Biographical Sketch On The Life Of Batsell Baxter
Batsell Baxter was born to Price and Etta Elliott Baxter on November 17, 1886, at Sherman, Texas. He was baptized by T. B. Larimore at a gospel meeting in Sherman, Texas, that lasted almost six months.
In 1912, he married Frances Scott who was a wonderful helpmeet and companion to him through their life together. She passed on to her reward in 1940.
Baxter began preaching in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1908 and attended Nashville Bible School, where he sat at the feet of David Lipscomb and James A. Harding. He was greatly influenced by the life and teaching of David Lipscomb. He stood as a link with such pioneers as Lipscomb, Harding, Elam, Freed and others. He was very much like Lipscomb in his judgment and his mixture of meekness and humility. Both men stood steadfastly for the truth and yet in meekness and in love.
Baxter attended school at Texas Christian University, Baylor University, and taught school at Thorp Springs Christian College, Abilene Christian College, Cordell Christian College and Harding College. He was president of Abilene Christian College from 1924-32, president of David Lipscomb College, 1932-1934, and again in 1943-1946. He was president of George Pepperdine College, 1937-1939. He had been president emeritus and head of the Bible Department at David Lipscomb since 1946. He had written regularly for the Gospel Advocate for 26 years and was a highly respected member of its staff.
At the services that were conducted at Sherman, Texas, on March 7, Don Morris recalled the influence of Baxter upon his life, and stated that it was quite possible that he would never have been associated with Abilene Christian College had it not been for Baxter. He first met Baxter when his father took him to see the young Dean at Thorp Springs Christian College. He paid tribute to Baxter's courage and vision in leading the college to the new campus in Abilene and in building the new buildings to provide for the school's growth.
Athens Clay Pullias paid tribute to the great assistance Baxter had been to him, personally, and to David Lipscomb College. He emphasized the fact that Baxter would live on in his influence on the lives of students who had studied with him.
It was the privilege of those present to close the service by recounting some of the attributes of Baxter's life as a Christian and as a gospel preacher. He was a man like Moses in his meekness. He was a man of vision, a man who encouraged young men to prepare for places of leadership, and was willing to step down and encourage them in taking the lead. He thoroughly believed in Christian education. After Morris had received news of Baxter's death, he opened a letter from Baxter expressing appreciation for the wonderful lectureship week in Abilene. The letter contained a check for Abilene College. Truly, a great prince in Israel died on March 4,1956, when Baxter went to be with his Lord.
Baxter began preaching in 1908 in Nashville, Tennessee. He preached in numerous places, particularly in Corsicana, Texas, and had numerous appointments around the Christian colleges where he taught. He preached the gospel in 21 States.
Funeral service was conducted in Nashville, Tennessee, by Athens Clay Pullias, B. C. Goodpasture, George Benson, and R. C. Bell. The body was taken to his original home in Sherman, Texas, where another service was conducted by Don Morris of Abilene Christian College and Athens Clay Pullias of David Lipscomb College.
Baxter is dead at the age of 70, but he still speaks through the work of his son, Batsell Barrett Baxter, whose work continues to live. He speaks through his thousands of boys and girls who have felt the impact of his life. He speaks through his writings of his lifetime. We thank God for the blessing of knowing Baxter through the years. We shall miss his counsel and encouragement. May the Lord multiply his teaching and influence for the cause so that untold good may redound to the glory of God through the ages. His body was laid to rest along side that of his faithful companion who preceded him in death, in the Holloway Cemetery near Sherman, Texas. He was survived at his death by his son, Batsell Barrett Baxter, who has now joined his father in death.
-In Memoriam, Gussie Lambert, Shreveport, LA 1988, pages 18-20
Batsell Baxter Called Home
We regret to announce the death of Brother Baxter at 8:10 P.M., on Sunday, March 4. He suffered a stroke while eating his noon meal and died at St. Thomas Hospital, here in Nashville, without regaining consciousness.
At the time of his passing, Brother Baxter was president emeritus and head of the Bible department at David Lipscomb College. He had been a staff writer of the GOSPEL ADVOCATE since 1930. An extended notice will appear later.
"Blessed (Happy) are the dead who die in the Lord." -EDITOR.
