I am grateful to have the opportunity to honor my dad and his life of sacrifice to preach the gospel of Christ by dedicating this site to his memory. I pray that I can emulate his example and have the same kind of servant’s heart that he demonstrated in his life. As I travel my “second-half journey,” I hope to experience a life of transition “from success to significance.” I particularly want to play a role in influencing our young people and the decisions that they make.
As an introduction to this site, I have taken auto-biographical material that my dad wrote and that was published in the January 2003 issue of Faith & Facts Quarterly. I have updated it and modified it for use here. I hope you will visit the website often. You will find on this site audio sermons, sermon outlines and articles authored by my father. I have made use of the site as an outlet for my own creative efforts as well. Please pray that this effort is successful in reaching folks with the gospel. I hope that it will be a resource to encourage Christians to live as dedicated disciples. I hope to make available resources to young people that will assist them to make right decisions in their lives and to men to be the spiritual leaders in their families.
William C. Sexton
William Corbett Sexton was born to Carl and Mamie Sexton in Cameron, Oklahoma, on December 25, 1928. He grew up in Johnson County, Arkansas. His Mother had been a member of the Holiness group before she married, but professed no religion while raising her family, of three sons and three daughters.
religion in early life
The only religious teachings Bill was exposed to were when preachers would come to the Liberty Hill School House (where he attended school) and hold some kind of service. Most of these services took place at night and Bill would attend just to have some place to go. Usually he would just stay outside and look in the window.
Marriage and the army
In 1946, at the age of 17, Bill enlisted in the Army. Bill spent some time in Germany in the Occupational forces, and was discharged July 1948. A few weeks after his discharge, he met a young lady, Lois Marie Keech, they dated, and eventually he asked her to be his wife. They were married on her 19th birthday, in a double wedding with two of their friends. Nine months and eleven days later a son was born, in Hamilton Ohio, where Bill and his young bride had gone looking for work. Bill was working in the Estate Stove factory on the evening shift, making $1.18 an hour, and attending welding school in the mornings.
In the spring of 1952 Bill and his brother-in- law went to Sunflower, Kansas and got a job at the Hercules Power plant. After working there a little more than a year he went to work as a welder at the Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac manufacturing plant in Kansas City, Kansas. In 1954, Bill and his wife purchased a small house in Kansas City, Missouri. Their first visitor was a Baptist preacher from the Randolph Baptist church. He invited them to their services and they started attending. As Bill began to read the Bible, he was not familiar with it’s make up but he decided to begin with the Book of Matthew, and continue through Mark, Luke and John. When he got to the book of Acts, it started having more meaning. He began to see that the biographical books provided a logical setting for the book of Acts. Yet, he was far from getting the whole picture; his understanding was very incomplete.
In October of 1954, he realized that he needed to be a Christian, so one Sunday morning he responded to the invitation. He was asked by the preacher if he had accepted Christ as his personal Savior. Bill responded, “I want to, but I’m not sure that I know what that consists of.” The preacher took Bill into a side room, and read John 5:24, and told him that, according to this verse, when he got up out of his seat and started forward, that was when he placed his faith in Jesus Christ. The preacher also told Bill that he was saved at that moment and nothing he could ever do would cause him to be lost. Bill felt wonderful and wanted to tell others. When he started talking to others about his salvation, some began to ask him questions. Bill took those questions back to some of the members and to the preacher. Bill did not believe that he KNEW his Bible well enough to defend his position, but believed that the preacher did. Often he was disappointed by the preacher and members, because rather than point him to the answer, they would suggest that he not be too concerned about what the people asked. He was not satisfied with that, and would continue to search and pray. He went forward a few weeks later and again expressed the desire to be baptized. When he had gone forward the first time, he had been told that there were some “formalities” they needed to go through. Bill’s thirst for the truth was great as he sought answers. He tried to reconcile what he had done and been taught with passages that he was studying.
One Saturday morning he asked the preacher to come to his house for further study. The study began at 9:00 AM and did not conclude until 5:00 PM. After all was said and done, Bill asked him: “Now, Peter said repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, would you baptize me for that reason?” The preacher said: “No, I will not, because if I did, that would mean that I believed water had something to do with your salvation, and I don’t.” At first it was hard for Bill to accept, what he was hearing the preacher say. But finally it became clear to Bill that the Baptist preacher was not as willing to take the Bible for what it says as he seemed to indicate that he was.
