The Passing Of Bill Sexton
Tribute by the Editors of Expository Files
Obituary as it appeared in the Forth Smith, Ark. paper:
William Sexton went to be with the Lord on Monday, May 8, 2006. He was preceded in death by his mother, Mamie Sexton; father, Carl Sexton; sister, Wanda Jean; brothers, Ray, Roy and Johnny Sexton; daughter, Geneva Sexton; and granddaughter, Lora Sharp. He received his bachelor of general studies degree in 1981 from Wichita State University, master of theology degree in 1987 from Christian Bible College. He has been a minister for Churches of Christ for 49 years, serving churches in Kearney, Mo., Lowell, Ind., St. Joseph, Mo., Wichita, Kan., Kansas City, Mo., Van Buren, as well as many other communities.
He leaves behind his wife, Lois (Keech) Sexton of the home; daughters, Betty Ashworth and Sheryl Harden; son, Randy Sexton; sisters, Jurlene Collins, Maxine Kemp and Marie Williams; a brother, Haskell Sexton; as well as 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral will be 2 p.m. Friday at Ocker Funeral Home in Van Buren with burial at Highland Cemetery in Ozark. The family will receive friends at a visitation at the funeral home Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m.
Pallbearers will be Don Douglas, Jeff Bryant, Les Davis, Steve Jones, Ellis Westbrook and Don Allen.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 8006, Fort Smith, AR 72902.
The editors of Expository Files enjoyed good association with Bill Sexton in Kansas in the 1970's. Bill was engaged with local churches in Wichita and Manhattan. Not only was our relationship with bro. Sexton pleasant, we are certain we were both influenced for the better. There was much work to be done throughout the state, and Bill was always ready to go. In addition to his local work, first in Wichita and then in Manhattan, Bill drove to Lewis, Great Bend, Herington, Fort Scott, El Dorado, Topeka and other places to do what he could. He never imposed himself or intruded. He simply offered himself and responded as brethren requested. (It is our understanding, over the past several years, though hindered by poor health, he "rode the circuit" in Arkansas. He preached regularly in rural Yell county Arkansas.)
He was an excellent home Bible teacher. We remember him having several appointments through the week, holding Bible classes in homes, often resulting in baptisms. He challenged false teachers and engaged in appropriate debate, privately and publicly. What the world might consider the more menial tasks, Bill was ready for. He would take people to their Doctor's appointments, visit folks in the hospital, sit with families, bring groceries to people who were confined.
Bill was always quietly devoted to improving himself. He was mostly self-educated, but spent a great deal of time in formal education to better equip himself to serve the Lord. Many who knew Bill did not know of his behind-the-scenes efforts to better himself. He always wanted to be a better preacher and writer. There was no element in his personality at all to boast or promote himself. No malice or guile, he spoke the truth in love.
His kind manner and humble disposition made him such a great servant and friend. People all across the country will miss his helpful manner, his solid teaching and his desire to encourage and build up. Readers of Expository Files will remember his good combination of exposition and devotion. We've lost a good writer and friend. He always wanted people to have a good day, living by God's Word.
Personal From Warren - My first local work was at Etna, Arkansas (near Ozark and Ft. Smith). Within my first few months there I met Bill. He came to my house in Ft. Smith just for a visit. We became acquainted several years before our time together in Kansas. My first impressions were never altered. Kindness and soundness combined in man of more humility than most preachers. Every meeting I've held in Northwest Arkansas, Bill was there with words of encouragement. He helped me in writing for special issues of the Preceptor and frequently wrote for Expository Files. What a great man we have lost.
Personal From Jon - My first local work was at Topeka Kansas. My new wife and I moved there in 1975. Several preachers in eastern Kansas started meeting together monthly for Bible studies. We took turns preparing s study on a selected topic and everyone profited greatly. This is where I met both Warren Berkley and Bill Sexton. Bill was always very friendly and encouraging. It was easy to tell he had the Lord's will at heart, as well as a love for you and your soul. He wanted to go to heaven, and he wanted to take you with him. We moved from Kansas in 1978 to Lowell, Indiana. Bill had preached there in the past, and gave me a good recommendation. That carried much weight with the brethren there and they welcomed us, speaking highly of Bill. Though, after Kansas, Bill and I never again lived in close geographical proximity, we saw each other at lectures in Florida (he loved going to those!) on several occasions and he always seemed so happy as we greeted one another and visited. And, he loved to write, As Warren said, he was a frequent contributor to Expository Files. In fact, we have one of his articles submitted for publication, and you will find it elsewhere in this issue. I look forward to seeing Bill again one day.
By the Editors
From Expository Files 13.6; June 2006