God smiled on John and Ora (Ellis) Patrick when they gave birth to Velma Dee, their fifth of eleven children.
She confessed a hope in Jesus Christ at an early age and was a member of the Jerusalem Baptist Church in Preston.
In 1949, during the hot summer month of August, she married the love of her life, Ralph Bagby. God blessed their loving union to raise twelve children.
In 1950, when her husband was called to the ministry, she also accepted the charge to serve alongside him. She served in many capacities throughout her Christian walk. While serving in the church, she became a licensed missionary. She later served as the District Missionary for the Pentecostal District of the Oklahoma Southeast Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Churches of God in Christ, under the leadership of the late Superintendent Elder Roy Davis, Sr. She also dutifully served as the State Supervisor for the Evangelistic Temple Churches of God in Christ, under the leadership of the late Bishop Bobby L. Williams.
One of the most rewarding assignments in her Christian walk was serving as the first lady of the Northside Evangelistic Temple Church of God in Christ for 32 years. Mother Bagby continued her husband’s legacy after his passing in 2007 and served in the church as a spiritual leader until the Lord called her to her home in glory.
She received a number of accolades and recognitions throughout her service to God: Citation for Outstanding Community Service, by Representative Kevin Matthews in 2010; a proclamation naming a “Velma Bagby Day” in Preston, October 12, 2011, by the mayor; Honorary Doctorate Degree, by Bishop John Vincent, Jr., in 2013 – Fellowship Bible Institute of the State of Oklahoma; a certificate for 54 years of membership of the Oklahoma Southeast Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ in 2015; a Certificate of Appreciation for the labor of love shown to the Pentecostal District of Oklahoma Southeast Jurisdiction in 2016; The Wall of Fame Award presented by the Christian Ministers Alliance Tulsa Metro Baptist Association in 2022; Nonagenarian Citation from the National Presiding Bishop J. Drew Sheard, General Officers, The General Assembly, and the Membership of the Church of God in Christ in November 2022.
Many who knew her and loved her affectionately called Mother Bagby “Maw-Maw.” Mother Bagby was known for wearing many big hats and not just the ones she wore on Sunday mornings. Mother Bagby drove the church van for years, taught summer November 14, 1931 – November 6, 2023
Bible school, and countless acts of kindness in her community. Parents knew their child would be safe when they would get off the bus at her home for after- school care. She was devoted to preparing and serving dinner in the Bagby’s home, and all were welcome to follow them home after sharing God’s word at church. Mother Bagby surely cooked a million meals. Dinner almost always included a piece of her famous sweet potato pie. She was also known for her disciplined principles of living a holy and separated life. Mother Bagby exemplified being saved, sanctified and being filled with the precious Holy Ghost and that with fire! She always had an encouraging word and a teaching method to help others to live a saved and separated life from sin.
On Monday morning, November 6, 2023, Mother Velma Bagby heard the call to come home to her mansion in the sky, not made by man’s hands.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Ora Patrick; husband, Elder Ralph Bagby; two infant children, Ross Everett Bagby and Faye Roshell Bagby; four grandchildren; one brother; and six sisters.
Remaining to continue the Bagby legacy: her devoted and loving children are, Thomasinea Weaver (Claude), Ralph Myron Bagby, Pamela LaKaye (Jackie) Jones, Roderick Donald (Marva) Bagby, Renee Marie (Peter) James, Gesille (Gerald) Keene, Eric Dewayne (Gloria) Bagby, Daryl Lee (Robin) Bagby, Kevyn Joy Bagby, Delton Theron (Cheryl) Bagby, Aurdra Ray (Sylvia) Bagby, and Tonya Yvette (Felix) Roberts; in addition; 54 grandchildren, 119 great-grandchildren; and 17 great-great grandchildren; three siblings, Yvonne Sanders, Wilma Yarbrough, and Geneva (Reverend Lewis) Hanson; and a host of loving relatives and friends, including her church family of the Northside Evangelistic Temple Church of God in Christ.
Mother Velma Bagby, in her 91st year with us, “Traveled up the Highway called Holiness” on Monday morning, November 6, 2023, with her loving family surrounding her.
Mother Bagby’s Celebratory Service will be held Saturday, November 11, 2023, at 11 a.m. at The Refuge Church, 1206 W. 5th St. in Okmulgee. Elder R.E. Huff, Jr., Pastor of Northside Church of God in Christ, will officiate and Pastor Briarsen Burke, Pastor of St. James Church of God in Christ of Ada, will deliver the eulogy.
You may visit Mother Bagby as she slumbers in sweet repose in the Chapel of Peace of the Keith D. Biglow Funeral Directors, Inc. of Okmulgee on Friday between the hours of 1-6 p.m. Visitation will be held Saturday from 9:45-10:45 a.m. at The Refuge Church. The casket will not be opened at the conclusion of the celebration.
Arrangements are under the direction of Keith D. Biglow Funeral Directors, Okmulgee.