-Gospel Advocate Vol. XCVIII, No. 11, March 15, 1956, page. 257
A. R. HOLTON
I met Brother Baxter for the first time in September, 1911, at Thorp Spring, Texas. He had recently graduated from the Nashville Bible School at Nashville, Tenn. He and his wife had moved to Thorp Spring, Texas, where he was a teacher in the Thorp Spring Christian College. These few years were symbolic of the whole of his life. It was his great delight with his wife to take young college student on an all-day outing. He entered into all the fun any took great delight in cooking outdoor meals. He and Mrs. Baxter endeared themselves to every student of the college.
His work as a teacher was outstanding in its influence on students. He gave the impression as being deeply interested in truth for its own sake and what it could do in liberating the personality of the student One seemed to have no fear or other complexes b, being under his instruction. All felt free to ask questions and to make comments.
The next close contact I had with Brother Baxter was after the death of Sister Baxter when he had moved back to Nashville and became president of David Lipscomb College upon the resignation of E H. Ijams. We lived near the campus of David Lipscomb College and upon many occasions we met for long walks on Saturday afternoons. His work al Nashville was highly praised by the brethren. He had been a student in Nashville for four years and had taught there previously. So his moving to Nashville was homecoming.
His going away was as he had wished. He taught the Bible the last day he lived. He carried on his work within a few hours of his death. For nearly seventy years he lived on the earth and a great portion of these years it was his responsibility to lead and guide young people. It was this responsibility that he was discharging to the very end.
Few men among us were wiser in their counsel and judgment than Brother Baxter. His judgment of men and things was an equal to any man among us. He was able to write with clearness and force. He was able to teach with clearness and simplicity.
-Gospel Advocate Vol. XCVIIII No.13, March 29. 1956, pages 292,293
A Tribute to Batsell Baxter
At 8:10 Sunday evening, March 4, Batsell Baxter passed from this life. He had taught his class at the Granny White church of Christ that morning and just a few days before had visited the fiftieth-year lectureship at Abilene Christian College. At this Golden Anniversary he had been signally honored by the college and the reunion with his many friends and former students had thrilled his heart to overflowing. The pageant depicting the first fifty years of the college recounted the years he had unselfishly dedicated to this school. This week was a fitting culmination of an eventful Christian life. Brother Baxter was born in Sherman, Texas, November 17, 1886. He was baptized as a small lad by T. B. Larimore in the gospel meeting in Sherman which lasted nearly six months.
In 1912 he married Frances Fay Scott, who was a wonderful help-meet to him throughout their life together. She passed on in 1940. Brother Baxter began preaching in Nashville in 1908 and attended the Nashville Bible School where he sat at the feet of David Lipscomb and James A. Harding. He was deeply influenced by Brother Lipscomb's life and teaching and is a link with such pioneers as Brethren Lipscomb, Harding, Elam, Freed and others. He was a great deal like Brother Lipscomb in his common sense and in his mixture of firmness and humility. Both men stood steadfastly for the truth and yet in meekness and in love.
Brother Baxter attended school at Texas Christian University, Baylor University, and taught school at Thorp Spring Christian College, Abilene Christian College, Cordell Christian College, and Harding College. He was president of Abilene Christian College from 1924-32, president of Lipscomb College, 1932-34, and again in 1943-46. He was president of George Pepperdine College in 1937-39. He had been president emeritus, and head of the Bible Department at David Lipscomb since 1946. He wrote regularly for the GOSPEL ADVOCATE for twenty-six years and was a highly respected member of its staff.
At the services that were conducted at Sherman, Texas, March 7, Don Morris recalled the influence of Brother Baxter upon his life and stated that it was quite possible that he would never have been associated with Abilene Christian College had it not been for Brother Baxter. He first met Brother Baxter when his father took him to see the young dean of Thorp Spring Christian College. He paid tribute to Brother Baxter's courage and vision in leading the college to the new campus in Abilene and in building the new buildings to .provide for the school's growth. Athens Clay Pullias paid tribute to the great assistance which Brother Baxter had been to him personally and to David Lipscomb College. He emphasized the fact that Brother Baxter would live on in his influence on the lives of students who had studied with him.
