Former Faculty Member Passes Away

Former professor at SPBC, Dr. Bill Conley, led a full life as a pastor, missionary, professor, and military man before passing into eternity at the end of March




Dr. Bill Conley was known by many in the Northwestern district for his years of teaching at St. Paul Bible College (1961-1983). In Crusaders, Joe Tewinkel writes, "Bill Conley came to St. Paul in 1961 to head the missions department. He brought missions alive to those in his classes because of his years serving the Lord as a Christian & Missionary Alliance missionary to Kalimantan, Indonesia (1948-1957). Before that, Conley served as a military chaplain and landed with the 3rd Battalion of the U.S. Army paratroopers in Japan on August 30, 1945 after the surrender."

Dr. Conley pastored churches in Spartansburg, Penn., Waconia and Grand Rapids, Minnesota. He "officially" retired in 1987, but continued leading an active life of service and ministry until his death.

 

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Bill Conley was "Mr. Missions" to a generation of students in a remarkable way. Born in 1917, he was raised in Scranton, Penn., where he received his high school education. He finished high school in the depth of the depression and in order to find work, moved to Erie.

In Erie his life was changed when he met Jesus Christ. His friend from Scranton, Russ Kauffman, later to become an Alliance pastor, had also gone to Erie to find work and he too was saved at this time. The Erie Gospel Tabernacle became the center of Conley's discipling and Christian nurture. In 1938, he enrolled in Nyack College, graduating in 1941. He and his new bride began a pastoral ministry in Spartansburg, Penn., immediately upon graduation.

Conley's classes in anthropology, linguistics, missions principles, church growth, and other areas prepared a generation of overseas workers. He always stressed the practical, considering topics like pulling teeth and giving shots, along with the theological themes and theories of missions. He advised numerous student missionary cabinets, planning and carrying out missions services on campus. He chaired missionary conferences which challenged the entire student body to world evangelization. The reminder constantly echoed from this servant of God that Jesus commissioned His church to go into ALL the world. Scores have heeded and have followed his teaching and his example.

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