radio program last December.

          When he came to Nashville in 1945, he preached for the Belmont congregation. He also served at one time as an instructor at Pepperdine University in California where his father was the founding president. Three of his most recent publications were: The Family of God, The Search for Happiness and A Devotional Guide to the Bible Lands.

          In 1962, Baxter received Abilene Christian's Outstanding Alumnus of the Year award. In 1961, he led a month-long evangelistic campaign in London, England. In November of 1978, a program honoring Baxter at David Lipscomb College brought in contributions and gifts totaling $101,669 to the institution.

          This sincere Christian man will be remembered as a Bible scholar, Christian educator and an eloquent gospel preacher. He was the author of 18 books.

          I do not think of our friend Batsell Barrett Baxter just as a national radio and television figure, but as a warm-hearted, gentle and kind person!

          David Lipscomb College has lost its most widely known and best-loved administrator and faculty member.

          Tom McMeen, chairman of the Board of Directors at David Lipscomb College and an elder of the Hillsboro congregation in Nashville, said of his friend: "Batsell was one of the most loved and respected men I have ever known. He was one of the easiest to work with as a member of the faculty at Lipscomb, as a minister and as a fellow elder."

–Gospel Advocate Articles – Vol. CXXIV No. 8 April 15, 1982 pages 228,229, 242

back to top  

The Influence Of
Batsell Barrett Baxter
Flows On Like A
Mighty River

Ira North

          On Wednesday morning, March 31, the beloved Batsell Barrett Baxter crossed Jordan. We knew him well and loved him much. We had taught with him for eighteen years at David Lipscomb College. We had served with him on the 20th Century Committee of the GOSPEL ADVOCATE for a quarter of a century. We had lunch with Batsell Barrett on a regular basis for thirty years. The last few years Avon and I met once each month with Willard and Ruth Collins, and Wanda and Batsell and to enjoy a period of fellowship. We referred to our meetings as a "Crisis Luncheon," because we discussed the various crises in our brotherhood, in our church work and in Christian education. We feel a great sense of personal loss in the passing of this noble, gentle and faithful gospel preacher. We shall miss his fellowship, his counsel, and his unstinted friendship.

The Power and Importance of a Good Family Background

          When we think of Batsell Barrett Baxter, we think of the power and importance of a good family background. Batsell Barrett's father was a distinguished preacher and educator. He was President of David Lipscomb College, Harding College, and Pepperdine. His mother was a godly woman, who dedicated him from the womb to the work of the Lord. Batsell Barrett was blessed with a gracious and charming Christian woman for a wife. No wife could have stood by more faithfully and loyally and devotedly than she has since the malignancy was first discovered nearly eighteen years ago. Brother Baxter lived in a modest home and always on a modest salary compared to his great talents, and yet if he had had $10,000,000, he could not have bought the love and care and the concern that he received from the woman he loved.

          To have a great man we must start with his grandfather and grandmother. We ask all young married couples to begin now to plan to give their children a strong family background. Give them a father and a mother who are loyal and faithful to the church and who respect the dignity and the sanctity of marriage.

          The last speech we heard Batsell Barrett make was in the chapel assembly at David Lipscomb when we presented him with the Couple of the Year Award from the GOSPEL ADVOCATE. He told those young people that those who follow the path of free sex and serial marriage could never have what he and Wanda had and what Ruth and Willard Collins have and what Ira and Avon North have. He urged them to accept the Biblical principles of the dignity and sanctity and permanence of Christian marriage.

The Power and Importance of Preparation

          When we think of Batsell Barrett Baxter, we think of the great power and importance of preparation. After graduating from high school, he paid the price for a college education at Abilene Christian University. He then went on for the Masters degree and the Ph.D. degree in Speech at Southern California. And although he had family responsibilities and responsibilities at Lipscomb, he went on for another graduate degree at Vanderbilt, in order that Lipscomb might be fully accredited for its Bible work with the Southern Association.

