Obit: Death of Titus Boggs

The Boggs family together for the wedding of Nathan and Lindsey. Starting at the front left: Lacy, Titus, Debbie, and Erica. Staring at the back left: Stephanie, Taylor, Hannah, Nathan, and Lindsey.

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 and Debbie Boggs

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:

Debbie Boggs
77 Cedar Chapel Rd.
Big Laurel, KY 40808

Connie Boggs
9632 E Hwy 221
Pine Mountain, KY 40810

Ken & Sharon Smith
9672 E. Hwy 221
Pine Mountain, KY 40810

  • Cindy Frizzell-Sullivan
    Posted at 07:52h, 30 August

    I never had the priviledge of meeting Titus, but know that the Laurel Mission Church holds a special place in my was on a youth trip back in August of 1972 that our group visited and conducted Bible School and then had revival meetings at night, this is where I accepted the Lord as my Savior!! Years have come and gone but I will never forget the closeness of Christ as I did there at the church!
    May God be with the family and friends of Titus. I’m sure that he will be missed sorely but definately remembered by our Father in Heaven.

  • C R Smith
    Posted at 10:20h, 30 August

    A man like no other. Will be missed but I’m sure there’s a lot of rejoicing in Heaven. Not sure how we’ll know when spring arrives now without that groundhog letter.

  • Denise and Clark Napier
    Posted at 11:38h, 30 August

    Words can’t express how sorry we are for the Bogg’s family loss. Earth’s loss is heaven’s gain. In all sincerety Titus was one of the most humble men we knew. He had a heart and a passion for ministry and I know he impacted many a life. Great is his reward. Love You all and praying for the family.

  • dood pace
    Posted at 12:09h, 30 August


  • Pastor Greg and Debbie Voight
    Posted at 12:15h, 30 August

    Our deepest condolences for the whole Boggs family. We just got to meet Titus and the gang for the first time this summer. The mission had a huge impact on us and our youth. He will be missed…but heaven is rejoicing.

    God bless

  • kim thompson
    Posted at 19:51h, 30 August

    I am Polly Harris’s grand-daughter,and it saddened my heart to hear of Titus, He was a great inspiration to my entire family, Just know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Sadly Missed,
    Kim Thompson

  • James Millary
    Posted at 21:03h, 30 August

    My deepest symphaty to the Bogg’s family. May his humbel soul rest in peace.

  • Ben turner
    Posted at 00:42h, 31 August

    This article was well written and gives us all total aspect of Mr. Boggs and Ms. B’S life journeys however, no words will ever be enough to describe this single man’s impact on a multitude of people. He taught me History at Living waters school in the that class I learned more than just facts and dates he taught me what it all meant and why we should cherish it. He engraved in me how to love my country by learning about it’s past. They always say you will never understand a person’s true impact until you look back at their history when they are gone from this earth. Though he is gone his teachings and humble wisdom will continue on even after I am gone.

  • Erica Eldridge
    Posted at 07:03h, 31 August

    There are no words that are beautiful enough to descdribe Titus. The impact that he has had on so many lives is unfanthomable. As a child I looked up to him as so many others did and as an adult my adoration of Titus has not changed. I was so fortnate that my daughter Madison had the opportunity to know him as well. When I told her that he had passed the tears filled her eyes, and she said Mom he did not get to meet his first grandchild, but I am sure that God will let him peak. I assured her of the same. To know Titus was to love him, he was so much like his Dad Alvin. He never got excited or in a hurry, and he always handled everything with love and kindness. Once when I was struggling so hard with life Tiitus told me that I did not have to settle for anything, if I was patient God would send his perfect and best. Though Titus will not be here in a physical sense, his spirit of life and his love for Jesus will continue to touch lives the way it always has. I will miss his humor, but I fully expect that when my race is run and I make my journey across that river that he will be there will all of the othere Saints and his humor will be intact, Until then I will carry all of the memories in my heart and share them so that his light will still shine on.

  • Titus Wayne Smith
    Posted at 23:54h, 31 August

    As his nephew, I can honestly say that it is an honor to carry the name of this godly man who was full of integrity. He never had an enemy, he never met a stranger and he always made everyone feel like they were the most important person… No matter who they were. Uncle Titus could lead with love and gain respect by using a humble spirit. My heart breaks to lose him but I know his legacy will live on through those he influenced. I wish my daughter could have grown up knowing her great Uncle Titus, but I know that the teachings of this godly man will live on through me. He taught me what loving Jesus really looked like, and that is an example that cannot be forgotten.

  • Theron Smith
    Posted at 09:32h, 02 September

    Another lasting memorial for Titus has been created on The memorial # 75674977. It will also link to his parents and grandparents.

Post A Comment