Bill  Harriett Bathman 7.04To view this tribute as a PDF with pictures CLICK HERE (1.6Mb)

On Sunday, 11 December 2016, Rev. Bill Bathman ended his earthly ministry and entered eternity. Over the last year, Bill Bathman has battled with congestive heart failure and cancer (adenocarcinoma of the prostate with metastasis). He was cared for at home by his dedicated wife, Harriett, a Registered Nurse, who doubtless was used of the Lord to extend his life by decades.

More Lives than a Cat
In 1970, Bill Bathman had a head-on collision with a Porsche on an alpine road in Austria. Although thrown through the windscreen of the car, suffering broken bones, he survived that, as well as heart attacks and strokes in the 1980s. Bill Bathman distributed New Testaments to Soviet soldiers as they invaded Czechoslovakia in August 1968, ministered in Nicaragua during the communist takeover in 1979 and was preaching in Romania at the time of the revolution in 1989. Bill Bathman turned 89 on the 1st December.

Looking Forward to Heaven
When I saw him last in October, he was reading Randy Alcorn's book on Heaven. "I am reading up on my next move! This is the best book on Heaven I have ever read.", "There is far more about Heaven in the Bible than I was aware of!" Bill laughed about having two life-threatening diseases competing with each other as to which one would get him first.


"Retirement is not in my vocabulary," he said. "Whether the Lord comes, or calls, I want to be ready and die with my boots on." He mentioned that he was working on a new devotional book: Overflow. "Giving does not empty your purse, nor does loving empty your heart. The thing that blesses people is not overwork, but overflow."

Chairman of the Board of Frontline Fellowship for 14 Years
Despite having lost a lot of weight and needing an oxygen concentrator to assist in his breathing, in recent months, Bill Bathman remained an active Chairman of the Board of Frontline Fellowship, guiding, advising and instructing us out of his wealth of o20ver six decades of Christian service.

Evangelising Throughout the Earth
One of the best introductions to Bill Bathman that I heard was: "Two thirds of the world is covered in water and the other third by Bill Bathman!" Indeed, my Father-in-Law, Rev. Bill Bathman, was an extraordinary Evangelist, who ministered in 114 countries, throughout his long and productive life.

From the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee to the U.S. Navy
Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1 December 1927, Bill was driving delivery trucks already from age 14. He loved fast cars and obtained his pilot's licence to engage in extraordinarily dangerous aerial feats. Including landing on the football field of the university where he was studying, Bob Jones University (BJU). He served on a Destroyer in the US Navy and was converted to Christ shortly after entering Theological Training for the ministry! His spiritual birthday was 8 September 1948.

Missionary to Europe
In the Summer of 1951, Bill Bathman led a four-man Mission team to Europe. Within a month of graduating from BJU, Bill and his bride, Harriett Bathman, 4set off as Missionaries to Europe. For the next two decades, they were based first in England and then Austria, ministering throughout Western Europe and across the Iron Curtain, to serve persecuted Christians in Communist controlled Eastern Europe. For ten years Bill hosted a daily radio program In Touch and for over 20 years was the Editor of a monthly geo-strategic newsletter, Global Glance.

Steadfast and Sacrificial Service
In this superficial age of short-term ministry, Bill and Harriett Bathman have clearly demonstrated what real Missions are all about: whole-hearted, life-long commitment. For over 60 years, the Bathmans invested everything they had into the cause of Evangelism and serving the persecuted Church. They immersed themselves into the lives of the people amongst whom they were called to serve. They were 22 years into ministry in Europe before they took their first furlough. Bill and Harriett Bathman show us what it means to endure hardship, persevere under trial and stand firm to the end.

Ministering with God's Smuggler
In October, this year, I asked Bill when he first met Brother Andrew. "It was 1957 and I was conducting services across Europe. That night I was in Bensheim, Germany, when I saw two cars with Netherlands licence plates - one was a VW Beetle and the other a 1957 Chevy. They were enroute to Hungary and Poland." Then Bill remarked that sometime later, when they met to co-ordinate training programmes and Missions behind the Iron Curtain, Brother Andrew had commented on his text and sermon that night in Bensheim: "But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: 'A dog returns to his own vomit,' and 'a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire'." 2 Peter 2:22. Brother Andrew said that he could never forget such an unusual Evangelistic sermon and text!

23Beloved Brother Bill
When I had the privilege of accompanying Rev. Bill Bathman on Missions to Eastern Europe (both before and after the collapse of the Iron Curtain), I was struck by how much the people there love him. In Poland, Czech and Slovakia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and Albania, it was inspiring to see with what overwhelming joy he was welcomed by the pastors and local Christians and to see the shining faces and rapt attention of devoted members of each congregation. They stood, or sat, riveted, hanging on every word of their beloved "Brother Bill."

In the Darkest Times when their Need Was the Greatest
Time and again, the precious believers in Eastern Europe eagerly related to me how Bill Bathman had been the first Christian from the West to visit them, how he had visited them the most, stayed the longest, given the most and how he had come back again and again. Bill Bathman came through the Iron Curtain when their need was the greatest, during the darkest years, when it was the most dangerous. When few others seemed to care or to dare - Bill Bathman was there for them.