It was our privilege to close the service by recounting some of the attributes of Brother Baxter's life as a Christian and as a gospel preacher. He was a man like Moses in his meekness. He was courageous and often had to fight for the right alone, as an executive, yet he was kind. He was a man of vision; a man who encouraged young men to prepare for places of leadership and was willing to step down and encourage them in taking the lead. He thoroughly believed in Christian education. After Brother Morris had received news of his death, he opened a letter from Brother Baxter expressing appreciation for the wonderful lecture week in Abilene. The letter contained a check for Abilene Christian College.
Brother and Sister Baxter were exceedingly hospitable. They kept a number of girls and boys in their home through the years and they entertained strangers as well as friends. Even after Sister Baxter passed on, Brother Baxter continued to show unusual hospitality to his friends.
Truly a great prince has fallen in Israel. But we are thankful for the wonderful hope that we have for him. "Well done, good soldier. We pause to express our deep and abiding gratitude for your help and instruction and encouragement and we turn to serve the same Lord and the same cause with renewed vigor inspired by the memory of your faith and love."
Brother Baxter is dead, yet he still speaks. He speaks through his son, Batsell Barrett. He speaks through his thousands of boys and girls who have felt the impact of his life. He speaks through the writings of a lifetime. As the years come and go, we believe that the accomplishments of this man of God will cause him to be more appreciated than he was during his lifetime. We thank God for the privilege of knowing him so well through the years. We shall miss his counsel and encouragement. May the Lord multiply his teaching and influence for the cause so that untold good may redound to the glory of God through the ages!
-Gospel Advocate Vol. XCVIII, NO. 13, March 29, 1956, Page 298
I feel a deep sense of personal loss in the passing of the beloved Batsell Baxter. His influence was far-reaching in my own life, and I owe to him a debt of gratitude that I cannot pay. It was Brother Baxter who encouraged me so much in the depths of the depression of the thirties and gave me the opportunity of coming to David Lipscomb College to receive a Christian education. He was one of my teachers and amid all the heavy duties and responsibilities as a college president, he had time for every student and took a personal interest in every one of us. In his quiet, yet powerful way, he impressed our lives with the principles of New Testament Christianity. His quick humor, his facile comment, his humility, his devotion to truth, his ability to unmask error and evil and show up their true character, his consecrated home life, his deep personal faith-these are qualities I especially remember about Brother Baxter. For the kindnesses and help extended me during college days, I am eternally grateful to Batsell Baxter.
After several years, it was my privilege to work under him as our leader and president at David Lipscomb College. In those difficult days, he was a towel of strength and sanity to all of his associates: I sought his companionship often, and together we spent many quiet and happy hours. It was an inspiration to talk with him about Bible themes, or to seek his advice about the affairs of life. His life and counsel were a benediction to me.
As death has removed him from earth's scenes, heaven has been made more real, the Christian hope brighter, and the desire within those who knew and loved him stronger to meet "on yonder shore." Would to God we had many more godly men of his strength and character to work "while it is day" in the Master's vineyard. May God grant us the courage and faith to walk with Christ as Brother Baxter walked with him.
-Gospel Advocate Vol. XCVIII, No. 17, April 26, 1956, page. 395
Batsell Baxter—to all who knew him—affectionately "Brother Baxter," finished his course and departed to be with the Lord on Sunday, March 4, 1956. There was something peculiarly fitting in his being called home on the Lord's day, a day in a special sense the Lord's. Many of our preachers have died on the first day of the week. Alexander Campbell died on Sunday, March 4, 1866, exactly ninety years before the death of Brother Baxter. Jesse L. Sewell died on Sunday, June 29, 1890. David Lipscomb died on Sunday, November 11, 1917; E. G. Sewell, on Sunday, May 2, 1924; Granville Lipscomb, on Sunday, February 20, 1910; James A. Harding, on Sunday, May 28, 1922; G. Dallas Smith, on Sunday, November 7, 1920; and J. C. McQuiddy, on Sunday, August 3, 1924. How appropriate, then, that "Brother Baxter" should join "the choir invisible of the immortal dead" on the first day of the week.
