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Death of Reverend Dr. Thomas J. Liggett, former President of the United Christian Missionary Society and former missionary to Argentina and Puerto Rico

March 28, 2012

It is in a spirit of great loss that Global Ministries shares news of the death of Reverend Dr. Thomas Jackson Liggett (T.J.) on March 27, 2012, at Pilgrim Place in Claremont, California. Reverend Dr. Liggett was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1919. 

Reverend Dr. Liggett and his late wife, Virginia, served in Argentina 1946 through 1957 during which time T. J. served two Disciple congregations in Chaco Province and as a lecturer at the ecumenical seminary ISEDET in Buenos Aires.  He and Virginia also served inPuerto Ricofrom 1957 through 1967 where he served as President of the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico.  In 1965 he was appointed Latin America Executive of the United Christian Missionary Society (UCMS) and became its President in October 1968 through 1973.  Dr. Liggett was the first former missionary to serve as the President of UCMS and, as such, embodied a clear and overriding commitment to global mission.  His talents in organization and identification of colleagues to serve on the staff of UCMS, who later would go on to form part of the staff of the Division of Overseas Ministries, were vital contributions.  He guided UCMS toward the culmination of its extensive reorganization, toward the formation of DOM and the Division of Homeland Ministries (today Disciples Home Missions).  He led UCMS to appointing missionaries to terms of service.  Dr. Liggett guided UCMS and Disciples in general in opposition to the war in Vietnam and the U.S.military incursion into theDominican Republic.

He is survived by daughter, Margaret, and son, Thomas Milton.  Condolences may go to Margaret (Peggy) Liggett, former Global Ministries missionary, and former DOM/Global Ministries board member and chair at 3501 Piney Woods Place Apartment A102, Laurel, MD  20724-5970.  Memorial gifts may be made to the Thomas J. Liggett Global Ministries Fund, Division of Overseas Ministries, P.O. Box 1986, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1986 or to Pilgrim Place, 625 Mayflower Rd., Claremont, CA  91711. A memorial service will be held at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1500 9th Street N.W., Washington, DC, on April 28, at 11 a.m. with Dr. Alvin Jackson and Dr. Michael Kinnamon officiating.  A second memorial service will be held on May 5 at 3:30 p.m. at Pilgrim Place, Claremont, California.  Christian Theological Seminary will hold a memorial service in honor of Rev. Dr. Liggett on Friday May 4 at 3:30 p.m. in the CTS Sweeney Chapel, with a reception to follow.

To share your remembrances of T.J., please post them on Facebook or email your words to

To read more about the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. T. J. Liggett.

Read the Christian Theological Seminary tribute to Reverend Dr. T. J. Liggett

Read tributes to Reverend Dr. T. J. Liggett.

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