"Bill (Bathman) and Nick… names with an eternal resonance by now, men for whom we are grateful to the Lord and are now enjoying God's presence! What a blessed thought! Bill Bathman was an amazing man of God, a powerful preacher, gracious friend, and brother in Christ! His name and passion for the Lord will always be remembered in our family and home church (the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Oradea, Romania), especially as one of the few who dared to come and encourage us during the bleak days of the Communist Regime. In the mid 80's, another wave of Revival started in our church (Emmanuel Baptist, previously known as the Second Baptist Church of Oradea), and Bill was the first in a line of powerful and motivating (and daring) preachers, whose passion and deep concern for lost souls won over the fear of losing one's life. His love for God was authentic, and people listened, and hearts were turned. As we remember his life, we pray for dear, sweet Harriett, the loving wife and ministry partner, whose presence was always soul-soothing. We pray for Bill's family, especially Lenora and Peter. Lenora was baptised in the same Oradea church, and shared her Dad's passion for mission and ministry. "May the God of peace, who through the Blood of the eternal Covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever." (Hebrews 13:20-21) Love you! What an amazing man of God, powerful preacher, gracious friend and brother in Christ! No one will take his place in our hearts!"
Adi and Ema Ban, Romania.
"Dear Harriett, Lenora and family, my heart is with you as you say goodbye to your beloved husband, father and grandfather. Brother Bill was one of the most precious people in this world who made a profound impact on those he ministered to. From his first visits to my home church and town of Oradea he treated us like family, like we belonged together. In the rare kindness and beauty of his heart any boundaries of social status, nationality and age greatly diminished. His love for God and the passion he had for the lost , the oppressed and the needy came through exemplarily , and allowed him to shine like a true star in a cold and sombre world, where he literally brought warm smiles to our faces. I am grateful to God for allowing our paths to cross, thus presenting us with a beautiful American family to look up to, and with such a special friend in Lenora. What sweet memories we share. It is amazing what God was able to accomplish through the life of His humble servants Bill and Harriett! If we could only begin to emulate Bill Bathman's legacy, what a beautiful and much better place this world would be. No doubt we will see brother Bill again in Heaven, where time and space won't work against us, and we will rejoice in worshiping God together. With love and admiration."
Corina Pasca (Tarcau), Romania.
"My mentor, the man who sat with his wife, Harriett, as my grandparents at my wedding, the man my kids call Grandpa Bill has moved from this life to his eternal one. I'm really missing being in AZ at this time but more than that, I am really blessed to have been one of the thousands of lives that was changed by this great man of God. I miss you, Bill. Harriett, we're praying for you and look forward to spending time with you in the spring."
Christy Blanchard, India.
"We praise the LORD for allowing us to know Bill and to benefit from his Faithful life to address the current events in light of the Bible, something so very very very few pastors do. He was a good mentor. We treasured his newsletters and writings. We praise the LORD for his life, his energy and dedication and his warm, enthusiastic and loving personality. Our prayers are for you, Harriett, and your family. Love and prayers."
Ted and Bonnie Adams, Taylors, SC Constitution Party, South Carolina.
"Thank you SO much for your marvellous message. We want you to know that Bill was a huge influence on me (Korky) when he came to preach at Bishop Hannington Church in Hove, Sussex, UK. This would have been about 1955-56. He was the very first major strategic Evangelist that I met and he helped me to understand that ministry beyond the rather limited vision of the usual church fellowship was not only valid and effective, but also vital. I met up with Bill on a number of occasions and he always sought to teach me the next step, in an effective ministry. As a consequence of meeting Bill, I started a ministry going door to door with the objective of finding out where the young people in the parish were and to invite them to our youth group. Many came. Some were undesirable - with minds like sewers - and yet a few years ago on a visit I found these same guys living Godly lives. The large chap who threw one of the others through a shop window once, is now a regular member of the church! It's amazing what the Spirit can do with the most unlikely people! I got this from Bill. It was 1958 during my visit to my sister in Kenya that I met up with the Navigators, and because of Bill's influence felt very much at home with them. That first visit to the Terrorist Mau Mau detention camp, I saw Earl Martin preach a very simple Gospel message and witnessed how the Holy Spirit totally overwhelmed those guys. Anni and I have been moving down that track ever since (we married in 1965) and have introduced the vision in 17 countries with Open Air Campaigners International. Thank you, Bill and thank you, Harriett, for looking after him. With love."
