Rev. Titus J. Boggs, 61, passed away Monday morning, August 29, 2011, at the Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) hospital in Harlan, Kent. He was 61 years old.
Viewing: Thursday, September 1, at 3 pm.
Funeral: Thursday, September 1, at 7 pm.
Location: Mt. Pleasant funeral home: 122 N. Cumberland Ave., Harlan, Kent. 40831. Phone: (606) 573-1770
Titus served as director of Laurel Mission for 30 years, 1980-2010. In October 2010, Titus went on medical leave as director of Laurel Mission–he has suffered from diabetes and other physical problems–but he continued as senior pastor of Laurel Bible Church. His son, Nathan, who had been serving as the mission’s youth pastor, and who holds a local conference ministerial license, began serving as executive director of Laurel Mission on October 8, 2010. Debbie Boggs, wife of Titus, became the new associate director of Laurel Mission.
Titus has been described as “a big man with a big heart.” Hundreds of United Brethren, on short-term trips to Laurel Mission, have fallen in love with this man. And they’ve all heard and loved the same stories. Like the one about Chief Running Bear and his daughter Falling Rock, who got lost in the mountains and was never found, which, Titus concludes deadpan, explains the many signs which say “Watch for Falling Rock.”
Titus is also known for his annual Ground Hog Day newsletter, a mixture of corny jokes and interesting information about the mission and the Boggs family.
And he’s known as a man who loves the Lord deeply, and who loves the people who live up and down Greasy Creek. He will be remembered for a long, long time, and missed.
When Titus was born in 1950, both of his parents, Alvin and Ruth Boggs, worked for Laurel Mission. Alvin grew up there, born just three miles down the road from the current mission house. Ruth, who grew up in the Colwood UB church in Caro, Mich., arrived in 1943 as a missionary teacher. Alvin returned from the Army in 1946, and he and Ruth were married that August.
“Being a preacher’s kid, I was expected to live a certain way,” Titus once said. “I was religious on the outside, but I didn’t have a change of heart until my freshman year of high school. Some wonderful, godly teachers were a great influence on my life.”
Titus and Debbie, an Iowa girl, met at Kentucky Mountain Bible Institute. They married in 1973, and spent the next year at Asbury College, where Titus majored in Bible and social work. After that, Titus worked a year in the Public Assistance Office in Lexington. And then they moved back “home,” serving as dorm parents at Pine Mountain Settlement School, where Titus attended grades 1-9 and where his father worked.
In August 1980, Bishop Raymond Waldfogel came for a visit. Titus had been assistant pastor under mission superintendent M. E. Burkett. Now the Burketts were leaving. Would Titus and Debbie take their place? Yes, they would.
Titus and Debbie have six children: Nathan, Hannah, Stephanie, Erica, Lacy, and Taylor.
Cards and remembrances may be sent to:
77 Cedar Chapel Rd.
Big Laurel, KY 40808
9632 E Hwy 221
Pine Mountain, KY 40810
Ken & Sharon Smith
9672 E. Hwy 221
Pine Mountain, KY 40810