Baer Memorial Fund2019-07-15T12:10:54-06:00

What is the Andrew Baer Memorial Fund?

Donations to the Andrew Baer fund are processed through the National Christian Foundation. You can donate to the fund a number of ways:

  • To donate online, please click on the “Donate Now” button and follow the instructions.
  • You can mail a check to: National Christian Foundation, 11625 Rainwater Drive, Suite 500, Alpharetta, Georgia 30009. Please make your check payable to National Christian Foundation, and note The Andrew Baer Memorial Fund, #2927629, in the memo area.
  • Click here to transfer securities. Select from the list for your particular gift and follow instructions. Or, you can contact NCF at 1.866.580.4483.
  • For non-liquid gifts such as business interests, real estate, restricted securities, or estate gifts, please contact Paul Forbes or Bobbi Griffith at: 816.903.3399.

NCF will issue and transmit receipt for each eligible contribution to the Andrew Baer Memorial Fund given through NCF.

Donate Now
NCF is a Georgia non-profit corporation and is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt public charity as defined in Sections 501(c)(3), 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “IRC”) and is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions under IRC Section 170(c). Contributions to NCF are irrevocable and nonrefundable and to the extent allowed by applicable federal and state law, are immediately deductible by the donor as a charitable contribution.

Andrew’s Story:
A Prodigal Journey, A Walk of Faith

Andrew Baer grew up in an Army family and was born at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Like most military children, he had the privilege of moving around the United States and the opportunity to live overseas (in Germany).

He truly enjoyed traveling and living the culture wherever his family was assigned during his parents’ military careers. He graduated with a BA from George Mason University and was involved in restructuring the GMU Student Association and serving as Treasurer for the Humanitarian Action Working Group. Andrew also received an MA from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

After graduation, Andrew worked for the Intelleger Risk Management Company, providing security for the Kajaki Dam Reconstruction Project in Afghanistan. Andrew served as the Site Security Intelligence Officer, working with both U.S. military and Afghan security forces. Andrew’s efforts were recognized by USAID in Kabul in that they used his product as the standard and “go-to” document for reference in the area of operations. Andrew served as an EMT with the Buckhall Fire Department for three years. He was a consummate professional and delivered work of the highest standard.

Because of his experiences as an “Army Brat,” Andrew continued to enjoy traveling during his free time as an adult. He completed a trip to Machu Picchu to celebrate the completion of his graduate degree. He was always interested in giving to others and kept busy by volunteering with their local HOA and coaching soccer for the local community.

More important than these activities and accomplishments was Andrew’s faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Andrew grew up in a strong Christian home but went through a prodigal period in his life where he walked away from his Christian faith and upbringing. He spent time searching for answers and truth. In God’s grace, he was brought back to where he started and he rededicated his life to Christ.

Andrew often attended camp and events at White Sulphur Springs. As an adult, he spent vacation time and volunteered to serve on staff as a counselor for Allegheny Outback (AO!). White Sulphur Springs was an incredibly powerful and important part of Andrew’s journey and Christian walk. It played an important role in bringing him to saving faith in Christ, and in turn, he gave back to White Sulphur Springs by serving on staff so that the Lord could use him to be a positive influence in the spiritual journeys of others.

Andrew’s life is not so much about his birth, his accomplishments or even his death—caused by a tragic accident while he was en route home from Afghanistan—but rather it is about his faith walk with Christ, his prodigal journey that saw him walk away from and then return to his Christian faith. The Lord used White Sulphur Springs in Andrew’s life as a child and as an adult, and he desired to be part of that process for others. Join us in honoring Andrew’s memory and continuing what he started by supporting the Andrew Baer Memorial Fund.

EMS Award honoring Andrew

“Andrew was my 2014 AO! Counselor. I am so grateful to have been able to get to know him because, though the time was short, he wasted not one moment. I have many fond memories of him. My favorite and most vivid being when he single-handedly canoed my brother down the river because he had gotten sick and thrown up. Andrew was marked by Christ-like love and servant-hood. I wish there were more men like him.”