Funeral services for Brother Baxter were held on March 6 in the auditorium of the church on Granny White Pike, Nashville, Tenn., where he had been a teacher in the Bible school. Charles Chumley, minister of the church; and Athens Clay Pullias, President; Willard Collins, Vice-President, and J. P. Sanders, Dean, of David Lipscomb College conducted the services. Brother Pullias accompanied the body to Sherman, Texas, where services were conducted at the funeral home by Norvel Young, of Lubbock, Texas; Don H. Morris, President of Abilene Christian College; and Athens Clay Pullias.
"Brother Baxter" is survived by a son, Batsell Barrett Baxter, minister of Hillsboro church of Christ, and professor of speech and Bible at David Lipscomb College, Nashville, Tenn; two sisters, Mrs. Don H. Hockaday, Lipscomb kindergarten teacher, and Miss Elizabeth Baxter, of Denver, Colo.; and three grandsons, Scott, Alan, and John Baxter, of Nashville.
Few men have been able to do so many things so well as "Brother Baxter." As college president, teacher, writer, and preacher he was eminently successful. Hundreds of students in this country and other lands will remember him with gratitude; thousands of his readers will cherish his articles and his memory. His loyalty to the truth, his devotion to duty, and his love for souls were unforgettable. The world is better because he lived; his friends are impoverished because he died. As Markham said, when Lincoln died, he has "left a vast lonesome place against the sky." We all miss him.
"His life was gentle; and the elements so mixed in him, that nature might stand up And say to all the world, This was a man!"
Note carefully the following tributes to the life and memory of "Brother Baxter" by others who knew and loved him:
OFFICERS OF THE COLLEGE
Athens Clay Pullias, President, David Lipscomb College: "One of the most cherished memories those of us left behind at David Lipscomb College will always have of Batsell Baxter is the inspiration we received daily from his quiet, scholarly presence at chapel services. Sitting on the second row, ready to lead a prayer, read a few words from the Bible, or encourage others taking the lead by his close and courteous attention, the President Emeritus was a familiar and beloved figure. At the final chapel program each school year, he always read the Twenty-Third Psalm-as only he could read it. As he pronounced the words, `The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,' no one doubted that he was speaking from the heart. For thousands of Lipscomb students and former students, this psalm will always bring memories of Brother Baxter speaking words of encouragement to them.
"In administrative council meetings, we who are charged with the heavy responsibilities of directing Lipscomb's activities and discharging Christian stewardship over the precious lives entrusted to our care, unfailingly drew strength, inspiration and wisdom from this good and kindly man. Most of all, his influence was felt in the Bible Department which he headed from 1946 until his death. The Bible has always been the heart and center of Lipscomb's educational program. In the Bible classes he exercised a lasting influence on the lives of countless students; and in meetings with his fellow faculty members he inspired them to greater service and more truly dedicated lives in the cause which he served so gladly and so well.
"The life and influence of Batsell Baxter extended far beyond the confines of the Lipscomb campus. No man of his generation has made a greater contribution to Christian education. He has the distinction of having headed three Christian colleges during crucial periods in their history-all of them remaining strong and vital institutions today. He was president of Abilene Christian College, Abilene, Texas, 1924-32, during years of expansion and growth. He was the first president of George Pepperdine College, 1937-39, guiding it through its formative years. He served Lipscomb twice as president-1932-34 and 1943-46. The first period was the severest part of the great depression for Lipscomb, and the second was the initial stage of the Lipscomb Expansion Program, leading to senior college status in 1948 and full accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1954. In addition to these colleges that owe him so much, other Christian schools have also felt his influence as a teacher. He taught at Thorp Spring Christian College, Thorp Spring, Texas, and was dean of Cordell Christian College, Cordell, Okla., two of the early Bible schools that did not survive. He was also on the faculty of Harding College, Searcy, Ark., in later years.
"His career as a gospel preacher, writer, and strong leader in the church of our Lord is equally outstanding. Baptized in Sherman, Texas, in 1895 by the great evangelist, T. B. Larimore, he began preaching in 1908 when he entered the Nashville Bible School (now Lipscomb University), where he was graduated in -1911. He was an active and vigorous preacher wherever his teaching and administrative duties took him until his health failed in 1946, and since 1930 he had been a staff writer for the GOSPEL ADVOCATE. His regular column, `This and That,' was one of the most popular features with ADVOCATE readers, and it furnished a wealth of practical advice to elders, preachers, and other workers in the church. After his active preaching career was curtailed, he continued to have the love and respect of younger evangelists throughout the country, many of whom sought his counsel and guidance in difficult matters.
