Pastor Travis Hudson, of Dayton, Ohio, born March 26, 1928, in Elmrock, Kentucky, went home to be with his Lord and Master, Whom he loved and served faithfully, on February 5, 2020, at the age of 91.
Bro. Hudson was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers, one sister, and one precious grandson, Zachary.
Beloved husband of sixty-nine years to Hildred Hudson, godly father of Rhonda (Wayne) Burke and Terrell (Diana) Hudson; grandfather of Travis (Stacey) Burke, Chrystal (Randy) Snell, Rachel (Rick) Sallee, Jonathan (Allison) Hudson, and Hannah (Patrick) Dell’Aria. Loving great-grandfather of Alexander, Zachary, Grace, Lici, Hope, Caleb, Eli, Joshua, Lydia, Micah, Sarah, Elsie, and Elliot.
Bro. Hudson gladly spent his life serving the Lord as pastor and co-pastor of the wonderful people of the Moraine Heights Baptist Church for sixty-nine years. Only God knows how many souls Bro. Hudson now rejoices with in Glory that he was able to point to Him.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 10, 2020 at the Moraine Heights Baptist Church, 5661 Munger Rd., Dayton, Ohio 45459 with his son Bro. Terrell Hudson officiating. Internment Evergreen Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday at the church. Arrangement entrusted to the Swart Funeral Home, West Carrollton. www.swartfuneralhome.com.
Travis Hudson’s life’s pathway began on March 26, 1928, in Elmrock, Kentucky. He was the seventh of eight children born to the Hudson household. Growing up in the hollers of Kentucky, Travis Hudson was a true country boy born in a simple log cabin to an ordinary Appalachian family. Bro. Hudson grew up as most boys did in deep Kentucky in the 1930’s. At the age of 14, Bro. Hudson moved to Dayton, Ohio to work in Construction.
Life went from ordinary to extraordinary when he was gloriously saved at the age of eighteen. It was at the Westside Baptist Church on Anna Street in Dayton in 1946 that Travis Hudson realized his lost condition and accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. The pastor, Bro. Sam Slone, was preaching that day. As Bro. Hudson used to testify,
“I was hiding behind a pole listening to him preach, but the Lord knew where to find me. I could hide from the preacher, but I couldn’t hide from the Lord.”
Following his conversion, the Lord began to direct his path in a different direction. The following year, in 1947, Pastor Slone began to sponsor prayer meetings in the home of Ernest Huff on Holman Street in Moraine. These prayer meetings led to a tent revival in that area. That tent revival lasted for two weeks. It was led by Bro. Claude McGuff, Bro. Keeton, and Bro. Scott. A young, growing, zealous Travis Hudson attended every meeting. That large tent was exchanged for a smaller one that would be set up on Oscar Angel’s property on Gladstone Street. These services were continually held until the weather demanded a move to the small garage of Bro. and Mrs. Oscar Angel.
On July 31, 1950, Travis Hudson married Hildred Hays of Noble, Kentucky in the family home. The two young newlyweds first lived on West Second Street in Dayton. Travis Hudson continued helping the young mission work in Moraine, and by 1951 the mission had constructed their first building (32’ x 62’). The folks said,
“This is the only building we’ll ever need.”
In February of 1951, Travis Hudson was approved by the Westside Baptist Church to be the official leader of the mission work in Moraine. Bro. Hudson testified of this event:
“The first time I preached at this church (then a mission), there were about fifteen people present and two precious souls made a profession of faith. Since then, I’ve seen thousands walk the aisles to receive Christ.”
The church would be organized on June 10, 1951, as the West Moraine Baptist Church. That day, thirty-one charter members covenanted together to share the Gospel and preach God’s Word. Soon after, Travis Hudson was ordained to be their pastor.
That small building proved to be inadequate to hold the blessings of the Lord, and it would fail to be the only building they would ever need. Toward the end of 1951, a 40 x 62 footbasement was added. In 1953, an extension to that basement was necessary. In July of 1956, a new main auditorium was built on Holman Street. They soon would need to buy the parking lot across the street and then the house next door to the church. All of that could not accommodate the growth of the West Moraine Baptist Church, so another neighboring house had to be purchased. For fifteen years, the church continued to grow, countless souls were saved, and lives were changed.
By May of 1971, a larger meeting house was necessary as the Lord continued to bless. The present property of the church was then purchased, the auditorium was built, and the name of the church was changed to the Moraine Heights Baptist Church.
In the midst of all of this, a young Travis Hudson in 1952-1953 attended the Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Pineville, Kentucky. He would drive home each weekend to conduct services as he continued his studies. The Lord blessed his marriage with Mrs. Hildred with two children, Rhonda and Terrell. Rhonda would marry a preacher and serve the Lord as a pastor’s wife and schoolteacher. Terrell would become a preacher, as well, and would later serve as pastor of the Moraine Heights Baptist Church and now as staff evangelist.
Bro. Hudson desired to be found faithful in fulfilling the Lord’s Great Commission. Bro. Hudson was led, under the authority of the Moraine Heights Baptist Church, to establish eighteen Baptist churches in the Dayton area- fourteen of which are still proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bro. Hudson has preached to hundreds of thousands both in the United States and in foreign countries. He has authored two books: One More Night With the Frogs and The Son Shines Forever. In addition, he has written a number of gospel tracts and Bible studies. The Trinity Baptist College honored him with a doctorate degree in the late 1970s.
While it would take novels to share all the details of Bro. Hudson’s remarkable path of life which God has led him down, one element emerges above all else: a passion for souls. Never a sermon was preached by Bro. Hudson that a burden for lost souls to be saved was not evident. Never a prayer was prayed by Bro. Hudson that crying out to God was not heard for the lost to be saved. Hardly a day passed by that a word of witness of God’s saving grace was not shared with someone. In the elevators at the hospital, on the banks of the fishing pond, in the living room of the family he was visiting, Bro. Hudson was faithful to share with all he could the saving Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. His life and example is truly one of which Hebrews 13:7 speaks of:
“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”
In 1946, Bro. Hudson placed his faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to be his Saviour, and he did not stop telling people about it until the time God called him home. Even in the midst of a terrible disease, Bro. Hudson never forgot the glorious message- even recently leading residents to Christ. Bro. Hudson loved to sing, loved to pray, lived to preach, and desired above all else to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).
In February of 1977, Bro. Hudson wrote:
“If (my) messages are a blessing to the saved, and if they will keep one precious soul out of hell-then my efforts will not have been in vain. It is for that purpose they are sent forth.”
Today, his family thanks you who have been an encouragement to him. He would want you to continue your service for the Saviour. Our God is worthy! May we all look forward to that day when we, with him, will rejoice in the presence of the Lord!
Bro. Hudson’s favorite Bible passage was Proverbs 3:5-6:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Only eternity will reveal the impact of this man’s life who decided to let God direct his life’s pathway. What a path! From that rustic cabin in the hollers of Kentucky, to now a glorious mansion in the Father’s house, Bro. Hudson traveled his path faithfully. He finished his earthly travels on February 5, 2020! In his last letter which he wrote to his church that he loved and gladly spent his life for, he wrote in March of 2015:
“Today there are still those eternal echoes ringing out loudly from this mountain- calling souls to come to the Saviour! Keep praying, as onward we go, striving to win the world to Christ one soul at a time.”