—Bekah Runey

“Over the many years of AO! that I’ve done, I have had many amazing counselors but none like Andrew Baer. He was kind, light-hearted, and genuinely cared for each and every one of us campers. He was the exact friend I needed during that point in my life. His quiet nature made it easy to talk to him. He had a genuine interest in me and my life. I will miss him greatly, and he will always be remembered.”

—Caleb LeGear

“I will always remember Andrew’s challenge to me. He asked, ‘How do you tell who the second lieutenant is in a platoon of Soldiers?’ He said, ‘He is the guy with the messed-up shirt, who looks like he had no sleep last night, and the man with the worst MRE to eat. But you know what? Every Soldier in that platoon looks happy, well dressed and properly fed because the lieutenant is more concerned with their needs than his own…Be that guy.’ “

—David Markovich

Memorial and Prayer Wall

Use the following form to tell us and others how Andrew Baer impacted your life, or to offer up a prayer request or a praise. All content is held in moderation, and will not appear until the administrator approves your message. Once your message is received and approved, we will share it according to your instructions.

Use the following form to tell us and others how Andrew Baer impacted your life, or to offer up a prayer request or a praise. All content is held in moderation, and will not appear until the administrator approves your message. Once your message is received and approved, we will share it according to your instructions.

Chrystal and Christopher Kreft

I continuously hope for strength for the Baer Family.... i know it’s past his 30th birthday but i still want to wish him a Happy Birthday in heaven.... he makes Christopher smile everyday he goes to work with the picture of Andrew on his desk. He made everyone smile the moment he walked in the room. I wish my kiddos could’ve gotten to know uncle Andrew more but they did meet him as little babies.... we still have the bears and Irish abc book he gave them. He will forever be in our hearts. We love you Andrew and Baer Family!

Received: February 15, 2019

This prayer has been answered!

Guil Fisher

Having just heard this tragic news, I cannot believe such a vital young man is gone. He wrote a play called Kindergarten Philosophy and I directed it for him in New York City. It went over very well. We all loved working with him as he came up the day we put on his play. I had told him about his gift for writing and suggested he write about his experiences in Afghanistan which he was interested in doing. He sent me an email with his ideas, which I treasure, and I encouraged him to write it as a play or film. He was a brilliant young man and I miss him very much.

Received: March 6, 2018

Janet Pendergraph

The Baers are my neighbors and Mama Baer Jane is my good friend. Oh how she loved/still loves, but of course, her eldest son. Jane & Bob laughed, cried, shared & mentored Andrew and the three younger baby Baers through the various trials and triumphs that our children face. It is a testament to Jane that she soldiers on (pun intended) to love, encourage and celebrate her three surviving children. She has shared with me that while she recognizes that the earthly loss of Andrew will always haunt his siblings, she wants her Emily, Lillian and Eric to thrive, be happy and know they are so loved and that their big brother would tell them he wants them to smile and follow their paths.

What are my fondest memories of Andrew? 1. His curly dark hair. 2. The sound of his car stereo coming down the court tuned to the 70s and 80s music of my day! 3. Seeing Andrew not only take the time to play and goof in the yard with his younger sibs, particularly much younger brother Eric, but I could see in his body language that he truly enjoyed himself.

Received: February 13, 2018


As a military child, I grew up moving around from place to place, constantly meeting new people, trying new foods, learning new cultures. I apologize in advance, and ask that you forgive the following cliché, for though it is overused, it is one of the truest things I can say: out of all the individuals I have had the pleasure of knowing, Andrew Baer was and is, hands down, one of the best. I knew of him as my friend’s big brother for a few years, but I really got to know him as the man of God he was in 2014, when he was my camp counselor.

If you met Andrew, even if you only talked to him for a moment or two, you’d be able to tell he was, (and again, I ask for your forgiveness, this time for the following pun) not your average Baer. There was this depth to him that you do not often see, especially in someone his age. I had the pleasure of talking to him for three out of the twelve miles we hiked. If I could go back and tell my little teenaged self to write down every word he said, I would. He was full of knowledge. And, he was full of stories – stories that I could hardly believe had truly happened – much less happened to him!rr5

Who was this young 20-something-year-old who had worked every job under the sun, and why was he in the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania with a bunch of high school campers when he’d been hiking Machu Picchu weeks before? Why was he investing in me? Why was he listening to my struggles, encouraging me in my hopes and dreams, and sharing his with me? Did he not know he had already accomplished more than I ever could? Why – because he was an imitator of Christ.

