Bill is a 51-year veteran in the ministry! Having pastored his first church in Clinton, TN during his senior year in college, Bill went on to serve two churches in Kentucky (in Taylorsville and Carrolton) during his seminary studies. Following seminary, Bill pastored the Bloomfield Baptist Church five years before being called to serve as pastor of Ridgedale Baptist Church in Chattanooga. Bill was the lead pastor at Ridgedale for 31 years, retiring to spend time with his wife, Darlene, who died of cancer in 2013.
Family: Bill grew up the youngest of eight children in East Tennessee. He jokes with his siblings that their dad aimed for perfection and stopped having children after Bill was born! Bill’s sense of humor is widely known by his friends and associates. Bill and his wife have two children, April and Billy. April is a speech therapist with the Hamilton County Schools and Billy is a team leader with US Express. Bill has three grandchildren – Tripp, Abby, and Ransom.
Interests: Bill loves camping, hiking, yard work, the beach, and travel. Having been on several trips in Europe, Bill prefers a long hike on the Appalachian Trail!
Education/Ministry: Bill graduated from Clinton High School in Tennessee before going to the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY, where he served as editor of the College Yearbook and graduated with honors. Bill’s further studies took him to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky; there he received his Master of Divinity and Doctoral of Ministry degrees.
Bill’s focus in ministry is visitation – hospital, care facilities, and in-home. He enjoys the time he’s able to spend with senior adults. Bill also coordinates the small group ministry at GraceWorks. Bill came to GraceWorks after the passing of his wife, to assist in ministering and mentoring. Eventually, the church asked Bill to take on the role of senior pastor, a position he held until the Fall of 2020. In a reversal of roles, Bill is now serving under the leadership of Tony Leonard, Lead Pastor. Bill and Tony have been friends for 20 years, during which Tony served as an associate with Bill when Bill was lead pastor at Ridgedale Baptist.