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Bobby Willis

From the Biographical History of Primitive or Old School Baptist Ministers by David Montgomery and Marl Green: 

 

Brother Willis writes -2001:

 

I was born in 1947 in Bay Minette, Alabama to godly parents who were Primitive Baptist. Dad was ordained a Deacon when I was a child. He had a great voice to sing and was also blessed to be a great exhorter. I was raised up to pray and I still believe in it as strongly as ever. I began to realize that something was “going on” in me that I could not explain when I was 13 years old. I first was called on to introduce when I was 16. My job played out and we had to move to Dothan, AL. Elder Ralph Harris would be my pastor and gave me much encouragement. Elder J. T. Bush of Panama City, FL took me under his wing and taught me more fully as a kind, gentle father in the ministry should. This was during the time that my home church in Graceville, FL was exercising me. Our son, Jason, was born at the same time that these feelings were so strong to tell the world about my Lord and what great things HE had done for me. Jason was special. He would prove to be bright and mature for his age as he grew. But, he was born with no thighbone in his right leg. He has surgery at 15 months, a foot removed so that he would be able to wear an artificial leg. I left my job of three weeks and went with my wife to Greenville, SC for his surgery. I took odd jobs there for three weeks while he was in the hospital. God took care of us in our time of need. The Lord blessed Kathryn and I with two girls as well. I was ordained in June of 1974. My ministry started very slowly. I pastored a number of churches in South Alabama from 1974 until Dec. 1989. My wife and I moved to Amory, MS where I pastored the church at Hatley for almost nine years. We returned to Bethany Church, in Mobile, AL in June of 1998. 

 

OBITUARY 

 

Elder Robert Lloyd “Bobby” Willis, 69, died Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, at Providence Hospital in Mobile, AL, after a brave second battle with cancer. Born April 21, 1947, in his family’s Bay Minette, AL, home to the late Robert Young and Vada Robbins Willis, he served as an ordained minister of the Primitive Baptist faith for more than 40 years.

 

A firm believer in putting God first, Elder Willis, of Mobile, AL, pastored Galilee Primitive Baptist Church in Stapleton, AL, and Bethel Primitive Baptist Church in Bonifay, FL. Called an inspiration to how people should live, he previously pastored churches in Mobile, south, central and east Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, and Amory and Hatley, MS., as well as his final resting place of Springhill Primitive Baptist Church in Flomaton, AL. As a minister, he traveled near and far to spread the word of God, touching countless people spanning generations across the South through his sermons, his Primitive Baptist online newsletter, marriages, funerals and “just being there for people no matter what."

 

He also retired from the Mobile County Public School System, where he served as a beloved middle- and high-school history teacher as well as a coach. One of his greatest joys in life was instructing young people, whether in the classroom sharing his love of history, on the softball fields of Baldwin County as a longtime girl’s coach, or the tennis courts of west Mobile, where he took the Mary G. Montgomery High School team to state several times and had their courts named after him, one of his favorite accomplishments.

 

 Elder Willis graduated from Baldwin County High School in 1965 after serving as a member of the marching band, another of his favorite activities. Music continued to play an important role in his life, whether through leading hymns at his churches to volunteering for years as a band parent at BCHS.

 

He attended Bay Minette Junior College after high school, at which time he started working at the local radio station. That began another of his long-time loves and his first career. Throughout the years, he anchored stations in Bay Minette, including the morning show and swap shop which many residents remember him for even decades later, Foley and Fairhope, AL, and Pascagoula, MS.

 

He spent many years working at the Baldwin County Electric Cooperative in Summerdale, AL, and served on the Baldwin County Library System Board of Directors as well as other organizations and groups that helped his hometown county. For more than a decade in the late 70s and through the 80s, he was a staple on the girls’ softball fields in Bay Minette coaching his daughters’ teams. He felt so strongly that any girl who wanted to play should be able to that he would often circle the town before each practice and games, going miles out of his way, picking up his players, who to this day mention the help he gave them.

 

 One of the achievements he was most proud of is that in his 40s he returned to college to earn his teaching degree and ended up earning a spot on the tennis team at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, MS. He then received his bachelor’s degree from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, MS. He had played tennis since his youth and had spent many a summer night on the courts in Bay Minette playing pick-up matches against young and old alike as well as many weekends competing with his oldest daughter in co-ed tournaments, but his time on the ICC team spurred decades of competitive court time for him throughout Mississippi and south Alabama. As a coach, his students were always wanting to be the one to play him because they wanted to beat him, but they never quite could.

 

Elder Willis is survived by his wife, Brenda; daughters, Kathryn Michelle of Palm Bay, FL, and Jack McLeod of Bagram, Afghanistan, and Heather Julan and Kevin Rogers of Madison, MS; son, Jason Robert and Donna Willis of Basel, Switzerland; step-daugher, Melanie and Israel Parker of Jacksonville, FL; grandchildren, Benjamin Kevin Rogers of Oxford, MS, Bronwyn Kate McLeod of Tuscaloosa, AL, Sean Dylan McLeod of Palm Bay, FL, Logan Alexander, Zachary Luke and Brady Cole Rogers of Madison, MS, Marleigh and William Parker of Jacksonville, FL, and Marla Valentine of Norfolk, VA, and Emma Valentine of Hattiesburg, MS; sisters, Mary Bridler of Daphne, AL, Myleto Stewart of Crestview, FL, and Paulette and George Chavers of Sherman, TX; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his oldest his sister, Kathleen Crain of Franklinton, LA.

 

 

From Ronnie Mallow 

 



larry heldman  

Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)
Elder James Compton was the original founder of the 'Gospel of Grace Tape Supply.' His collection of tapes began as he traveled to Church meetings and Associations recording sermons on Reel to Reel. He has maintained this library of sermons faithfully over the years and are now the foundation of PB Sermons. org. This web site is dedicated to Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)