"I know there is a time and a season for everything… but wow surely the world will weigh less after the loss of Bill Bathman. Sending hugs and love. I have been remembering the many, many ways that you and Uncle Bill and the Hammonds made deep and unchangeable marks on my life, my character, and my Faith. I remember the Christmas season I stayed with you guys, jogging with Mitch every morning, with so much fondness. Thank you, truly and deeply, for the love and service that you have lived together. I can’t even imagine what you must feel now… but please know that you are held up firmly in prayer. Love"
Ashley Keller, Zambia.
"We just heard. So sorry to hear of this tremendous loss! We love your parents and are so grateful for the lives they chose to serve. So many are forever changed because of them, including us! Much love and prayers from Poland! We send our greatest sorrow for the loss of our earthly Bill. We praise God each and every day for His interference in our lives so that we could meet you two and find ourselves in Poland. We wish we were there to celebrate Bill’s life with you and your family, but we will do that from afar. In His grip."
Richard, Brooke, Adeline, Maxwell and Josephine Nungesser, Poland.
"I only found out a couple of days ago that Bill had been called home and my eyes filled with tears, tears of sadness and it's right we mourn Bill's home call, but the joy that he is home with our Lord Jesus and that one day we will all meet again is only a joy that those of us who love our Saviour can understand What a party there must have been as Bill went through the gates 'Come in thou good and Faithful servant!' Although it's 50+ years ago that yourself, Bill and the Pioneers came to our little city of Carlisle (UK) and held a coffee bar crusade through Youth For Christ, I had never forgotten you all. Bill was such an encouragement to me as "prayerchangesthinghs" began and has grown in numbers. Over the last years some of our Prayer Warriors remember very well the coffee bar crusade. PRAISE THE LORD for Bill's life. PRAISE THE LORD for His goodness. PRAISE THE LORD because it's just so good to PRAISE THE LORD. So on behalf of ALL the prayer warriors here in Carlisle and across the English Lake District and other parts of our world WE are praying for YOU ALL. God Bless you, In HIS GRIP."
George Mate, Great Britain.
"It will be full to the rafters and the rafters will be full of angels praising God for a life lived as an example to the rest of us. With lots of love and big hugs."
Elizabeth Arbuthnot, England.
"While we are saddened that the mission field has lost a great warrior, we are happy that he is with the Lord in Heaven and receiving his reward. We at Grace Bible Church in Southgate, MI had a very long relationship with you and Bill in your ministries, first with In Touch Mission International and later at Frontline Fellowship. We at GBC would like to honour Bill in some way. I know your newsletter says there will be a memorial for him on January 27th. Would there be a specific idea that you can think of that Bill would have liked to have done for him? Please let me know in the next few days, if something comes to mind. In Christ."
Joel Ashby, Grace Bible Church World Outreach Committee Chairman, Michigan.
"Thank you so much for including us in your list to receive your touching notification of your husband's passing. We are so sorry for your loss. His absence creates a vacancy that no one person will ever be able to fill. He was such a wealth of information and insight about the conditions in our world and in its many struggles. I feel the loss every time I am able to sit down and read another chapter of his Going On book. The life story you two share is such a powerful and prescient telling of God's heart for the loss of the world. His love for the nations and his ability to actually make a difference when he saw a need, is truly a rare combination in an Evangelist of his standing. He was a Statesman from first to last as well as being a humble Servant and gentle Shepherd to all. I can only imagine the many, many who will sit at his feet in Heaven to just hear him again tell of his wonderful Saviour and Lord. I know my husband and I will be so happy to make his acquaintance and Thank him in person for his life and legacy. Thank you, too, Mrs. Bathman for your many years of sacrifice and struggle that made your husband’s ministry so powerful and productive for the Lord. You’ve done VERY well to have stood by his side so valiantly and raised three beautiful, talented and intelligent daughters. You have MUCH to be so proud of. Well, thanks again for sharing with us and for allowing us to count you as friends. We are truly blessed and grateful. In His love."
Joyce and John Hart
"We are sorry to hear of your great loss. We were deeply touched and saddened by your message. Our thoughts are with you and your family. We will always remember Bill as a good friend and brother in Jesus Christ. Our thoughts are with you in these difficult times. In loving memory, Ulrich "best friend in Germany", as Bill would have said."
"Condolences on the loss of Rev. Bathman. We will be thinking of you and praying for you! What an honour to celebrate the life of such a great man. Kindest regards."
Gretel Olivier, staff and family, Alexandria, South Africa.
"We are so sorry for this deep void the passing of your amazing father brings. But we rejoice with you all for his joyous home going. He was an amazing, godly, funny, encouraging man that shared his life with everyone. Mark and I are just a few of his spiritual off-spring in ministry today because of his Faithful life poured out to others. We are praying for your sweet mother too during this time. Please give her our love."
