Billy Gene Arnold, born Nov. 8, 1927, went to be with his Lord and Savior Aug. 19, 2008. He was surrounded by his family.
Bill was the first born of Mamie and Eugene Arnold in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he went on to graduate from Miller High School. From there he went on to Howard Payne College where he played football and earned a Bachelor of Divinity. During his days at Howard Payne he accepted the call to pastor at Jones Chapel Baptist Church. It was during a revival at this church he met the love of his life and wife of 57 years, Gwendolyn Holleman Arnold.
Bill and Gwen Arnold were married Nov. 24, 1950, in Brownwood, Texas, at Calvary Baptist Church. Bill attended Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, graduating in May of 1952. From there they moved to Mason, Texas, where he became pastor at First Baptist Church. He served there from 1952 to 1955. His next calling was in Edcouch, Texas, where he served as pastor for one year at First Baptist Church. In 1956 he accepted the call to pastor First Baptist Church Aransas Pass, Texas. He served there until 1966 where he then accepted the call at First Baptist Church of New Braunfels. His first sermon there was in April 1966, and he continued to serve there until 1983. Upon his retirement in 1983, he served as interim pastor for the next 15 years for a multitude of churches in Central Texas. His heart, however, remained with the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, where he was a faithful member until his death.
In New Braunfels, he was involved in the community, serving as city council member from 1987 to 1993. He was also a member of the Lion’s Club, active in the Salvation Army program, led numerous community efforts including such things as blood and food drives. An avid hunter and fisherman, he was a member of Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International. He was trustee at Howard Payne College for 10 years, and served on the executive board of the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas. He was awarded the Silver Unicorn Award for service to the community by the New Braunfels School district. Bill also had a life-long love of Baylor University, and lastly he was a proud official member of “Krause’s Coffee Club” for 30 years.
Bill faithfully served the Lord his entire life. He never knew a stranger and was a friend to all. His laughter and love of life will live on forever. Bill was a devoted husband, brother, father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved nothing more than being surrounded by his family.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents Mamie and Eugene Arnold and brother, James Bernard Arnold. He is survived by his wife Gwendolyn Holleman Arnold, sons Jim Foy and wife Rhonda Arnold, David Gene and wife Kaye Arnold and Billy Mark and wife Patty Arnold, his grandchildren, Ashlee, Josh and wife Amy Arnold, Jayson and bride-to-be Alicia Thompson, Jennifer, Brian, Diane and husband Scott Jackson and Julie Arnold and his great grandson Hayden Arnold. He is also survived by his sister Betty Carol and her husband Leroy Davis of Victoria and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bill’s greatest wish was for his family, friends and any that he came in contact would come to know the Lord as their personal Savior. He dedicated his life to this task. He would want nothing more than for those he knew to continue this legacy.
The family will be present at the Doeppen-schmidt Funeral Home New Braunfels, Texas, from 5 until 8 p.m. Thursday Aug. 21. Services are at 10:30 Friday morning, Aug. 22, at the First Baptist Church New Braunfels, with burial to be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at Jordon Springs Cemetery, Brownwood, Texas.
In Lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to be sent to the First Baptist Church, New Braunfels, Texas, designated to the Bill and Gwen Arnold Memorial fund, 733 Cross Street New Braunfels, TX 78130.