In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Edward Laughridge, 89

Edward H. Laughridge

Edward H. Laughridge

Edward H. Laughridge, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel in Trinidad and Liberia, died August 11, 2019. He was 89.

Ed was born the eldest of seven children to James Truman and Clara Jane Laughridge in Rock Hill, S.C., on May 18, 1930. He married Frances Morton of Clinton, S.C., on Sept. 17, 1950.

Laughridge wrote when seeking appointment that by the late 1950s he had a good job and he and Frances were deeply involved in their church, had a nice home and a beautiful baby girl. In the summer of 1959, he said, “The Lord called clearly and distinctly to me.” When he finally surrendered, he said, it was to go wherever God called.

Several years later, when he felt God calling him to missions, he wrote “My life had already been given to serve Christ – and the call to the mission field is the next step in the progress of my Christian experience.”

Laughridge received the Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C.; the Bachelor of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C., and a certificate from the School of Pastoral Care, Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem.

Ed and Frances served as Baptist missionaries from 1968 to 1972 in Trinidad and then spent 21 years in Liberia, West Africa. While in Liberia, they built churches, schools and clean-water wells and were the liaisons for a five-year project of medical clinics in villages staffed by U.S. church volunteers.

Laughridge was president of the Liberia Baptist Seminary from 1982 to 1984. During the Liberian civil war from 1990 to 1996, he coordinated refugee food relief efforts, working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The city of Atlanta became home for the Laughridges after they retired following nearly 27 years of service with the International Mission Board. Fran died in 2007.

In 2009, Laughridge taught English for a year at the Chang Ping campus of Peking University in Beijing.

In April of 2018, he moved to Lincoln, Neb., and lived with daughter and son-in-law, Sharon and Doug Fenn, until his death.

Besides his daughter and son-in-law, Laughridge is survived by son Len Laughridge of New Jersey; sister Alene Wilson (David) of South Carolina and brother Jim Laughridge (Nancy) of North Carolina.

Read an obituary here.