They learned Portuguese from Alfonso Teixeria and in 1882 were joined by missionaries Z. C. and Kate Taylor. These five moved to Bahia (Salvador) and established the first Baptist church in Brazil on October 15, 1882. By the time of its centennial, the denomination had grown to over one-half million. In 1884 Bagby established a church in Rio de Janeiro. In 1889 Brazil declared itself a republic, and the new government's policy of separation of church and state facilitated Protestant activity in Brazil. Bagby's strategy was to establish churches in major cities. He traveled extensively from Rio for this purpose.
He aided new churches in acquiring property, in training ministers, and in erecting buildings. In 1901 the Bagbys moved to São Paulo. Anne organized and operated a school; Bagby continued to organize churches and to help Brazilians organize asso-ciations and conventions. He also engaged in preaching missions to Chile and other South American countries. His reports prompted Southern Baptists to send mission-aries to other parts of South America. The Bagbys' fourth home in Brazil was Pôrto Alegre in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. They spent the last decade of their lives there. Bagby died on August 5, 1939, of bronchial pneumonia, and was buried there. The Bagbys had nine children; five of these lived to maturity, and all five became missionaries in South America.
William lay unconscious after a rock struck him in the head. A few minutes later, he stood up and continued to preach.
In 1881 William and Anne Bagby boarded a boat to Brazil as newlyweds and recent university graduates. Less than two years after they arrived, they moved a thousand miles north to Bahia, the country’s seat of the Roman Catholic Church. There, with one convert and another family from the Foreign Mission Board, they began Brazil’s first Portuguese-speaking Baptist church in 1882.
In 1884 the Bagbys moved to Rio de Janeiro, where they faced opposition from the Catholics there. When no one came to the hall the Bagbys rented for worship, they took their folding organ outside and began to play and sing. After curious crowds started attending, the local Catholic priest sent hooligans to shake up the gatherings. They entered the hall and damaged lights and furniture. Someone threw a rock that hit William in the head and left him unconscious. Nevertheless, a few minutes later, he stood up and continued to teach from God’s Word. News of the attacks drew more curious visitors, three of whom heard the gospel for the first time and became leaders of Baptist work in Brazil.
William and Anne, who was the first Baptist female from Texas to become a foreign missionary, spent the rest of their lives investing in the spread of the gospel among Brazilians. In 1901 they founded and directed the Brazilian Baptist School in Sao Paulo, where they served until 1919. Even after they officially retired from the Foreign Mission Board in 1937, they continued living in Brazil until their deaths.
Five of the Bagbys’ nine children became missionaries to Brazil.
From The Bagby Family.org Family Genealogy
WILLIAM BUCK [D.D.] BAGBY 6, (JAMES HENRY 5, HENRY 4, THOMAS 3, JOHN 2, JAMES 1) was born November 5, 1855 in Coryell County, Texas and died August 5, 1939 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He married ANNE ELLEN LUTHER October 21, 1880 in Baylor Auditorium at Baylor University, the daughter of JOHN HILL [D.D.] LUTHER and ANNE JAUDON. She was born March 20, 1859 in Kansas City, Missouri and died December 23, 1941 in Recife, Brazil.
Notes for WILLIAM BUCK [D.D.] BAGBY:
William Buck Bagby:
Source "The Bagby's of Brazil" by Helen Bagby [Harrison]; daughter, pages 1-3.
"Miss Mary has a baby, and it ain't a John and it ain't a Mary. It's a William." Mandy the cook brought the news. To mark the occasion, Cousin Charlie and Cousin Mary hung an old discarded wagon wheel in the fork of a young tree to puzzle their new cousin some day when both the tree and the cousin were grown. They could imagine his asking, "How in the world did that thing grow away up there?" When the family visited the home place seventy-two years later that wagon wheel was still there in the fork of the tree.
