BAIRD JUDSON: A MAN ON A MISSION
By Rev. Dr. David Robbins
On July 24th I had the privilege to be in Prince Edward Island. A packed Chapel of 150 family and friends gathered on the campus of the University PEI to celebrate the life of William Baird Judson (June 27, 1933 to October 13, 2018).
Baird’s Uncle Douglas Judson
Sixteen years ago, the leaders of Advancing Native Missions (our sister agency in the USA), and I traveled to Charlottetown at the invitation of Douglas Judson, Baird’s uncle.
Douglas had served with the Billy Graham Team for many years, taking responsibility for oversight of the Crusade details. Douglas was gifted with an investigative mind. Therefore Billy consistently delighted in the ability of Douglas. He was confident that all the details would be organized carefully. Douglas had the reputation of sleeping with one eye open. He took the apartment next to Billy and carefully monitored all activity.
With the strength of Douglas in analysis, a good friend sent him around the world on a one year tour. He could visit any mission field he wanted to with all his expenses paid. Douglas took a full year and returned with the firm conviction that indigenous missions are clearly and definitely the most effective and least expensive way to reach the unreached people groups.
As a result of what he observed on this tour, Douglas requested to meet me as the President of Advancing Indigenous Missions. Following our weekend together in PEI Douglas named AIM as the primary benefactor in his will.
He also introduced me to his nephew Baird Judson, the retired Professor of Engineering at the U. of PEI. Baird served as the Executor of the Douglas Judson Estate and chief advocate for AIM on the Island for the next 15 years until his death.
The Pattern of Working with Baird on PEI
For the yearly visits to PEI, Baird would meet me at the airport and take me around to minister to the interested churches, organizations and individuals for 8 or 9 days. I made it a point of having fresh sermons for each of the speaking occasions. As Baird would hear the reports of Leadership Seminars in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Uganda and many other countries for three days, he would sit in the audience with tears streaming down his cheeks. After that Baird would sit with me and my guests at breakfast, lunch or supper and relay my stories more effectively than I could. A donation was provided to cover all the expenses. Further provision was given to help with the indigenous missions we had focused on for more than a week. After our appointed 8 to 10 days he would pray with me, take me to the airport and eagerly await my next visit.
Our records indicate that over half a million dollars have been provided for our mission over the past 15 years. Some are currently planning to come to India to serve on Leadership Seminar teams.
Baird was famous on the PEI campus for teaching the very popular course ‘Evolution or Creation’. Students enrolled confident that Professor Judson would help them to fine-tune their thinking skills. Many international students immediately realized that Professor Judson would welcome them at the airport, orient them to the campus and the island, and keep in touch with them after graduation. These students saw Professor Judson as more than a teacher and very much like a father.
Baird Judson put his whole energy into whatever he tackled. He ran 7 times in federal elections on behalf of the Christian Heritage Party. He composed ‘A Legacy’ to remind all of the firm foundation which can only be the Biblical faith once delivered in the inerrant Word of God.
The Graduation of Baird Judson to Heaven
When Baird was diagnosed with cancer again, he was confident he could beat this cancer as before. He engaged in the process of treatments with confidence. However, his body became much weaker this time. As I arrived for my yearly September tour, Baird was not able to take me as before. His body was weakening quickly.
The major centre of missionary zeal for AIM in the Montague Bible Fellowship provided hospitality and transportation to fill in the gap.
When I flew to PEI for Baird’s celebration of life, I took a week to work with most of the many contacts. The Montague Bible Fellowship provided accommodation and hospitality. With careful study of the thick file of PEI interested friends, I discovered 16 who will be carrying on Baird’s legacy of mission vision. Three emerged as key volunteers who will help prepare for my yearly visits beginning October 2020. Monthly Saturday morning prayer meetings have been conducted these past three years.
This last visit with Baird was precious. He indicated that AIM would be named in his will. I left Baird who was comfortable but weakening. Within a few weeks he was graduated to heaven from his hospital bed. Praise Him for this zealous, faithful and consistent servant.
August 7, 2019