Mark and Beth van Bebber, Hungary.
"I am sorry to hear the passing on of a great spiritual giant of the Faith."
Grant Schaefer, Zambia.
"My heart goes out to you and your family in the loss of your Dad. Always loved times together with him....inspiring and encouraging. He leaves a wonderful legacy of God's Faithfulness! I loved your Dad's zest for life and the drive and energy behind it...Christ's love for all mankind."
Delaine Nothum, Arizona.
"We are honoured and blessed to have known Uncle Bill. He was truly a blessing in our lives; and all those with whom he came into contact. I’ll always remember sitting at a restaurant with Uncle Bill; he asked the waitress, before we said Grace, if she had any prayer requests. She did! Her mother was soon to undergo a major operation. He prayed for the mother and the daughter. The waitress could not hold back her tears at the concern and love she witnessed from Bill! We will never forget his kindness. May our Lord bless and comfort you and your family during this time of grief. Please accept our sincere condolences. Uncle Bill was loved by all of us and he will be cherished in our memories forever. Lots of love."
Charl and Sonja, South Africa.
"We received your E Mail with mix feelings. A deep sadness for loosing such a friend, for such a brother and sainte, but also with thanksgiving knowing that Bill is with the Lord to receive his crown and reward. Bill was an encouragement and an example for us and for many others. His dedication for the Lord and His children was a blessing, an inspiration to be fallowed. We pray that The Lord will cover you with His love and protection in this time and for the rest of your life. We love you."
Elena (Pusa) and Vasile, Romania.
"Bill came to the church my father pastored in S.C. in 1960. We have supported him since. I was privileged to go with him to Eastern Europe in 1977 and amazed at his impact on the believers there. His ministry truly made a difference and his reward will be great. Our condolences for the families' loss but we will see him again."
Rev. Bill Monroe, South Carolina.
"Thinking of you all. You have played a vital role in my life and I appreciate you with all my heart! May our Lord strengthen you all. You are in my prayers."
Tershia Breytenbach de Klerk, South Africa.
"I never thought it possible to love someone you have never met. We have had many telephone conversations with Uncle Bill over the years, and one or two Skype conversations, he crept into our hearts and treated us as his family. We felt loved and appreciated by him. We feel blessed by his kindness and big heart. He will be missed and thought of often. Our condolences to the rest of his family, who will miss him too!"
Colin and Marion Newman, South Africa.
"Praying for you and your family!! We have this hope that soon we will be reunited with our loved ones who have gone before!! Be strong!! Praying for strength and peace."
Esther Oosthuyzen Wallis, East London.
"Praying for you. May your memories of him bring you comfort in the days ahead."
Fiona Hittler, Cape Town.
"So sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family."
Karen Jordaan Aliriza, Cape Town.
"So sorry Lenora Hammond. Thoughts and prayers for you and family."
Suzanne Nates, Cape Town.
"Keeping you and your loved ones in my prayers during this painful time."
Karen Cerff, South Africa.
"So sorry Lenora may Jesus hold you close."
"We Will Never forget Fratele Bill! Our thoughts and prayers are with YOU during this time!"
Mihaela Polender, Romania.
"We are thinking of you and your family this Christmas season, and praying God will comfort you and bring you peace, joy and laughter in the midst of sorrow."
Thyra and Fred Lewis, Texas.
"We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your very special Dad. Sad for you and your heart ache but glad for him as he has run and finished his race and is with his Saviour. Much love."
Louise Tountas, England.
""So sorry to hear your sad news Lenora. Thinking of you and your family. Lots of love."
Simmy Montandon Schofield, Cape Town.
"Thinking of you and your family Lenora!"
Hein Mulder, South Africa.
"Im sorry Lenora ~ praying for you.Your Father has left a mark on our planet and my heart!"
Susan Parks, Arizona.
"I was so sorry to hear of your Grandpa's passing, but so happy for him at the same time. I absolutely loved him to bits. He just held a special place in my heart."
Wendy Smith, Cape Town.
"Aah, so sorry for your loss - he was an amazing man and will never be forgotten! And yes, he is now enjoying his eternal reward indeed!"
Jessica Rice, Colorado, USA.
"I'm so sorry Lenora - God bless you all at this time of intense grief."
Kirsten van Klinken-Baarschers, Holland.
"I'm so sorry for your loss Lenora. What a very special man he was."
Debbie Humphrey, Arizona.
"Very sorry to hear this Lenora. Love and prayers."
Svenja Franke Bruhn, Austria.