My father, William Buck Bagby, son of John and Mary Bagby, became the pioneer missionary of Southern Baptists to the South American continent. He was born in Coryell County, Texas, on November 5, 1855. It was a wild and sparsely settled com-munity then, and Gatesville, the county seat, was a frontier village. William Bagby has described in his own distinctive way the primitive and picturesque character of the country surrounding their place, which they called "Praire Home":
"Wild Indians were not far away and occasionally made incursions into the settlements, burning homes and killing the whites. These were the warlike Comanches. It was a romantic region of prairies and woodlands, of hills and valleys, of cedars, live oaks, and elms. The prairies in the spring and summer were gay with flowers, and the woodlands, ravines, and valleys held treasures of berries of many kinds, wild haws, mustang grapes, and wild plums. Bees made honey in the woods. There were myriads of birds of variegated color and cheerful song. Cardinals, field larks, doves, and partridges abounded, while mocking birds, by day and by moonlight, made melody in the fields and gardens. Black bears and wild hogs, panthers, foxes, wild-cats, squirrels, rabbits, coons, and opossums were all about us, while deer and antelope roamed over the ranges, and wolves made ravages about the scattered farms."
On his mother's side, William Bagby was descended from a French Huguenot named Bartholomew Dupuy, and the sword which he wielded during his escape from France is still a treasured possession of the Bagby family. Grandfather Bagby left the old family home in Virginia and went to Kentucky where he met and married Mary Franklin Willson, a daughter of the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Louisville.
With three families of close relatives, the Bagbys moved from Kentucky to Texas in 1852 and settled in Coryell County where Father, the last of five children, was born. They went by river boat to New Orleans, took a steamer along the Gulf to Galveston, and traveled by oxcart to Central Texas-West Texas, in those days. Their crude houses were built close together because the country was full of unfriendly Indians. Eventually some of the Indians grew bold enough to approach the settlement for small trade. Boys among the settlers had great fun trading such trifles as little mirrors, pocket knives and popcorn for bows and arrows, lariats, and moccasins.
When Father was eight years old, the family left Prairie Home and moved to what was then Waco Village. At the little red Baptist church building in the center of the village, when he was twelve years old, he was converted under the preaching of Dr. Rufus Burleson, who was the founder and first president of Waco University (later merged with Baylor University). Father attended Waco University and became Dr. B.H. Carroll's first pupil in the department of theology, which developed into the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He often said with amused pretense to boastfulness, "Yes, Dr. Carroll and I founded the seminary. He was the faculty and I was the student body."
After his graduation from the university in 1875, Father farmed one year with his "Uncle Bland." During that year he was superintendent of a small Sunday school at Eagle Springs in Coryell County and was licensed to preach. He had preached unlicensed since the age of three when, from a chicken-roost pulpit, he held an audience spellbound-by closing the barnyard gate.
Following that one arduous year of study in the field of practical agriculture, Father taught school at four places: Wallace's Prairie, Whitehall, Courtney, and Plantersville. On March 16, 1879, while at Plantersville, he was ordained to preach.
The following research submitted by: Vinita Shaw
Source: Mr. Rayburn G. Pyle wrote in THE GENIE of July 1981 about the Confederate soldiers and their families in Brazil:
No great stretch of imagination is required to understand the state of mind of the Confederate soldier when he returned home in late spring or early summer of 1865. The brutalizing effects of four years of war had made conditions in the South frightful. They were made infinitely worse by the reconstruction program which the Federal government undertook to improve upon the conquered section. Some decided to flee their native land and start anew under foreign flags — some chose Mexico, Central America and South America. Brazil attracted more ex-Confederates than any other country. The period of heaviest migration was 1865-1870, but Brazil continued to receive southern settlers in lesser numbers until the early years of the 20th century. From the National Archives, the following list of Americans in Brazil in 1906 from the U.S. Consular Dispatches in Santos, Brazil:
Names: Rev. W.B. Bagby Residence: São Paulo
Ermine Bagby Residence: São Paulo
Site Owner Note: A similar description of this is shared in the book "The Bagby's of Brazil" by: Helen Bagby [Harrison].
More About REV WILLIAM BUCK [D.D.] BAGBY:
Individual Note: Baptist Missionary to Brazil, several books are written about this family, including the "Bagby's of Brazil". The book is an out of print book, but may be available online.
Ordination: March 16, 1879, Plantersville, Texas
Notes for ANNE ELLEN LUTHER: Anne E. Luther: Source, "The Bagby's of Brazil" by Helen Bagby [Harrison]; daughter — Portions of chapter two.
