My name is Cory Baugher, and I was born in 1977 into a loving Christian home in Columbus, Ohio. My father died when I was just two years old, so I was raised by my mother. She made a lot of sacrifices to make sure I was in the church and had Christian men mentoring me. As a quiet introvert, I struggled a lot in high school with my own identity and with where I belonged. I believed there was a God and believed in Christianity, but I did not know exactly why Christianity was the true religion and was not experiencing the personal peace and joy that were promised by God. I also had a lot of questions about God, the Bible, and life, and although people did their best, I did not get many satisfactory answers.
My mother transferred me to Worthington Christian High School my junior year, and it was there that I began to see the uniqueness of Christianity compared to all the other religions. I was taught how to study the Bible and began to get answers to my questions. It was in my senior year, while listening to Dave Busby, that Yahweh spoke to me. There He revealed that I had never really surrendered to Him and that was why I did not have peace and joy. I do not know exactly when I became “saved,” but I do know that by the end of my freshman year of college I had given my life to Jesus Christ and had experienced Him enough times to know that I had the Holy Spirit and had been redeemed to Him.
It was during high school that many leaders and mentors saw the gift of teaching in me and began encouraging me towards that path. I began attending Huntington University in Indiana in 1996 and double-majored in Bible and Religion and in European History. It was there that I began to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible and to see it as real history rather than as just isolated Sunday School lessons. I also found a great group of Christian men who encouraged me, held me accountable to my growth in Jesus Christ, and helped me be a little more outgoing socially.
Having a deep love for and interest in the Bible and knowing that I wanted to be a teacher, I headed to Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) in 2000 to receive a Masters in Theology. (Whatever you think of DTS, just know that not everyone there, professors nor students, shares identical beliefs.) Yahweh blessed me greatly and affirmed my path, using an anonymous donor from my home church to pay for all four years of my seminary education. It was there that I learned that I really loved the First Testament and that I excelled at and loved to research and learn, just for the sake of learning.
I enjoyed and learned a lot at DTS because I found that not just one view was taught. I learned all the theological views, along with their strengths and weaknesses. I also began to develop a big-picture view of the Bible for the first time, seeing how all the books of the Bible fit together into one story. And, most importantly, I began to see the Bible as a piece of literature written in a specific culture with a historical background, which powerfully directed my path in becoming the teacher I am today. Finally, I learned that studying and appreciating these three things would help one love and understand the Bible and, ultimately, Yahweh.
In my returns to Columbus during breaks it was at my home church that I met, began to date, and fell in love with my smart, beautiful, and funny wife, Andrea Baugher. In 2004 I graduated from seminary, bought a house, and got married – all within a month. I then worked construction for three years, discovering during this time that there are not a lot of open positions for Bible teachers. I felt frustrated and discouraged, wondering why Yahweh had taken me along this path to leave me without a job. These were also some very hard years in our marriage, as two selfish people with unrealistic expectations tried to make a life together.
Though I did not have an official teaching position during that time, I taught many Sunday morning classes and evening small group studies. It was during this time that I really began to fall deeper in love with the narrative of the Bible. I feel like most of my life I had learned a lot about the Bible, but in my personal studies in these years I found that Yahweh began to really show me (and still does) more and more of how so many things in the Bible fit together so perfectly and beautifully into this amazing story of what He has been doing throughout history to redeem humanity and creation back to Himself through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
In 2007 I began to teach the Bible at Worthington Christian High School (WCHS). And it was in that first year of teaching that I saw how everything that I had developed in my studies, learned about myself, and trials I had gone through made me the person and teacher that I needed to be to teach the Bible at school. And all the material and curriculum that I had spent three years developing for my church and small group teaching was what WCHS wanted me to teach in their classes.
The classes I currently teach at WCHS are First Testament Survey, Comparative Religions, and Marriage and the Family. I love the school and my work there and know that for right now this is Yahweh’s will for me. I also teach adult Bible studies at my church and in small groups. I love learning, reading books, and studying the Bible. And teaching is where I feel the most fulfilled in my spiritual gifts.
I have an extremely supportive wife who believes in my calling from Yahweh and my gift to teach the Bible. She is also an editor who edits all my materials. We have three smart, joyful, beautiful, high-energy, and amazing daughters (born between the years 2010 and 2014). Thanks to the Word of Yahweh and the birth of our children my wife and I have grown so much in Yahweh and together and have a healthy and strong marriage. Yahweh has also taken care of us so much through our personal and financial struggles that I have begun to understand 1 Peter in a personal way of how Yahweh uses trials to refine us and bring us closer to Him. I can honestly say that, along with all my education, being married and being the father of three children have brought a whole new perspective and deeper understanding to who Yahweh is and how He has revealed Himself in the Bible.