Bro. Earl 'Buddy' Duggins
Duggins arrived at his heavenly home shortly after preaching his final Easter
message on Sunday, April 12, 2020. The hope of the resurrection he preached
about on Sunday morning became a reality for him on Sunday afternoon.
Buddy was born on September 20, 1938 to Alvie and Grace Duggins. He grew up in Kilgore and attended Eastview Baptist Church. At an early age, placed his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
In 1956, Buddy graduated from Kilgore High School with his beloved sister, Marcella, and joined the United States Marine Corps shortly thereafter. After serving in the Marines, Buddy returned to Kilgore and met the love of his life, Connie, while working in Wackers department store downtown. Their first date was at the Crim Theater on January 20, 1960. It was love at first sight and they married on September 17, 1960.
Buddy and Connie’s marriage was a wonderful picture of God’s love. Their fifty-nine years of marriage saw many blessings, including the birth of their three beloved daughters, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Buddy’s family was his pride and joy. Buddy stood by Connie’s side through her nine battles with cancer. Their faith in God saw them through and kept them close to each other.
After working his way through college, Buddy was called to preach in 1964. Buddy’s “yes” to God’s plan for his life was a decision that would impact countless lives throughout fifty-five years of faithful ministry. With Connie by his side, Earl pastored seven churches, including his beloved Forest Home Baptist Church, where he pastored for over thirty years. Buddy was an evangelist at heart and he preached over four hundred revival meetings.
Buddy lived life to the fullest. He had an endless capacity to love people. He never met a stranger and had thousands of friends. He cherished each one. Always on the go, Buddy enjoyed traveling across the country with his grandchildren. He was a sharp dresser, loved Texas BBQ, and was a lifelong Elvis fan.
Buddy’s greatest legacy is the thousands of people he led to faith in Jesus Christ. The final words of his Easter sermon, spoken just moments before he went to glory, were “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”