Three and a half years after the wheel was hung on the fork of the tree at Prairie Home, a baby girl came to the home of Dr. and Mrs. John Hill Luther of Kansas City, Missouri. Her black hair and dark brown eyes came from French ancestors, for she, too, was a descendant of those migrants for conscience' sake, the Huguenots. She was named Anne (spelled with an e) for her mother, who in turn had been named for Ann Judson of Burma, whose beautiful life at that time was silencing the protests of critics of a mission enterprise yet young and unpopular.
John Luther's ambition had been to go to Africa as a missionary, but his noble aspirations were checked by his father. If he wanted to preach to the Negroes, his father said, he had better go south in his own country. Accepting the suggestion, John went to South Carolina where he boarded in the home of a Mr. Ben Jaudon, who offered to help him open a school for the education of the Jaudon girls and their neighbors. Such were the circumstances that made shy and beautiful Ann Jaudon, nicknamed Tannie, the pupil and sweetheart, and later the wife, of John Hill Luther.
The couple moved to Savannah, Georgia, where John Luther had been called to a pastorate, and lived there about a year. They then moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he started a "Young Ladies' Seminary" (academy), using for the construction of the building his wife's part of her father's estate (all of which they lost during the Civil War).
It was at this time, on March 20, 1859, that baby Anne arrived and helped fill the vacancy left by the death, two years before, of her year-old sister, Mary. A baby brother, born when Anne was three years old, became prey to acute lung trouble, which carried him away after a brief illness.
Then came the War Between the States. Grandfather Luther was called to Miami, Missouri, to direct a school and the family moved to that town. But a Northerner with Southern sympathies could not long remain unsuspected in those days of strife. After his life had been threatened, the family moved to Quincy, Illinois, as refugees, crossing the Missouri River on ice.
By the time "little sister Zollie" was announced, the arrival of a playmate for keeps was a fact to elicit the rarest kind of generosity. Anne immediately offered a cherished doll bed for the new baby's very own use since there seemed to be no spare bed in the house. Three years after the birth of Zollie, baby Sallie was welcomed. But she gladdened the home for only two and a half years. After Sallie came Johnnie, the last of the six Luther children. (He was taken at the age of eighteen when, having come in contact with a consumptive cousin, he succumbed to the treacherous disease.)
In 1870 the family moved to St. Louis, for Grandfather Luther had been asked to take the editorship of the Central Baptist, a position which he kept for eleven years. He accepted at the same time the pastorate of the Carondolet Baptist Church. The family moved to that suburb, and it was while at family worship there at the age of eleven that Mother found her Saviour.
Anne Luther had long been concerned about her soul, and "for a year before conversion went each day into a vacant room to read the Scriptures and pray for acceptance at the throne of grace." Having received the joyful assurance, she immediately asked for baptism; but her parents objected because she was having a spell of "dumb chills," and the doctor said the cold water would kill her. She considered that a weak argument against a strong command, so a friend of the family was consulted. This "mother in Israel" unwaveringly asserted that "obeying the Lord never killed anyone," whereupon the parents consented. Mother was baptized in the Mississippi River as the last of its icy sheet disappeared and was received out of the water by one of the deacons, who wrapped her in a blanket and took her home in a carriage. No chills resulted.
In 1877 the family moved to Texas. At this point Mother's story becomes very personal, and is best told in her own words. Here is her version of the incidents surrounding her romance:
Site Owner Note: Space does not allow for the letters sent back and forth between Anne Luther and William Bagby. There are 8 pages of these letters, all of which are very touching.
From CENTENNIAL STORY OF TEXAS BAPTISTS, published by the Authority of the Executive board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Dallas, Texas, 1936, p. 235.
"A sower went forth to sow", but Dr. John Hill Luther, preaching an impassioned sermon on foreign missions and calling for volunteers, did not expect his appeal to find lodgment in the heart of his own twelve year old daughter. When she timidly rose to her feet and said, "Father, I'll go" he covered his face with his hands and exclaimed, "My child, I didn't mean you!"
