Dr Bauder’s tribute to C. Raymond Buck

C. Raymond Buck: One Remarkable Man

Last Friday, the Lord called Raymond Buck home to glory. His passing came as no surprise. He had experienced a stroke some weeks ago, and his condition had deteriorated further with pneumonia. Clearly, this was the Lord’s time for Dr. Buck’s homegoing.

I first met Dr. Buck just ten years ago. I was a brand new professor at Central Seminary, and Dr. Buck was a distinguished elder statesman. During his long and varied career he had been a pastor, a missionary in Africa, an administrator for and ultimately president of Baptist Mid-Missions, and a seminary professor. I was expecting to meet a grave and somber ecclesiastic. Raymond Buck was nothing of the kind.

In our first conversation we discovered that we both had an interest in gunsmithing. From that point onward we were friends. I was able to find parts for guns that he was tinkering with, and he managed to get me interested in collecting old cameras (another of his hobbies).

Dr. Buck loved to regale his friends with tales of Africa. He told about practical jokes that his African students would play on him. He talked about shooting his first elephant, and he showed me the bullet with which he killed it. He spun a tale about hunting a cape buffalo, then suddenly realizing that the buffalo was hunting him! He told about shooting a leopard one night in self-defense. I saw him stump a Romanian translator with a story about upsetting a Land Rover full of avocadoes—the interpreter had no idea what an avocado was.

Underneath all these tales, however, was a common theme. That theme was the tremendous need of the world for the message of Christ. Dr. Buck felt that need keenly. He never stopped encouraging people to look at the world’s mission fields.

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