Bill Humble was on a Kansas City Radio Station WHB each Sunday morning, presenting the gospel message. Bill became a steady listener, and finally one Sunday morning he and his wife attended the 39th and Floral congregation and Bill went forward at the invitation and was baptized. Still he was a bit confused, THINKING that he needed to be baptized, but that he was saved prior to that act. After more study, and a few weeks later, he called Bill Humble and Billy Fielder and they came to the house and he told them that NOW he was fully convinced that baptism was IN ORDER to be saved, according to Acts 22:16, and he was baptized again at the 41st and North Cherry meeting place..
He thought he had found it! But when he began to attend some business meetings, at the 41st and Cherry congregation (which later moved and became known as the Vivion Road congregation) he was disappointed. Naively, Bill had envisioned that all would agree on all matters and it quickly became evident that this was not the case. Being discouraged, he started attending some denominations to see what they taught. As he sat in these denominational assemblies or study classes, he would see and hear things that he had just been studying and knew they were not according to the Bible.
After this searching, he read a statement from a denominational journal that impacted him greatly: “anyone can find fault. But it takes a person of character, to DO WHAT HE KNOWS IS RIGHT and then go about trying to help others change their lives for the better.” That caused him to decide to go before the congregation at 41st and North Cherry in Kansas City and ask for forgiveness and promise to do the best he could in serving the Lord. After that day, he made many mistakes, made decisions that were not right after considering the matter further, but he always repented and asked God to forgive him when he saw he was wrong.
For five years (1957-1962) he preached part time within a hundred and fifty miles of Kansas City, while making a living as a welder. He preached in small congregations all over Northwest Missouri. In November of 1962, he began his first full time work with the congregation in Lowell Indiana. This was followed by work with congregation in Saint Joseph, Missouri, the Southwest, West Side, and Pleasant Valley congregations in Wichita Kansas, Manhattan, Kansas, and the Roan Ridge congregation in Kansas City, Missouri. In June 1994, he moved to Arkansas to work with the Van Buren congregation, meeting at 711 Access Road. He eventually retired from the full time preaching responsibilities at Access Road, though he continued to serve as an elder for some time. But the need that he saw in other areas for the preaching of the gospel drew him away from the local work at Access Road. And he resigned the eldership and began working with the Bethel and Waveland churches. Bill held meetings throughout Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas.
My father and mother were living in Van Buren, AR when they celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary on February 14, 2006. In March of that year Dad held his last gospel meeting. That meeting was with the Prairie Hills congregation in St. Joseph, Missouri. He was able to associate with and renew old times with several members who had been close friends when he preached at the 10th and Lincoln congregation many years before. Dad became sick during that meeting but struggled to finish it. Shortly after returning home Dad continued to be sick and on the morning of March 29, 2006, was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. After tests were run, it was discovered that he had an inoperable bladder tumor. Dad never left the hospital.
Dad had become a Christian on January 22, 1955 and lived tirelessly, unselfishly preaching and teaching the gospel for forty-nine years . I had the opportunity to spend Father’s day with him in 2005, as he traveled to his preaching appointments in Waveland and Bethel, AR and returned for evening service at Access Road. Dad had “retired” from full time work but continued to go as strong as ever. It is the love for God and for the souls of men and women that drove him to continue to preach the gospel to any who would listen. His aim, even after he “retired,” was to do what he could do, as long as the Lord gave him strength. My mother told me that he was “busier then, than before retiring.” His view, which he expressed to his family on many occasions was, “One can’t retire from the Lord’s work, regardless of his age.”
My father was what I would call a “self-educated” man. He did not finish high school. After he was married and had a family, he became interested in religion, in being a Christian, and saw a need to continue his education. He took his GED in St. Joseph, Missouri, and began college at Missouri Western College, just as it opened its new campus. He continued his education at Wichita State University, Kansas State University, Manhattan Christian College, eventually graduating from WSU. He also received a Masters Degree in Theology from Christian Bible College. He had started to work on another Degree, when he developed Colon Cancer in 1988, and had to drop it. He was an avid learner. I have heard him say, on more than one occasion, “I hope to learn something my last day on this earth” and I am persuaded that he did just that. He was making an impression on the medical staff even as he was living out his last days.
On May 8, 2006 Dad passed from this life to receive his reward. His body succumbed to the disease of bladder cancer but, I am persuaded, that his spirit lives on in the presence of God. I hope in some small way to honor the work that he did, the Lord that he served, and the hope that he lived in his heart every day!