From A HISTORY OF TEXAS BAPTISTS by J.M. Carroll, "...but the seed the consecrated father had sown, fell on good ground. From that day forward Anne Luther consecrated her life to foreign mission work."
Source: "The Bagby's of Brazil" by: Helen Bagby [Harrison]; page 121-122, July 16, 1903.
At the close of the first school year Grandfather Luther, having lost his devoted wife, sought the comfort of a visit to his daughter in São Paulo. The old gentleman passed away just eight months later, and ten days before the birth of his youngest grandchild, Albert.
The art of embalming as it is known today was in its infancy, and the expense of transporting the dead was far beyond the widest stretch of a missionary's purse; so the earthly tabernacle of John Hill Luther lent to Brazilian soil for a period of five years. It then fell to the loss of his devoted daughter to bathe the crumbling structure in alcohol and lay it away in a small tin trunk for transportation to his native land.
Father returned home on furlough in 1908 and bore with him the modest casket, listing its contents as "relics" when he passed through customs in New York.
Children of WILLIAM BAGBY and ANNE LUTHER are:
1. ERMINE BAGBY, b. July 25, 1881, Brazil; d. August 18, 1939, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
2. LUTHER HENRY BAGBY, b. July 10, 1883, Bahia, Brazil; d. August 3, 1886, Belton, Texas. More About LUTHER HENRY BAGBY: Namesake: Luther for his mother's surname. Died at the age of 3 from Scarlet Fever while visiting relatives in Texas. After his death, his mother penned these words:
I'll trust Him to keep my Luther and me,
To bring us together at last
Where mothers and babes forever shall be
With Jesus — their sorrows all passed.
Source: "The Bagby's of Brazil" by Helen Bagby [Harrison], page 77.
3. TAYLOR CRAWFORD "T.C." [D.D.] BAGBY, b. May 29, 1885, Brazil, d. November 7, 1959, Belton, Bell County, Texas.
4. WILLSON BAGBY, b. February 8, 1888, Brazil; d. September 07, 1912, Brazil. Notes: Death by drowning.
Notes for WILLSON BAGBY:
Four boys, my brother Willson among them, went out in a boat. A sudden shout drew our attention to them. They were seen not two hundred feet away waving their arms as the large white billows bore them up and down out of sight. It was a frolic, everyone supposed. The boys seemed to be diving off the capsized boat to the accompaniment of cheers from their companions.
The story of the struggle for life was related in detail by the two who were rescued from the capsized boat: When the boat capsized, Pedro succeeded in climbing upon it. Gillespie, who had on a heavy macintosh, managed to extricate himself with great difficulty from beneath one of the seats. Willson, unhampered by excessive clothing, looked about him just in time to see Luiz disappear. He went after him and, reaching for a floating oar thrown by the other two, told him to hold on. But the semiconscious man had lost his strength and immediately turned loose. The action was repeated twice, but in his stupified state, Luiz gave no heed to the pleas and orders of his terrified companions and was finally swallowed up by the waves. The would-be rescuer renewed his efforts by diving after him, turning a deaf ear to the entreaties of the two friends, who realized his danger. As he searched about, he was seized from behind and strangled by the last grip of the boy he was trying to save.
There was no human hope of receiving their bodies again. As Father searched the rocky shoreline, Mother waited and prayed: "Lord, if thou hast taken our boy's soul unto thyself, allow us to have his body intact" – a human prayer, to be sure, but a quiet, resigned one it was, that the supreme sovereignty of God might be recognized among those who witnessed our behavior. Upon hearing the petition, the owner of a nearby hotel mercifully attempted to remove our hope. He said he had lived there thirty years and had never known of a corpse coming to shore in less that three days or in recognizable form. What was his astonishment when, exactly two hours later and clearly in answer to prayer, the two bodies were returned in perfect condition, washed up on the beach, lifeless but intact.
In a little graveyard, far from the heart of the city, where spring is eternal and where the sea perennially hums its monotonous tune, is a tombstone on which a marble Bible and two Scripture verses tell a hopeless little world of sinners the story of two men who died to save others – of Willson and his Lord: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" John 15:13, and "God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8.