"After graduating from Lipscomb, he received the B.A. degree from Texas Christian University and the M.A. degree from Baylor University. He was married in 1912 to the former Miss Frances Fay Scott, and their life together was a wonderful example of what God intended the Christian home to be. She died in 1940, and they are survived by a son, Batsell Barrett Baxter, who is the finest monument to both of these consecrated Christians that anyone could have. As minister of the Hillsboro church of Christ in Nashville and professor of speech and Bible at Lipscomb, the son is following in his father's footsteps as an educator and evangelist, and has already achieved recognition as one of the most effective and respected preachers and teachers of his generation.
"Christian education is necessarily a labor of love. The generous spirit of David Lipscomb gave the plan and the land upon which to build what has become a blessing to mankind as David Lipscomb College. Splendid buildings and shining new equipment have been contributed to Lipscomb by those deeply interested in the proper education of young people. The college and each student who has walked through its portals are indebted to the thousands who have financially supported Christian education at Lipscomb. And yet there are greater gifts than money and material things. Consecrated educators who give their lives to the cause of training young people are Lipscomb's most priceless treasure. Among these Batsell Baxter stands at the very top of the list. He gave the last full measure of his strength and wisdom to the cause he loved, and those who are left behind are comforted in the faith that he `shall not want' when God rewards the faithful."
Willard Collins, Vice-President: "To me, Batsell Baxter was a symbol of Christian education-in the home, in the church, and the classroom. He shed a wholesome atmosphere over the entire Lipscomb campus. Lipscomb will not be the same without him. We will miss his counsel and his friendly smile, but his influence will live on through Batsell Barrett, his son, and the thousands whom he taught during a busy and full life."
J. P. Sanders, Dean: "The passing of President Emeritus Baxter leaves a vacancy that will be felt by all of us at David Lipscomb College. Brother Baxter was wise in counsel, able in administration, and kindly in all his attitudes. He was pleasant to work with and was always able to make the members of his staff feel themselves fellow workers. He possessed a remarkable ability to clarify issues in his thinking, and he refused to allow himself to be pushed into positions he did not feel were right. He was steadfast in his loyalty to the Bible as the word of God. In the hearts of thousands of people he distinguished himself as an outstanding Bible teacher."
OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Harry R. Leathers, Chairman: "The Board of Directors will always feel deeply indebted to Brother Baxter for the loyal service he rendered to the college. His vision and leadership as president made possible the great expansion program completed in the succeeding administration, and his interest in encouraging the younger men succeeding him showed his unselfish devotion to the cause of Christian education."
A. M. Burton, Vice-Chairman: "There was something so lovable, so kind, so selfless and so humble about Batsell Baxter that his passing will be mourned by everyone who knew him. He had a consecrated heart full of love for God and humanity. He knew the dreams and hopes of many people. He sensed their joys and their sorrows, and he stood by to help and encourage. His influence as a teacher and preacher and writer and a Christian will be felt around the world. No one has encouraged me more in my religious life than Brother Baxter. I also want to pay tribute to the late Sister Baxter, a truly devoted Christian who shared with her husband in good works for the Master."
M. N. Young, Secretary-Treasurer: "I have known Brother Baxter approximately twenty-five years, and he was always a great inspiration to me. He has done much for the cause of Christian education, and I don't remember ever knowing a better man."
-Gospel Advocate Vol. XCVIII No. 19 May 10, 1956, pages 434-436
Brother Batsell Baxter
Others have written of Brother Batsell Baxter, but possibly no one who wrote has lived quite as close to him for the same length of time as I have.
My first wife was Batsell Baxter's cousin. When we first married, in 1914, and even before, Elizabeth spoke often of her days at the old Nashville Bible school. She could remember all her teachers-their idiosyncrasies, their foibles, their frills, their mannerisms. She also was classmate with G. C. Brewer. As she recited school days in Nashville, having gone over from home on the farm near Sherman, Texas, she would tell of the sensitiveness of one, the pride of the other, the intellect of another. Always, however, she would refer to Batsell by some such manner as: "He was like a brother to me."
