Dr. William (Bill) T. George passed away peacefully at his home January 31, 2017, in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Dr. George has served across a broad spectrum of ministries in his lifetime where he has contributed his versatile gifts and talents to enhance the Church of God. His influence has been felt in the pulpit, Sunday school, college classroom, mission field, publications, and the community. But perhaps his most lasting legacy is the imprint left upon hundreds of lives he has impacted through friendship, counseling, and mentoring.

William T. George was born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1941 and kept a die-hard allegiance to his birth state his entire life. His family roots were in the Southern Baptist faith and he came to a saving knowledge of Christ at the age of 11. He began his ministry as a teenager and was licensed in the Church of God at age 17. Bill enrolled in Lee University, graduating with an A.A. degree in 1962. He completed a Bachelor’s degree from his beloved University of Alabama in 1968 before enrolling at Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received the Master of Divinity in 1971. Later Bill would go on to earn a Master of Theology from Fuller Seminary (1984) and finally a D.Min. in 2002 from the same institution.

In his ministry, Bill George served as pastor of four churches and an associate pastor at three churches between 1962 and 1998. His first pastorate was in Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas, in 1962 at the age of 21. Bill went on to serve at congregations in Florida, Alabama, Texas, and as an associate pastor at the North Cleveland Church of God in Tennessee from 1972 to 1974. His final assignment was a four-year pastorate in Gainesville, Florida, from 1994 to 1998.

Upon returning to Cleveland in 1971 to serve as Editor of Missions Publications, Dr. George began teaching part-time at Lee University, joining full-time status in 1974. He would serve a total of 13 years on the Lee faculty, including as an associate professor from 1984 to 1992. Bill’s influence at Lee has been recognized with the highest honors, as he received the Excellence in Teaching Award (1986), Distinguished Alumnus (2004), and by Upsilon Xi, a men’s social service organization at Lee, bestowing its Distinguished Alumnus recognition upon him in 1985.

Dr. George’s educational influence has been felt internationally, as well. In 1978, he moved to Hermosillo, Mexico, where he became the founding director of the Mexico Bible Seminary. He led the seminary for four years. Bill served on the Church of God General Board of Education from 1976 to 1984, the last two years as its chairman. He served a second four-year term from 2006 to 2010.

Another of Bill’s significant contributions to the Church of God denomination is his service in the field of editorial and publications. In 1998, he returned to Cleveland where he assumed the post of Editor-in-Chief of Church of God publications. In this role, where Bill served for eight years, he was also editor of the denomination’s premiere publication, the EVANGEL. Following his service at the Church of God Publishing House (now known as Pathway Press), Dr. George assumed the position of Coordinator of Education and Publications for Church of God World Missions. He served as editor for all missions material, including Save Our World magazine. In 2012, Bill transitioned into the role of working directly with the general overseer’s office as research and editorial assistant.

Dr. George’s contributions as an author are impressive having written eight books and/or manuals on a variety of topics. Titles include His Story: The Life of Christ, What God Expects of Me, What God Expects of Men, and Getting Started: New Beginnings in the Christian Life. Manuals include Added to the Church, Leadership Training in Mexico, and Church Planting Manual for the Church of God. His final book, Until All Have Heard, was written in 2010 on the occasion of the centennial of Church of God World Missions.

A final aspect of service and ministry in the life of Dr. Bill George is his contributions to his community. In addition to dozens of church-related boards and committees, including chairman of the board for People for Care and Learning, Bill served on the board of United Way of Bradley County and was a past president of the Cleveland Rotary Club and Cleveland Rotary Foundation. In 2015, he was recognized as Rotarian of the Year for the local club. In earlier years of his life, Bill was honored as a National Merit Scholar, Wall Street Journal News Fellowship, and as an honor graduate of the US Army Chaplains School.

Underlying all his accomplishments is Bill’s love for his wife Nelda and their two sons, Michael and David, and their grandchildren. Bill and Nelda were married in Mobile and celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary earlier in 2015.

A great man of God has left us with a huge void to fill.

Arrangements are as follows

VIEWING

Saturday, February 4, 2017

12:00 noon­­—4:00 p.m.
North Cleveland Church of God Worship Center

 FUNERAL

Saturday, February 4, 2017

4:00 p.m.
North Cleveland Church of God Worship Center

 

INTERMENT

Monday, February 6, 2017

10:00 a.m.
Gulf Crest Cemetery<
Turnerville, Alabama (near Mobile)