Harry Ashby Bagby was born in King and Queen County, Virginia on November 23, 1863 to the Rev. George Franklin and Mary Thomas Courtney Bagby. He graduated with an M.A. in 1884 from Bethel College, Kentucky, and from the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky in 1887. Bagby received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1901 from Richmond College, Virginia.
Bagby pastored churches in Kentucky and Virginia before pastoring First Baptist Church, Greenwood, S.C. from 1902 – 1908; Second Baptist Church, Liberty, Mo. 1908-1914, First Baptist Church, Chester, S.C. 1914-1918; First Baptist Church, Marion, Ala. 1918-1921, and finally Salem Baptist Church, Pendleton, S.C. from 1923-1935, retiring to Chester, S.C. in 1939.
Bagby married Elizabeth Woodruff Thompson in 1887 and they had three children; Harry Boyce (1889-1891), Marius Courtney (1892-1970), and Edward Booker (1896-1969). Bagby died October 5, 1945 in Lewisburg, N.C.
Bagby's father, Rev. George F. Bagby, D.D. [1836-1900] was born in King and Queen County, Va. to John C. and Elizabeth Bagby. John C. Bagby owned the plantation “Bunker Hill,” but was known as a merchant who ran a local store. Rev. George F. Bagby graduated from Columbia University in Washington, D.C. He was pastor in Westmoreland County when the American Civil War began, and joined the C.S.A. in 1861. Bagby served as Chaplain in Company K, Virginia 40th Infantry Regiment until March 1862. Bagby moved to Kentucky in 1866 and served many churches in that state. He passed away on March 27, 1900 in Richmond, Va. at the home of his son, Dr. George F. Bagby, Jr.