My first close acquaintance with Brother Baxter began when I moved to Waco, Texas, in 1919. Later on, I became better acquainted with him at Abilene Christian College. He named me as head of the Bible department in the college, and was also an officer in the college church where I preached. Our families were the closest of personal friends to his death. Through all the meanderings of the years, our friendships held. I claim a share in his selection to head the Bible department in Harding College when he went there. When he was called to David Lipscomb College as its president, 1944, he called me from Searcy and told me about it and closed by saying, "I do not want to preach, but I am coming by and attend your worship services there in Memphis (Tennessee) this morning." And he consented to lead the public prayer. We continued close during all his stay in Nashville. We met in Abilene at the lectureship of Abilene Christian College last February; I visited him in his hotel room his last night in Abilene, and he shared some confidences with me about his Nashville experiences. Within less than a month he had gone home.
As I grow older I am less inclined to praise people after they are gone, for their own lives say more than words. I desire, however, to make these observations: Batsell Baxter could see the furthest into the future, see through the guile of others best, and make the clearest observations under crucial circumstances of all the persons I have known. He could live around people, work with them, get along with them, and see through them as clearly as the sunlight without being unfair to them or trying to harm them. They fooled themselves only if they tried to deceive him.
As all of us are, Brother Baxter was human, and he knew it. He has talked as honestly as one can talk with me on that point. While others of us may be silent on the facts about ourselves or speak in generalities, Batsell Baxter could name his specific weaknesses and ask prayer in them. I do not recall ever thinking he was being mentally dishonest with me.
If God is kind enough to let me enter heaven, I expect to see Brother Baxter. As his illustrious son, Dr. Batsell Barrett Baxter (but always more affectionately, just plain "Batsell Barrett") assumes the headship of the Bible department in David Lipscomb College living his life as the sole surviving member of the Batsell Baxter family—I pray for him, his wife, Wanda, and their children.
-Gospel Advocate Vol. XCVIII, No. 28, July 12, 1956, pages 614, 615
I Remember My Dad
Batsell Baxter was born to Price and Nettie Baxter in Sherman, Texas, November 16, 1886. He died in his seventieth year, of a stroke, in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 4, 1956. He married Faye Scott on July 12, 1912, and I was their only child.
In looking back over the seventy-year span of the life of Batsell Baxter, we believe that we can see the hand of God active in a decisive way at a number of points. While in his teens, after the loss of his father, he was forced to take much of the responsibility for leading the family, an experience which caused him to mature much more rapidly than would have otherwise been possible.
In those early years he spent one or possibly two years farming a hillside farm, with very limited success. A city boy, he had been weak physically, so the outdoor exercise was helpful in that way, though it was obvious that farming was not his life work. For a time he served as a cub reporter for the "Sherman Daily Democrat," but this work was not especially to his liking. It did contribute to a cramped, almost unreadable penmanship which plagued him the rest of his life.
He applied to the United States Postal System for the job of Rural Mail Carrier, a position which he very much wanted. Someone else got the job, so in the fall of 1908, he came to Nashville to attend the Nashville Bible School, where he studied for three years under men like David Lipscomb, S. P. Pittman, and others, graduating in June, 1911. One cannot help but wonder what might have happened in his life, if the hillside farm had been more productive, the reporter's job more appealing, or the application for Rural Mail Carrier more successful. Was God closing these doors, in order to open others where his particular talents could be used to greater advantage?
After two years or so of preaching, an opportunity came to be Dean of Cordell Christian College in Oklahoma.
After two years he became Dean of Thorpe Spring Christian College a few miles west of Ft. Worth in Texas.In 1918, he moved to Abilene Christian College, where he taught English, History and Biology. In 1924 he became President, serving for a period of eight years in that capacity.
In 1932, in the depth of the depression, he became President of David Lipscomb College, his alma mater. After two years it was back to Abilene, to teach Bible, and then on to Los Angeles in 1937 where he was the first President of George Pepperdine College. Later, he taught Bible at Harding College and then climaxed his Christian education career as President of David Lipscomb College for a second time. The last few years of his life were spent as Chairman of the Bible Department.
Ultimately he had been connected with six different Christian colleges, serving two of them on two different occasions. Five times he had been either Dean or President. While, in every case, at the time there seemed to be good and valid reasons for each of his moves, looking back over his life, one concludes that he "moved too often." His total influence, however, may have been greater because of his being connected with the six colleges, located from Tennessee to California.
