Reverend William R. Black (Bill) was born in Savannah, Georgia to Robert Berry Black and Ella Mae Cox Black. He was raised in Pooler. In 1977, Bill graduated from Thompkins High School and immediately left for six weeks of basic training for the Air Force. He then returned home and married Sarah, his high school sweetheart, in September of the same year. In September 1979, he began his career at Transales of Savannah, a division of Savannah Foods and Diamond Crystal brands. He was a maintenance supervisor and was educated in the field of machinist and forklift mechanics. He held this position for 29 ½ years. He also attended seminary school at Covington Theological School in Savannah.
Bill was most known as Brother Bill and was ordained into the ministry while serving at Dean Forest Baptist Church, his home church. He began as a youth minister and later became associate pastor at the church. Along with Dean Forest Baptist Church, he also served at Woodlawn Baptist in Garden City as interim pastor for several months. The Lord then led Bill and Sarah to Riverside Baptist in Savannah as their full-time pastor. He served 5 years there before yet again following the Lord’s call to pastor at Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Lyons, Georgia. He served as their pastor for 13 years. In April 2022, Brother Bill retired due to health reasons and moved back home to Port Wentworth. He was very influential in the lives of others while leading in various ministries, including AWANA, Discipleship Training, F.A.I.T.H. Outreach, Vacation Bible School, Racetrack Chaplain, Nursing Home Ministries, and many other areas of ministries. Brother Bill enjoyed fishing and camping and all types of racing. He was a NASCAR track official at Oglethorpe Speedway Park in the early 1990s, where he still holds the reigning title of “The Faster Pastor” in the annual Faster Pastor Race. He also enjoyed listening to music and spending time with his family. He is preceded in death by his mother, Ella Mae Cox Black; maternal grandmother, Katherine Cox; paternal grandparents, William Foster Hollingsworth and Mary Lou Arledge Hollingsworth.
He is survived by his wife, Sarah Stephens Black of Port Wentworth; his son, William Matthew Black; Daughter-In-Love and caretaker, Laurie Ann Black; his father, Robert Berry Black of Pooler; grandchildren, William Jacob Black and Kyleigh Grace Black, both of Port Wentworth; three sisters, Kathy Iler and husband Darrell of Camden, Tennessee, Laura Ann Taylor Black of Savannah, and Amanda Fay Mincey and husband Chris of Pooler; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A visitation will be held at Baker-McCullough Garden City Chapel (2794 US Hwy 80 West, Garden City, GA 31408) on Friday evening, May 5th, from 5:00 until 7:00.
The funeral service will be Saturday, May 6th, at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home with Matt Black officiating. There will be a visitation in the chapel from 1:00 p.m. until just prior to the service. Burial will follow the funeral service at Rocky Creek Baptist Church Cemetery with Brother Robbie Fowler officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Rocky Creek Baptist Church, 2298 Johnson Corner Road, Lyons, GA 30436 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by visiting their website at stjude.org.
The family appreciates your prayers during this time.
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