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Obituary for The Reverend Doctor Gerald E. Bagwell

Reverend Dr. Gerald Bagwell
Gerald Bagwell, 81, of Lakeland, FL passed away on September 11, 2017 at the Florida Presbyterian Homes in Lakeland, FL. “Dr. B.” was greatly loved and will be missed by his family and friends. His public ministry extended over fifty years.
Gerald was born on February 20th, 1936 in Buford, GA, to Cecil and Ola Roberts Bagwell. On September 2, 1955, he married Betty Tanner of Auburn, GA.
Gerald was Ordained to Ministry within the Southern Baptist Convention in 1961. With Betty by his side, Gerald earned four professional degrees: Bachelor of Science, Piedmont College, Demorest, GA, 1963; Master of Divinity, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC, 1966; Master of Theology, Luther Rice Seminary, Jacksonville, FL, 1968; and Doctorate of Theology, Luther Rice Seminary, Jacksonville, FL, 1969.
Gerald began his ministry as Pastor of Fairfield Baptist Church, Clarksville, GA followed by: Hollywood Baptist Church, Hollywood, GA; Pine Ridge Baptist Church, Zebulon, NC; First Baptist Church, Loganville, GA; First Baptist Church, Waynesboro, GA; Mountain Park First Baptist Church, Stone Mountain, GA; First Baptist Church, Lakeland, FL; Bethany Baptist Church, Snellville, GA; Celebration Baptist Worship Center, Lakeland, FL; and First Baptist Church, Mulberry, FL. At the time of his passing, he was Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist Church at the Mall, Lakeland, FL.
In addition to pastoring, “Dr. B.” served on the faculty of Ridgecrest Conference Center for four years and was honored to teach “Church Growth” seminars throughout the country as well as in Seoul, S. Korea. He was active in the Southern Baptist Convention and the Florida Baptist Convention. His passion for ministering to young pastors led to his recognition and reputation as being a “Pastor to Pastors”.
Gerald will also be remembered for his motivational radio program, “Someone Cares” aired on WONN Radio, Lakeland, FL, as well as his many newspaper columns spanning decades.
Gerald was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Betty Tanner Bagwell, his father and mother, Cecil and Ola Roberts Bagwell of Winder, GA, and his sister, Ruth Ensley, formerly of Lakeland, FL. He is survived by his sons: Greg (Laura), Jeff (Colette), and Phil (Beth); as well as four grandchildren: Ryan (Taylor), Britton, Lindsey, and Bryce; and two great-grandchildren: Tanner and Vinley.

Services will be held at the First Baptist Church at the Mall, Lakeland, FL on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 11:00 am.


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Previous Events

Service

Thursday

21

Sep

11:00 AM
First Baptist Church at the Mall

1010 E. Memorial Blvd
Lakeland, Florida 33801

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