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Quinn Pugh dies at 74; led N.Y. Baptists 12 years

STATESBORO, Ga. (BP)–R. Quinn Pugh, executive director of the Baptist Convention of New York from 1984-96, died Feb. 13 after open heart surgery.

Pugh, who had been living with wife, Norma, in Statesboro, Ga., was 74.

“In all of earth, there exists by comparison few other places with so great a challenge, so diverse a region, so magnificent a people, so universal a character,” Pugh, a Texas native, wrote in a 1996 column reflecting on his 12 years with the New York convention.

Pugh also served as executive director of the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association from 1979-84.

Earlier, he was pastor of churches in Bel Air, Md.; Westwood, N.J.; and Atlanta.

Over the years, Pugh was active in the Baptist World Alliance. He also had served as chairman of the executive boards of the New York convention and the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.

J.B. Graham, who succeeded Pugh as executive director of the New York convention, said, “[T]hough we who knew him are grieving our loss, it is comforting to know that at this moment he is no longer in pain, but in the presence of our Lord. Quinn was my pastor when I served in the Susquehanna Baptist Association in Maryland years ago. What a surprise and privilege to follow him upon his retirement from the Baptist Convention of New York. Our prayers continue for Norma [and their children] Ben and Ruth.”

At the time of his retirement, the convention’s executive board chairman, Terry Robertson, said, “Dr. R. Quinn Pugh, with the partnership of his wife, Norma, has significantly impacted the life and work of the Baptist Convention of New York. Numerous pastors across our convention territory fondly refer to Dr. Pugh as their mentor. Both Dr. and Mrs. Pugh have touched our lives, leaving us with a sense of profound gratitude for the past and an ever-growing anticipation for the work of our Lord in the days ahead.”

Pugh earned undergraduate degrees at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall and Oglethorpe University in Atlanta; a divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga.; and a doctor of ministry degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

Pugh is survived by three grandchildren in addition to his wife of 45 years, who served as a trustee of the SBC’s former Historical Commission; his son, Reuben Quinn Pugh Jr. of Denver, and daughter, Ruth Loy Pugh Forman of Phoenixville, Pa.

The funeral was scheduled for Feb. 17 at First Baptist Church in Statesboro, where he had been serving as a deacon. On Feb. 20, a graveside service will be held in Tennessee Colony, Texas, the rural community where he was reared.

The family requested that memorial contributions to be made to the Baptist World Alliance in Falls Church, Va.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: R. QUINN PUGH.