"Oh my I send my sincerest condolences to you, your Mother & the rest of the family. He is a Hero of the Faith to many of us. Well done good & Faithful servant of God.... see you in Heaven one fine day. Comfort & Peace to each of you dear ones. Praying for you."
Natalie Leas Klostermann, Arizona.
"I'm so very sorry for your loss Lenora. Loads of love to you and your family."
Jacci Hall, Cape Town.
"My sincere prayers and thoughts are with you and your family at the loss of your father. The Lord will indeed comfort you at this time."
Christine Boswell, Cape Town.
"Sorry for your loss. Big hugs. He leaves a legacy."
Lynne Bucklow Schaefer, Zambia.
"Our prayers are with you and your family, Lenora Hammond. May the God of all comfort hold you closely in His arms."
Cheryl Turner, Virginia.
"What a glorious reunion awaits Christ's saints; when we shall not only see Him, but be like Him, with redeemed friends and family!"
Bill Evans, USA.
"Oh, I know how that GAP feels - deep and wide - fortunately the love of the Lord is as equally deep and wide to bring comfort. And I know He will!"
Peg Forrest, Arizona.
"Very, very, sorry, Lenora. I'm praying for all of you."
Beth Grayson, USA.
"Strength at this time of sorrow and remembrance Lenora. Memories last forever."
Greg Pearce, Cape Town.
"I remember his happy hearty laugh, a sharp wit that made for more laughter and a big compassionate soul. You are so much like him Lenora. You have the same twinkle in your eye and you both smile from the heart!"
Jo-Anne Benoit, South Africa.
"Ah, sorry to hear. Have such fond memories of your Dad! He is home."
Sonja Dahl Bartels, South Africa.
""One never is prepared. We were not intended to die!! Saddest wrenching away. But Jesus...! You shall meet again! Sad for you. Rejoice with you! His life mattered. See the fruit!"
Petro Immelman, Cape Town.
"So sorry to read this post and hear of your Dad's passing. What a shock. Condolences to you and your family. What a giant of a man. God bless you."
Erin Georgiou, South Africa.
"I'm saddened to hear this, you have my heartfelt sympathy! You are truly blessed to have a Father that knew and served the Lord. Your folks were the first parents of a friend who I knew to be Christians. This left an impression on me that contributed to my own choices in life."
Joni Starn, Alaska.
"Oh my Lenora I am so sorry. It is hard when we lose our parents. Praying for you and your whole family as you go through the loss of your Dad."
Debby Kay Urwin-Longenecker, Idaho.
"Oh, Lenora! I've just read! How incredibly sad! He was the man who has so much Faith in God who has received him back! He will always be in my heart! The consolation is that he has no more pain now and is watching over us! I feel for you and I want to be with you now and Aunt Harriett! Praying for you all. Andrea, you were wonderful! You had Uncle Bill so accurately described! For me, he was the Father substitute Dad I never had. He taught me a lot. He is now in his Heavenly home, no more pain to endure! In our hearts every day he will be with us! Please hug my Aunt Harriett and tell her that I love her! I hug you all!"
Conny Langmair, Austria.
"Dear Lenora, I am so sorry for your loss and for your family. I can only imagine what a wonderful father he was, having raised such an amazing daughter. May you find peace in your Faith and your memories."
Lani Garry, Canada.
"My deepest sympathy to you and your family, Lenora. May your beautiful memories bring you comfort. Big hug!"
Jean Hopley, Cape Town.
"My condolences. Wish you a lot of strength for the hard time!"
Nicole Wörnschimmel, Austria.
"We have just been reading in Frontline Fellowship News about your father. So sorry to hear that he has passed away. May you be comforted in knowing that he is out of all pain."
Yvonne Hartley, South Africa.
"I was sorry to hear of the passing of Rev. Bathman - sincerest condolences to you and your family. What a tremendous privilege it was to know him and pray for his work over the years."
Tracy Munsil, Arizona.
"I heard of Bill’s transition to glory. My heart goes out to you and your family and rejoices that he is with his Lord and God."
"Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:3."
Peter Hammond, South Africa.
"My Grandad was a great man. He was a great people person. There wasn’t a local petrol attendant that didn’t know him. He travelled and ministered far and wide to so many people. He was loved by many, revered by many and God fearing. He loved singing us songs, telling us stories and jokingly 'pulling-your-leg'. I am so proud to have such a wonderful Grandad to call my own! He always made me feel worthy of doing and being more. I am so very grateful for the part he played in making our childhood wonderful and time together on travels in America. I miss him terribly, but look forward to a great reunion in Heaven one day."
Daniela Hammond, South Africa.