Anointed and Empowered Evangelist
Rev. Bill Bathman is a world-class preacher and an extraordinary Evangelist. However, one could never compare his preaching in the West with the incredibly anointed ministry God poured through him in Eastern Europe. Leaders in Romania, such as Rev. Josef Tson, Dr. Nicolai Gheorghita and Dr. Paul Negrut, in Oradea, told me that the outbreak of Revival in Romania began while Rev. Bill Bathman was delivering a particularly powerful series of sermons, in January 1983, at Second Baptist Church (now Emanuel Baptist Church). It was an extraordinary Evangelistic Crusade which resulted in Revival blessings flowing across Western Romania.

Going OGoing On Template with Erlo-Stegenn and Going Through
It often seems that modern missionary volunteers just want to dabble in Missions - for the experience. However, Bill Bathman's books, Going Through - Even if the Door is Closed and Going On - With a Nod from God, present inspiring examples of dedicated discipleship and serious service, not just splashing in the shallows, but delving into the deep. Spiritually speaking, Missions need more than short-distance  sprinters, it needs long-distance marathon runners. Rev. Bill Bathman can now declare: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the Faith." 2 Timothy 4:7.

Faith in Action
In Missions, obstacles abound. Disappointments, dangers, difficulties and discouragements are occupational hazards of cross-cultural Missions. Bill Bathman persevered for 67 years, demonstrating that sacrificial service is the most eloquent sermon of all.

Africa Overland
I also had the privilege of ministering with Bill Bathman in Mexico, South West Africa/Namibia, Angola, Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Sudan. In fact, Rev. Bill BPicture1athman was 74-years old when I flew with  him into Western Equatoria, South Sudan, in 2001. Bill Bathman went right up to the frontline of the battle front, preaching in areas where we had come under aerial bombardment and artillery barrages. He so enjoyed this ministry to the persecuted Church in South Sudan, that, upon returning to Cape Town, he purchased a land cruiser, loaded it up with Bibles and essential supplies for the Church in South Sudan and drove it overland, 8,000km to donate both vehicle and contents to the Church in South Sudan.

Inspiring Example
His example reminded us of Caleb, who could, at the end of his life, say, "Give me that mountain!" "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1

58Blessing His Grandchildren
Bill Bathman founded three Missions: Network, Pioneers and ITMI. He also poured his life into the Mission of Frontline Fellowship, especially during the seven years that they were based 226 in Cape Town, from 2001 to 2008. Our eldest daughter, Andrea, had the joy of being trained by her Granddad in how to play chess and win! He also taught her to swim, to ride a bike and to drive, long before she was old enough to have a drivers licence! All of his grandchildren in Cape Town thoroughly enjoyed having their Grandparents close at hand and involved in their daily lives and schooling. Bill and Harriett Bathman have three daughters: Deborah, Linda and Lenora; ten grandchildren: Thomas, Lenora and Oliver, Vincent, Daniel and Jesaja, Andrea, Daniela, Christopher and Calvin; plus seven great-grandchildren: Johannes, Matthias, Madilyn Mae, Emmalyn Grace, Miriam, Sebastian and Jeremy.

Triumph Amidst Tribulation
Bill Bathman lived an action-packed life ministering throughout Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War and throughout the tumultuous events of the Cold War, ministering in Rhodesia during the Bush War in the 70s, during the Revolutions in Central America, ministering despite repression in Red China, ministering in the Revival in Zululand and the Revival amidst persecution in Sudan. His fervent Faith under fire in the war zones of Africa, documenting many of the triumphs of the Gospel amidst tragedies and the tremendous testimonies of God's grace, provision, protection and guidance during the turbulent times of terrorism threatening Faith and freedom today. Bill Bathman's writings in Going On and Going Through take one behind the lines and beyond the news headlines of what has really been happening in these conflict and restricted access areas. If you have not yet read these books, you are missing out.

Calling Sinners to Repentance - Even in Churches
Even at 88 years old, he was still able to be banned from a pulpit - for giving an altar call! Bill was not one to miss Evangelistic opportunities. He called people to Repentance and Faith in Christ at every opportunity. I met people who recalled how they saw Bill Bathman go into pubs in Britain, stand on the bar counter and proclaim the Gospel to the customers!

Living in the Light of Eternity
With physicians, pharmacists and nurses, he would often be heard saying: "I have learned one thing in life." (That gets their attention and arouses curiosity. What has this old man learned about life? There is a brief 34pause while waiting for the answer).

"We never get out of it alive!" There is usually a laugh and agreement with this obvious truth).

"So, the only way to live… is to be ready to die." (That is logical. Remember the Divine appointment?) "It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the Judgment" Hebrews 9:27). "The only way to be  ready to die - is to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour." ("For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His Name." John 1:12).

Be a Fisher of Men
Bill Bathman sometimes said to us: "Jesus Christ once said to professional fishermen, 'Follow Me, I will make you a fisher of men." He would then challenge us to win souls.

"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
{jcomments on}

To view the Memorial Service Leaflet CLICK HERE

Bill-Bathman collage 2 webTo view a photo collage of Bill Bathman CLICK HERE (245kb) to print this collage CLICK HERE (2.85Mb)

Dr. Peter Hammond

Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480
Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Account Name : Bill Bathman Memorial Fund
Bank : Wells Fargo Bank / checking
Act# : 6516821367
Swift Code : WFBIUS6S

Copyright © 2021. Frontline Fellowship. Powered by joomla
S5 Logo