Andrew Baer was a learner, lover, and doer of the Word. He lived fully, loved intentionally, and did everything wholeheartedly. I often wish I had just five more minutes to talk to him, or a few more notes on things he shared with me, but then I remind myself that I have not said “goodbye,” to my brother in Christ, but rather a casual “see ya later.”

Received: March 29, 2017

Rajit Das

For All I Can Do is Mourn from the Heart

As the tears have all dried up from

Mourning in your passing physically

For all that still remains are a trickle of tears from the heart

As I peruse the aisles in Barnes and Noble Bookstore

Books on History and War, I come across

All I can think of is you, bro

As I wish I could scream to my hearts content,

“Andrew! Why aren’t you near?”

Why can’t you say, “Mate, lets talk!”

Why? Oh! Why? did you leave so soon for heaven

Your absence is felt like a punch in the stomach

What would I do to hear your thoughts today

In the tumultuous of times like

And hear those words of reassurance..

For all I can do is mourn from the heart

For Heaven is where you reside

And I am sure you are playing with your beloved dog

With Christ cheering you on from the side

Tell me what is life like in Heaven?

For God has accepted you into His Kingdom

And has praised you for what you have done

While dealing with so much

You guided your flock

Your love of humanity was seen by your actions

For all I can do is mourn from the heart

And with each memory, the heart pangs

What would I do to see

As I sit with your family around your dinner table in your home

And hear Father Wooley say grace

From the corner of my eye see, in reverence, as my head is bowed down

See you make the sign of the cross, with a Amen

A testament of faith, a simple act

It was like yesterday, as I sat with your family in the patio table outside

And bowed my head in reverence with them

As Father Wooley said grace and prayed

For your well being…

I Felt the love from them towards me

Accepting a Hindu man into their home

To break bread with

Because we are all God’s children.

For all I can do is mourn from the heart

As I try to remember

Memories I had with you

1 ½ years is nothing,

It felt like eternity

And I feel guilt ridden

What more in memories can I share with your brother Eric

Who is eager to hear more stories of you

You were close to both of us

Your presence is felt in spirit

And not be near physically

For alI I can do is mourn from the heart

All I can say

Of the memories I have of you

Are stored in a vault within my heart

A vault that can be accessed by me

And when the day comes

When my true love is beside me and asks

On Valentines Day, “Raj, why are you so down”

I will respond to her

“Well you see, I had a brother.. whose name was Andrew who was borne on this day….”

For all I can do is mourn from the heart..

For you, Andrew, a brother who was so dear.

Received: January 30, 2017

Andy Matelski

My name is Andy Matelski, I am an intern at WSS now because of Andrew Baer. Andrew was always really real with me when he was my Winter Retreat High School teacher. He taught me that it was ok to be goofy and still be serious. He made a huge impact on my life and he is one of the main reasons I wanted to become a Christian, his authenticity really hit home with me and I wanted what he had which was Christ in his life. So through the years I ended up coming back to WSS and serving on Senior Staff as a Camp Caleb counselor and then an EXSEL intern. I wish I could talk to Andrew again so I can tell him about how much he did in my life even though he probably did not realize it. God bless,

Andy Matelski

Received: January 15, 2017


I met Andrew when we were sixteen at a leadership conference in Germany. We immediately bonded over our mutual love of Casablanca, music, and literature. Over the next ten years that bond grew; though we were separated by distance, we kept in touch by email, Facebook, phone calls, and – in recent years – by letters. Andrew became one of my closest friends, and in so many ways he knew and understood me better than my friends and family I saw every day. Andrew and I had both grown up in relatively sheltered, safe Christian households. The older we became, the more we saw of suffering and pain, that evil often seems to go unpunished and the innocent are helpless and abandoned. In college, Andrew and I both dealt with a sense of despair and disgust with the world and ourselves. He was the only person I could turn to who understood what I was feeling and did not treat me with kid gloves. In our own ways, we each came to reconcile this fallen world with the God of the Bible. At times, we were able to find hope; other times, we simply had to let go of the bitterness and injustice, and give it over to God.