"To the best Grandfather in the universe... I love you more than words could describe. You had an immense impact on my life and I thank God for the many memories you and I have shared together. You have been a huge blessing to me which I'll never take for granted. May the Lord keep you close with Him for all eternity. I love you and I will miss you so much. Gone but not forgotten. RIP Bill Bathman."
Christopher Hammond, South Africa.
"My Grandad was somebody who lived to see more than most. He was a force to be reckoned with on the chess board, he could drive better than any other grey-haired man, or any man for that matter and did not feel the need to abide by the rules of the road when he felt like showing off his incredible driving skills. On Sunday afternoons after lunch, I would patiently wait for him to finish tea which would always have after lunch. He would sit on the couch by the window in the living room next to my Grandma and would have the typical old people conversations for what seemed like hours (everything takes too long when you are a kid). When he was about to go to his car, Chris and I would climb into his car boot and let him drive like a Formula 1 racer through the streets of Pinelands! This was always the highlight of my Sundays. Every time after we prayed for our midday meal, we would in unison say "shmatsnele", which meant "let us eat" in a language I had never heard of. He would drop whatever he was doing and sit through hours of traffic to fetch me for gymnastics. To this day I still remember the amount of respect he was given by other people. This just shows me how much of an influence he was to others. Like how many of your Grandads have smuggled Bibles across Soviet borders during the Cold War? …yeah... keep quiet!
The last time I saw my Grandad was when I was 8 years old and even though I was very young, I still know that he was a one-of-a-kind, loving and energetic person who would send shivers down your spine when he preached. He loves me more than I will ever know and I know that he is in a better place, driving antique cars with fire extinguishers mounted on top of them. I love you Grandad and I am blessed to be able to call you that!"
Calvin Hammond, South Africa.
"Some of you know my sweet Granddad passed away on December 11th. Social media usually gets flooded the second something this big happens, but I personally needed to take some time away from here to reminisce privately. Today we said goodbye to him, so it seems like the appropriate time to share my thoughts with you all. It was a beautiful service and it was a privilege to be there beside my Grandma, as Grandpa received military honours at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. There aren't too many people who have influenced me, or impacted my life in such a significant way like my Granddad has. He taught me SO MUCH of what I know: from learning to swim "bravely" all by myself, to riding a bike without training wheels, to telling time on an analogue clock, playing a strategic game of chess (his FAVORITE game), driving a car (both manual and automatic), and the essentials on being a skilled writer (which I have yet to truly learn) - and this barely scrapes the surface!! My Granddad was always ready to give us nuggets (and oftentimes bucketful's) of wisdom. I'll NEVER forget the incredible man he was. I've never known a kinder, more gracious person, and I will miss him every day until we are finally reunited in our Heavenly home. While his death wasn't a surprise, our hearts still mourn his absence here on earth. It's hard to be sad, though, knowing how much joy he is experiencing now as he is with Jesus, free from sin, free from pain! He spent nearly his entire life ministering to others, and now he is enjoying his eternal reward! Praise God!! Love you Momino! Praying for you as you and Grandma grieve together."
Andrea Combs, Arizona.
"What can I say about a man who has made
Such a profound impact on my life always?
From the beginning, you were always there
And you taught me more than my fair share!
You are more than my Grandpa, you're my inspiration.
You showed me how to write with imagination.
Through you, I learned how to balance my bike
And toss away the training wheels of life!
You taught me how to swim rather than sink.
In chess, you didn't let me win but taught me to think.
Because of you, I learned how to tell time,
How to drive a car without committing a crime.
Because of your impressive writing resume
I strive to compose as well as you someday.
There's no one out there whose kinder than you,
More patient, loving, or wise and true.
We could listen to your storytelling all day,
Little embellishments, it's all fun and play.
For decades you've shared your deep love for our Jesus.
The world is a better place because of your bold witness!
I love you more than I can begin to say
Grandpa, thank you for being my Grandpa always!"
Andrea Combs, Arizona.
"I had the honour of preaching at my Grandpa-in-law's funeral. Bill Bathman was an amazing man of God, who taught us through his life what it means to abide in Christ and to love as Christ loved us. He served the Lord for over 60 years on the mission field, preaching to the lost and discipling believers in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. Even in his final days he was still preaching and discipling those around him. But one of the most valuable lessons I learned was what it means to finish strong. Although he died, now he truly lives. The world is a better place because of the Faithful service of Bill Bathman. I know that God will continue to bear much fruit through his life for many generations to come. He was truly a hero of the Faith and he will be dearly missed. Jesus said, "I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die" (John 11:25-26).
Hunter Combs, Arizona.
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa