Bill’s Preaching Preparation Efforts!
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:14,15
“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.” Ezra 7:10
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:16
As a teenager, Bill presented his first lessons and sermons at the Charlotte Avenue church of Christ, where he grew up in Nashville Tennessee.
After graduating high school Bill went to work for the Washington Manufacturing Company. His boss and N.B. Hardeman made it possible for Bill to attend Freed-Hardeman College.
Bill graduated from Freed-Hardeman College in 1944
He later earned a B.S. degree from Memphis State College in 1946.
Bill attained residence requirement for a Masters degree at Abilene Christian College in 1962.
Foreign Preaching Efforts
“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father…” 1 Thessalonians 1:3
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8
“For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” Because the word of the LORD was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.” Jeremiah 20:8,9
Bill and Gerry worked for eight years in Nigeria, Africa as missionaries (1955-1960 and 1971-1974). They worked with other missionaries among the Efik people at first, then opened the Nigerian Bible College among the Ibo people in 1957 with 40 students. There are now over 400 congregations among the Ibo people and there have been over 400 graduates from the Bible College. Bill & Gerry also worked with others to establish the Nigerian Christian Hospital.
Bill and Gerry went to Liberia, Africa in 1969 as the first resident missionaries to live in that land. They worked in Monrovia for a year and started three new congregations in that vicinity. They planted 6 churches of Christ during the 3 years in the inland.
Gerry, Kim and Jeanie
Jeanie’s Ladies Class
Matthew & Kim going bananas!
A couple of swingers!
Charlie Paegar family. Charlie served as interpreter and faithful friend of missionaries in Liberia.
Bill & Gerry leave Liberia to return to Nigeria after the Biafran war.
Before leaving Liberia in 1972, Kim Langford (aged 3) and Charlie planted a coconut
tree. Kim was able to go back to Liberia with her grandparents after she graduated
from high school in 1986, and shared a special moment with Charlie and the tree.
Bill and Gerry served as missionaries in Trinidad, West Indies from 1992-99. They worked with the Trinidad School of Preaching, under direction of the church in San Fernando. There are 47 congregations of the the Lord’s church in Trinidad & Tobago! Graduates of the Trinidad School Of Preaching serve most of these churches.
Pictured in these groups are co-workers Dominic and Annie Dos Santos and new baby
Paul William – named after Bill. They are pictured below in a visit to the States. Bill is
pictured with Paul William.
With co-workers, Parker and Donna Henderson
Bill began learning the computer while in Trinidad in his 70s.
Bill & Gerry assisted the church in the Bahamas for 1 year (1991)!
Bill has also preached in Germany, France and Scotland!
In total, he has preached the Gospel in 10 foreign nations!!
Stateside Preaching Efforts
“So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.” Nehemiah 8:8
“Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life…” John 4:35,36
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2
“But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5
Bill and Gerry have served the following churches of Christ in the United States:
Berclair church of Christ, in Memphis, Tennessee (1944-46)
Woodbury church of Christ in Middle Tennessee (1946-50)
Highland View church of Christ in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (1950-55) Bill conducted tent meetings in the Knoxville area that established the Claxton church of Christ (1953) & Karns church of Christ (1954).
Cross Plains church of Christ in West Texas (1960-62)
Birdville church of Christ in Fort Worth in East Texas (1965-66)
Savannah church of Christ, Tennessee (1967-69)
Eastwood church of Christ, Paris, Tennessee (1974-77)
Highland View church of Christ in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (1977-80)
Claxton church of Christ in Knoxville (1980-91)
South Florida effort – He attended Jupiter-Tequesta church of Christ, Palm City church of Christ and Stuart church of Christ assisting with Project Rescue jail ministry during this time. (1992-2006)
In early 2000, Bill & Gerry served as Missionaries In Residence at Freed-Hardeman University
Waycross, Georgia, He helped start the residential phase of Project Rescue Addiction Recovery Program, helped raise support & taught classes (2006-2011)
In 2011 Bill & Gerry moved with us to Priceville, Alabama. They moved into assisted living, worshipped with the Beltline church of Christ (2011 to January 22, 2013). During this time, his wife of 69 years passed away on October 30, 2012. He continued to worship at Beltline in spite of being wheel chair bound and on oxygen 24/7. He had a passing out spell on the way to church on Sunday night, January 20, 2013. When he revived, Jeanie and Kim wanted to take him back home. He assured them he was fine and was determined to go to worship. The associate minister, Rick Eichelburger, made the comment, “He wasn’t in a condition to go to church, but he was conditioned to go to church.” He enjoyed the service and loved seeing everyone that night. We had no idea it would be his last service on earth as he passed away at 2:45 Tuesday morning January 22, 2013. The loving attendants who cared for Bill & Gerry at the facility, all rejoiced with us that they were together again and both of them were with the Lord.