Source: "The Bagby's of Brazil" by Helen Bagby Harrison, page 130-131
More About WILLSON BAGBY: Namesake: Willson for his Grandmother, Mary Franklin Willson Bagby.
5. JOHN ZOLLIE BAGBY, b. June 10, 1890, Brazil; d. August 06, 1891, Brazil.
Notes for JOHN ZOLLIE BAGBY:
Correspondence following to family in the States about the unexpected blow reviews the drama as only a mother's eyes could see it.
Aug. 8th — It is a hard letter to write...Little John, our Zollie, was taken ill with
a very bad cold two weeks ago last Monday (this is Saturday), but he had a high fever only a few hours and was perfectly well Saturday and Sunday following. I even attended worship Sunday - Emilia stayed with him and Miss Emma having been sick just as he was, stayed at home also. Sunday I let him play in the yard a little while, even.
Monday he seemed a little sick but I was not anxious - Tuesday I sent for the doctor, fearing that he had intermittent fever. This we broke up with quinine, which he took well. Wednesday night intestinal trouble began. The doctor considered him in such good condition, however, that he did not come Thursday. Friday he discovered that he was threatened with bronchitis and in the afternoon returned with Dr. Camargo, a Brazilian in whom we have great confidence. He said Dr. Cleary was over-careful. He told me my boy would get well!...His fever was entirely gone by Tuesday morning, but alas, he showed symptoms of brain trouble...
Oh, how I agonized that whole week in prayer. God made me willing to give him up but oh, I could not see him suffer, though they tell me he was unconscious. He was dying two whole days and a night and a half, our darling!
Miss Emma wouldn't leave him at all, she was stiff with holding him - he lay on the bed only the last day. He took his milk up to the last and his medicines and he passed away like a dream, our beautiful boy! No struggle, not even a hard breath!
Dear old Doctor would come in and say, "Poor little John!" He couldn't bear to see him suffer. Wednesday night or Thursday morning rather, Mrs. Rogers and Miss Emma and I bathed his little dimpled limbs and wax-like features and dressed him in the little blue dress that came to Ermine from Aunt Alice with Miss Hammon's embroidery on it, and laid him away in his white carriage to await his little coffin. When it came we fairly surrounded him with flowers. He looked to me just like sister Sallie.
He was the pet of the church and the neighborhood - no one ever saw him except to admire the rosy big boy! All the church members came who could, and they clubbed together and hired carriages and went out to the grave. There were in all eight carriages.
His Papa nursed him more than he had ever done one of his babes and he has lost several pounds in the last few days of anxiety and wakefulness he has spent with him. I'll have so much time now — I'll be so lonely, though Willie says he'll be my "truly baby" now. He used to love to be called a "gentleman" but he seems to feel that he must take baby's place now...
Now my dear ones don't grieve for our sorrow. Indeed, I do not grieve myself - I'm lonely but I cannot wish him back, and it seems a long time since he left me. If I could but forget the last few hours of suffering and remember only his bright, beautiful little life of fourteen months, then I could be happy again...
...I thank God that he did not linger as did Brother Charlie, or recover to be less bright, like poor Curty.
And after all, it's only for a little while!
Late in January of 1892 she wrote:
I would rather my children die now than be even cold Christians. I want them to be afire with love to Jesus. God grant that we may, none of us, grow cold or indifferent in his service. If I must be kept warm by losing what I love best, I cannot ask otherwise.
Source: "The Bagby's of Brazil" by Helen Bagby [Harrison]. More About JOHN ZOLLIE BAGBY: Burial: Caju Cemetery, Rio, Brazil. Namesake: John for Anne's Father/Brother, John Luther, Zollie for the sibling of Anne Luther [Bagby] who died at the age of three.
6. OLIVER HALBERT [M.D.] BAGBY, b. August 25, 1893, São Paulo, Brazil; d. September 12, 1959, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California.
Notes for OLIVER H. [M.D.] BAGBY: Based on the following experpt from the book, his original death was recorded as February 19, 1919, Galveston, Texas
"Seven years after the drowning of Willson Bagby, the mysterious disappearance of his brother Oliver came. Just when a rare medical career on the mission field opened up before him, became an open wound in his parents' hearts which found relief in the Spirit of God alone. Within one year of graduation from Galveston, Texas Medical College he suddenly walked away from the school campus on February 19, 1919, leaving two trunks of personal belongings neatly packed. His whereabouts have never since been known."
Source: "The Bagby's of Brazil" by Helen Bagby [Harrison], page 131.
More About OLIVER HALBERT [M.D.] BAGBY: Oliver Bagby arrived in the United States from Santos, Brazil on the ship, Byron in 1911 in New York, to attend University in Texas. He was 18 years old.
Texas Medical College
Student Army Training Corps
World War I
7. ALICE ANNE BAGBY, b. June 10 1896, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; d. February 22, 1973, Waco, Texas; m. HARLEY SMITH; b. September 8, 1891, Utopia, Texas; d. November 29, 1976, Waco, Texas.
Notes for ALICE ANNE BAGBY:
Alice Anne and her husband have dedicated thirty years of evangelistic and educational efforts to the extreme southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, and specifically to its capital, Porto Alegre. The Ginasio Batista (grammar, business, and high school) of that city has been second only to their three children in their affections and constitutes a permanent monument to their lives of self-deniel. Source: "The Bagby's of Brazil" by Helen Bagby [Harrison]. More About ALICE ANNE BAGBY: Missionary to Brazil. Namesake: Anne for her mother, Anne E. Luther, Alice for an aunt, but the book does not reveal from which side of the family. Religion: Baptist.
8. HELEN EDNA BAGBY, b. August 13, 1900, Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; d. August 15, 1993, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas; m. WILLIAM COLEMAN [REV] HARRISON, son of ROBERT HARRISON and ALICE DUVALL. He was b. May 3, 1890, Shelby County, Kentucky; d. October 17, 1969, Waco, McLennan County, Texas.
More About WILLIAM COLEMAN [D.D.] HARRISON: Evangelist, Seminary Professor, School Principal, and Mission Treasurer.
Notes for HELEN EDNA BAGBY: Author of: "From M.K. to R.M." subtitled "From Missionary Kid to Retired Missionary" & "The Bagby's of Brazil".
She writes of herself in "The Bagby's of Brazil":
Last and least come the writer of these lines, Mrs. W.C. Harrison (Helen Edna), who, having given three years to the São Paulo school and eleven to that of Porto Alegre, turned to domesticity at last and, in accompanying her husband to the enchanting Venice of Brazil, Recife, Pernambuco, the city of bridges and perennial spring, carried family back to their original nothern territory. Dr. W.C. Harrison has given twenty-two years to North and South, in Rio, Recife, and Porto Alegre, as evangelist, seminary professor, school principal, and mission treasurer. The couple with their two children moved back to South Brazil in 1946 to assume the direction of the Baptist school of Porto Alegre, releasing the founders for a specific program of pastoral and itinerant evangelism and personal work through wide contacts made by the teaching of the English language.
The First Baptist Church, Rio, has placed in its vestibule a life-size bust of its founder and the Port Alegre School has erected a marble column on its campus to the memory of Father and Mother. But the monument erected by Woman's Missionary Union of Brazil will, we hope, outlive the two monuments of beauteous marble and bronze. Established through the initiative of Miss Minnie Landrum, corresponding secretary and treasurer of The Brazilain organization, the Anne Bagby Memorial Fund is gradually climbing toward its intial goal of $2,500.00 with which to keep two of Brazil's young women preparing for Christian service until Jesus comes again.
9. ALBERT IAN [REV] [D.D.] BAGBY, b. About 1903, Brazil; d. September 29, 1988, Gadsden, Alabama.
FIND A GRAVE
Name:Dr William Buck Bagby
Birth Date:5 Nov 1855
Birth Place:Coryell County, Texas, United States of America
Death Date:5 Aug 1939
Death Place:Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Cemetery:Igreja Batista Cemitério
Burial or Cremation Place:Porto Alegre, Município de Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Spouse:Anne Ellen Bagby
Name:Anne Ellen Bagby
Birth Date:20 Mar 1859
Birth Place:Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, United States of America
Death Date:23 Dec 1942
Burial or Cremation Place:Recife, Município de Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
Spouse:William Buck Bagby