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Fred Hubbs, first exec for Mich. Baptists, dies at 80

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)–Fred D. Hubbs, who served as the first executive director of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan, died in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 3. He was 80.

Hubbs served as an associational missionary for the Motor Cities Baptist Association in Michigan from 1952-57. When the Baptist State Convention of Michigan was organized in 1957, Hubbs was chosen to serve as executive director, a post he held until 1970.

“He was a true pioneer in sacrificing for Kingdom work in Michigan,” Michael Collins, current executive director of the BSCM, said of Hubbs. “He was passionate about Baptist work and the cause of Christ in Michigan. On the occasions we had opportunities to talk, each time he would say, ‘I’m praying for you and the people of Michigan.’ Even after all these years.”

The launching of the state convention “required the high-risk, total commitment of its ministers and leaders, beginning with Fred Hubbs,” a 2001 history of Baptist work in Michigan by Bill Livingson noted.

Hubbs was elected first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1966.

In 1971, he began serving as associate executive director for the Baptist State Convention of Missouri. From 1973-76, he was a full-time evangelist, and in 1976 he became pastor of Arlington Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., where he served until 1984.

In 1987, Hubbs moved to Monroe, Mich., to help organize an association and help with the construction of their office building. He moved to Brooksville, Fla., in 1993 to serve as co-pastor of Baptist Church of Garden Grove, and in 1999 poor health prompted him to retire in Orlando.

Hubbs was a native of Harrisburg, Ill., and a World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy. He earned degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., and pastored three churches in Arkansas and Texas.

Hubbs is survived by his wife of 61 years, the former Shirley Starkey of Galatia, Ill.; three daughters, Sharon Smith of Livonia, Mich., Carol Hopson of Jacksonville, Fla., and Deborah Hart of Orlando; a son, Frederick Jr. of Niles, Mich.; 14 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Services were Jan. 6 at an Altamonte Springs, Fla., funeral home, with a memorial service scheduled Jan. 9 at Merriman Road Baptist Church in Garden City, Mich.
With reporting by Julie Scheving. (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: FRED HUBBS.

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