          Years of preparation require strength of character, and sometimes it is easy to give up. Moses prepared for eighty years for the great task of leading the children of Israel out of bondage. Our blessed Lord prepared thirty years for his three years of public ministry. If Batsell Barrett Baxter had not been willing to spend many years in diligent study and preparation, he could never have wielded the great influence in our brotherhood and reached the thousands of people for good that he did. He was willing to pay the price, and God used him mightily.

The Power and Importance of A Good Example

          When we think of Batsell Barrett Baxter, we think of the power and importance of a good example. He lived so close to the Lord, that when you followed Batsell Barrett, you were following Jesus. It was not only his excellent gift of speech and his ability to communicate that endeared him to thousands of students and to our brotherhood, it was the good example that he set. This endeared him to the members of the church at Hillsboro, to his vast television and radio audience, and to the students who sat at his feet.

The Power and Importance of a Meek and Humble Spirit

          When we think of Batsell Barrett Baxter, we think of the power and importance of a meek and humble spirit. Brother Willard Collins was at his best when he delivered the tribute at the funeral service and pointed to 1 Corinthians 13, and stated that he believed the real secret of Batsell's success was found in that 13th verse, "And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

The Power and Importance of Overcoming Evil with Good

          When we think of Batsell Barrett Baxter, we think of the power and importance of overcoming evil with good. Some thirty years ago, Brother Willard Collins, Batsell Barrett Baxter, and this writer were meeting, as was our custom each week, to work on the circulation of the GOSPEL ADVOCATE. Brother Collins that day had received a paper from Lufkin, Texas. It was ugly and critical of Batsell Barrett Baxter. When I walked in and read it, I could feel my blood pressure rising, and within I felt anger and hostility. When Brother Batsell Barrett Baxter came in, Willard Collins said, "Read this and see what they think about you in Lufkin, Texas." Brother Baxter carefully read the article, and about that time they brought our food and Willard asked Batsell Barrett to give thanks for the food. He bowed his head and prayed the most sincere prayer for the man who had written the article. He called his name and the name of his family, and prayed that God would bless them with good health and happiness and would use them for the spread of the Kingdom and for the good of the work of the Lord. I could feel the hostility lifting from my own soul, and when he said Amen, I said to myself, "There is indeed an Israelite in whom there is no guile."

          We wish that everyone in our brotherhood could have attended the funeral service of Batsell Barrett Baxter. It was more like a graduating exercise than a funeral. Brother Baxter himself had planned the service. The congregational singing was superb as the auditorium and balcony of the Hillsboro church were filled to overflowing. We sang "When We Walk With the Lord," "Oh To Be Like Thee," "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," and "My Faith Looks Up To Thee." We all left rejoicing in the faith in which he had lived and now the glorious hope of the resurrection in which he fell asleep. We are thankful to the Heavenly Father that for sixty-five years he gave us Batsell Barrett Baxter. His influence rolls on like a mighty river, and heaven will be sweeter because of this gentle, kind, faithful and loyal servant of our blessed Lord. We believe we speak for millions when we say to Brother Baxter: "Christian soldier, well done. The battle is over, the victory is won.”

–Gospel Advocate Articles – Vol. CXXIV No. 8 April 15, 1982 pages 229, 242

back to top  

Location Of The Grave Of Batsell Barrett Baxter

Batsell Barrett Baxter is buried in the Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery In Nashville, Tennessee. The Cemetery is located behind the 100 Oaks Shopping Center that faces I-65 just before the I-440 Interchange. From 100 Oaks travel east on Thompson Lane and turn left into the main entrance of the Woodlawn Cemetery. Take your first left and travel up the hill. Note that Fountain View C & D will be on your left. At the top of the hill you will see a fountain area. Turn to the right and pull off to the left. You should be in front of a sign saying, "Fountain Lawn A." There will be a side walk to the right of the sign. Go up the side walk counting five rows deep. Head back south six plots to the Baxter plot. The stone is facing east.

Section Fountain Lawn A - Lot 61 #2
GPS N 36º 06' 494" x WO 86º 45'
411"
Accuracy to within 20ft.

back to top

See A Map Showing Other Graves At Woodlawn! Woodlawn Cemetery

History Home       History Index Page