Looking back over my father's life, as a loved and loving son, I see as his chief qualities these: He loved the Lord in a deep and genuine way and wanted to spend his life in work directly related to the Cause of Christ. He preached full time for a while, but found his greatest avenue of service in Christian education. As a preacher his greatest ability was in telling a story, being unusually adept at making it come to life. His brief, incisive illustrations appeared in the GOSPEL ADVOCATE in his own column, "This and That." He was associated with the ADVOCATE from 1926 through 1956, under the editorships of Foy Wallace, John T. Hinds, and B. C. Goodpasture.
Another of his virtues was his love for his family. Vacation times were especially happy occasions, but even though he was a busy college president, he often found time to spend an evening at home with his wife and son, reading aloud to them from such sources as the Bible, or some especially interesting book, or the Saturday Evening Post, or the old American Magazine. He was a good administrator and was able to get things done. He also had the ability to work with other people harmoniously.
One of his finest qualities, an ability somewhat rare, was his ability to "come down the ladder of success gracefully." It is comparatively easy to go up the ladder of success with good grace, but to step aside gracefully and let others take one's place, to step into the shadows with good spirit, is relatively rare. He was able to do this better than most who have been prominent leaders. He rejoiced in the success of those who followed after him. This was made possible, because he possessed no towering ego and also because he felt secure, loved and appreciated by those about him.
While still a very small boy, I remember his carrying me one evening to our car from the church building where we had worshiped. He was wearing a new silk shirt, a rare experience, but when he stumbled and fell in the parking lot, I was protected at the expense of a ruined silk shirt. . . . Often at home, he assisted Mother in the kitchen, in the preparation of meals. His special forte was the cooking of meat. After the meal, he was through, however, for I never remember seeing him wash a single dish. . . . During the last half-dozen years of his life, as we taught together at Lipscomb, we arranged our lunch schedules so as to have two hours free, time enough for us to go off-campus to eat lunch together. The conversations, going, coming and during the meals, as we talked of anything and everything, were among the richest experiences of my life. Somewhat lonely during the last sixteen years of his life, after my mother's death, he looked forward to these daily visits at lunchtime.
All in all, even though I am undoubtedly prejudiced because of my nearness to him, I think his life was centered in the love of God and his fellow men. His influence lingers on and still blesses my life and the lives of hundreds of others who were his students and friends.
-Gospel Advocate Volume CXX No. 33, August 17, 1978, pages 513,520
Page From The 1950 Backlog
Annual For David Lipscomb College
Directions To The Grave Of Batsell Baxter
Batsell Baxter is buried in the Holloway Cemetery just south of Sherman, Texas and east of the city of Howe. From State Hwy. 75 north of Dallas go to the last exit for Howe, Hwy. 902. From Hwy. 75 you are about 5 miles from the cemetery. Travel east on Hwy. 902 through town. When you cross the Railroad tracks in Howe, go four miles east and turn left on Luella Rd. (Some maps have Holloway Cem. Road, but it is posted as Luella Rd.) Go 1.8 miles and you will see the cemetery on the right. Continue past the first entrance to the second, which is in a hard curve to the right. Travel up the hill into the cemetery toward the sign facing you and bear to the left in front of the sign. Go into the center drive up the hill, and the Baxter plot is just on your right. GPS Coordinates of the grave: N33° 32.484' x WO 96° 33.030' / or D.d 33.541383,-96.550507 / Grave Facing West
Photos Taken February 23, 2012
webpage updated 09.10.2020
Courtesy of Scott Harp
Web editor note: It has been my privilege to visit the grave of Batsell Baxter on at least two separate occasions. I was there in January, 2004 during a Texas trip to speak on the lectures at Brown Trail Church of Christ. Then In February, 2012, I was invited to take part in the annual Affirming The Faith Lectureship in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Getting into the area early, I was afforded the opportunity to put about 2000 miles on a rental car in order to locate graves of gospel preachers and church leaders of yesteryear in a wide area. My fourth day I was able to visit the graves of Batsell Baxter and also E.W. McMillan, who is buried in the same family section. McMillan's wife, Elizabeth was first cousin to Batsell Baxter.