It was a daily struggle, but over the last two or three years, I saw so much more peace and hope within him. The restlessness was still there, but instead of chafing against something, he was aching to channel it towards helping others. Andrew can best be described as someone with a servant’s heart, someone who wanted to help others. I remember him telling me how he wanted to be a priest like his grandfather when he was little. By the time I met him, he was looking toward West Point and military service. Later, he became involved in NGOs and humanitarian efforts, as well as serving at WSS. In the midst of all of this, he used his artistic talents to create songs, novels, plays, and poems – works of beauty, suffering and humor that touched those who heard or read them.

I still hear his voice and words every day – his encouragement, humor, intelligence, bad grammar, love and acceptance. Andrew was the most amazing man I have ever met. My life has been profoundly affected by knowing him, as I know so many others would say.

Received: August 19, 2016

Katelyn Hart

I was very fortunate to have Andrew as one of my AO! leaders in 2014. It was my first time on AO! and his first trip as a leader. To say that week was amazing, would be an undeniable understatement. Andrew served in so many ways: he lead devotions, played guitar for worship, defended our trash from raccoons, and never failed to make us all laugh. In everything he did, he did it to his very best. He lived every moment to the fullest, and loved life. He showed us everyday what it looked like to love Christ and live in His power.

I am so thankful for the time we had, and that I can say Andrew is my friend. I learned so much from talking to him and by watching how he humbly lived. The theme of AO! that summer was PEACE, which is a hard thing to fully understand, but Andrew gets to fully know this perfect peace a little earlier than we do. He will always be part of my WSS family, as well as part of my personal walk with Christ.

Thank you

-John 14:27

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.-

Received: August 2, 2016

William Todd

Andrew and I have been very close friends since we were both in junior high school together. Over the years life took us down different winding / intersecting paths, but Andrew and I always maintained our strong brotherly friendship. Andrew was the best friend a guy could have – he was there for me through some really hard and through some of the best times; like being one of my best men at my wedding. I can say that I was loyal to Andrew and was also there through thick and thin, good and bad. We were both supported each other when our fathers were Afghanistan / Iraq (serving our nation in different capacities). Andrew was the kind of guy that would support a good friend, and believe the best in everyone, even when others did not. Andrew was the guy that drew people in with his humor / wit, intellect and magnanimous personality. Everyone wanted to be Andrew’s friend, and Andrew reciprocated that friendship. He was a shining star in a dark night.

Andrew was honestly one of the most intelligent and intellectual people I knew. We would both talk about philosophy, politics, history (in particular the World Wars) and religion for hours on end sometimes. Andrew was constantly reading, constantly writing, and always striving to learn more. Which brings me to one of the reasons for posting on this board: Andrew and I had a similar crisis of faith in our early adult years. We both questioned, doubted, pondered, rebelled and felt a lack of faith. This fog of faith lasted for many years for both of us. However, that is a part of growing up that I believe many people have. However, over the years, and through many ups and downs, as Andrew and I matured, we both started to grow back into our Christian faith in our own ways. Andrew truly was coming to terms with his faith and starting to live be its tenants in his last years on this plane of existence. Andrew was always charitable and trying to help people. One of Andrew’s main goals in life was to help people less fortunate overseas, and to strive and make this world a better place. I believe Andrew succeeded in his goals. Andrew touched some many peoples’ lives, in so many different, but positive ways. Part of Andrew’s legacy will be carried on in the spark that he lit within everyone whose heart he touched.

Thank you Andrew for being a part of my life (and still being there for me),

William Todd

Received: June 13, 2016

Richard Barry

Andrew and I lived together when he was finishing up his graduate studies. I only knew Andrew a short time, but his gifts were apparent from our first meeting. Thoughtful, intelligent, funny, seeking- he had the best set of traits and gave them to others freely.

When Andrew passed, I missed him and the deeper friendship we would have developed. But because Andrew lived every minute to its fullest, I am grateful for the ones we shared and am glad to see his memory continue here and with others lucky enough to have known him.

Received: May 5, 2016

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