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Dr. Bill Raymond with the Lord

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dr. Bill Raymond with the Lord.

Dr. Bill Raymond went home to be with the Lord whom he loved on Saturday, February 28, 2015 after a recent battle with heart failure.  Dr. Raymond was a faithful servant of Christ who I had the privilege to call a friend and his friendship, service and wisdom will be greatly missed.

I first remember meeting Dr. Bill Raymond when he was in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey planting and pastoring Faith Fellowship Baptist Church (the church where I am currently serving as Interim Pastor) and when I was serving as Youth Pastor at Heritage Baptist Church in Mt. Laurel.  Dr. Raymond brought some of his young people over to some youth events I was hosting at the church and we began to develop a friendship.  Dr. Raymond had a love for the Lord that was contagious and enjoyed being with people and loved children.  He had a true Pastor's heart and dearly loved the people to whom God had called him to minister.  

I got to know Dr. Raymond better as the Lord moved me in ministry.  When I went down to Hardingville Bible Church, HBC was one of the supporting churches of Pastor Raymond.  Through HBC, I became part of the Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches and got to know Dr. Raymond better through time spent together as part of the FFBC, especially through time up at Tri-State Bible Camp for the FFBC's Annual Conference.  Dr. Raymond became President of the FFBC during my time at Hardingville and did a great job as President.  As a father of young children at the time, I always appreciated Pastor Raymond's love for the children and the way he would often stop whatever he was doing to listen and talk with them.  

While I was still in New Jersey, I remember what a great host Bill and Barbara were for picnics for the Pastors and Wives of the FFBC as we would meet at their trailer in Mt. Laurel.  It was always such an enjoyable time for me, although I am sure it was probably a lot of work for Barbara.  

When Pastor Raymond would bring down his ministry car to be worked on at Rainey's Service Center across the street from the Hardingville Church, I would often get the opportunity to spend a good chunk of the day with Pastor Raymond as he would come over to the church to work on things while his car was getting worked on, but invariably we would begin talking about family and ministry and what God was doing in our lives.  

As I went out to become Pastor, Dr. Raymond often served as a source of council and encouragement.  I remember Bill and Barbara coming out and visiting us in Salisbury after a particularly difficult time in ministry and I was encouraged to be reminded of his love and prayers for us.  

When he moved further away and due to distance and health was unable to make a few of the FFBC Annual Conferences, his absence was greatly felt.  It was a great joy to see both Bill and Barbara make it back to Annual this past summer.  

This past year has been a difficult one for Dr. Raymond in the area of his health, with his leg being amputated and him working diligently to adjust to this new way of living and then with heart failure and having stints put in.  Even with all of this, the last I had seen from Barbara was that he was progressing and hoping to be able to come home this weekend.  Indeed, Pastor Raymond is "home" this weekend, just not the home we had expected.  

As a Christian, we do not sorrow as those that have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13), but I will miss my "buddy," Bill Raymond.  He was a faithful servant of Christ and a good friend.  

Please keep his wife, Barbara, in your prayers over these coming days.  Also pray that God would be glorified through Bill's death and funeral as surely God was glorified through Bill's life of service and devotion.

Just my thoughts,

Frank Sansone