Baptist and Reflector
HALLS — William P. “Bill” Oakley announced his retirement from Enon Baptist Church, Halls, on Oct. 11. He is completing five years as pastor of Enon Baptist and 70 years in the gospel ministry, primarily as a pastor.
“The Lord made it very clear to me that at 89 years of age, it was time for me to retire from the pastorate,” said Oakley, who was ordained into the ministry on Oct. 15, 1950 at Southside Baptist Church in Dyersburg. “I have endeavored to be faithful to that calling all these years,” he said.
Oakley has preached more than 15,300 sermons, preached about 400 revivals, conducted about 700 funerals and about 350 weddings. “The Lord has allowed me to see about 4,000 people make professions of faith during these years,” he recalled.
Oakley noted that God also “allowed me to pastor some great churches along the way” while ministering in seven countries and serving on 15 mission trips. He estimated his travels have taken him over 1,700,000 miles.
He has served as director of church services for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan and as vice president of Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Ark., in addition to serving in full-time evangelism for six years.
The remainder of his 70-year ministry has been in the pastorate. “Even while doing these other ministries, I always was doing interims in churches,” he said.
Though he is retiring from the pastorate, Oakley has no plans to stop preaching. “I will never retire from preaching. I will preach every opportunity I have until I’m carried out feet first.” B&R