William "Bill" Denver Compton went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, July 8, 2018.
Born to Leslie and Nolia Compton on Sept. 13, 1929, in Decatur, Al., he was the second of five children.
It was at the Fairview Baptist Church that he came to Christ one Sunday morning as a young teen. In May 1947 he graduated from Riverside High School in Decatur. During a two-week revival meeting in July 1948, he surrendered to the Lord for the ministry. One month later he preached his first sermon at the Macedonia Baptist Church near Decatur.
In September 1948 he enrolled at Tennessee Temple College in Chattanooga. Graduating in 1951, he then enrolled in Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, finishing in 1953. While in college and seminary he continued to preach and pastor, leading two congregations in North Alabama. He also conducted meetings in Canada and the Cayman Islands.
He met Jessie Hankins in 1951 while in college and they were married December 27, 1953. They moved to Decatur, Alabama where they lived until 1959. During this time he was a fulltime evangelist. While in Decatur they had three sons, Leslie (1956) and Scott and Schuyler (1958). From 1959 to 1963 he served in two pastorates, first in Jacksonville, Fl. (Liberty St. Baptist) followed by Greenville, S.C. (Southside Baptist). In 1963 the family moved to Chattanooga, where he once again entered fulltime evangelism. He preached in almost every state, including Hawaii and Alaska, and held revival meetings in Australia, the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands. He continued in evangelism until 1987 when he returned to Decatur, Al., to pastor. There he was also instrumental in the starting of Decatur Heritage Christian School. His pastoral ministry concluded in 2012 with his retirement.
He was preceded in death by Jessie, wife of 62 years, parents, Leslie and Nolia Compton, brothers, Robert and Jimmy, and sister, Marjorie.
He is survived by his three sons and their families: Leslie (Nancy) Compton of Chattanooga, Scott (Lori) of Kernersville, N.C. and Schuyler (Ruth) of Myrtle Beach, S.C. Surviving grandchildren are Denver, Austin, Harper, Jessie Anne, Weston and Mary Margaret. Great-grandchildren are Bryn, Blakely, Maddie and Hudson.
He is survived by one sister, Shirley Terry of Decatur, Al., one brother-in-law and five sisters-in-law: Joseph and Dottie Adams of Savannah, Helen Compton of Decatur, Al., Joyce Hornaday of Dacula, Ga., Mary Hankins of Atkins, Ar., and Doris Compton of Decatur, Al. He is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Grace Baptist Church, Chattanooga, on Thursday, July 12. Visitation with family will begin at 10 a.m. followed by a service at 11 a.m. Funeral services and interment will be held at Roselawn Funeral Home, Decatur, Al., on Friday, July 13, at 11 a.m., CST. Visitation with family and friends will begin at 10 a.m.
In lieu flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to the BRIDGES of GRACE Fund at Grace Baptist Academy, 7815 Shallowford Road, Chattanooga or https://gracechatt.org/www/donate.