It is with great sadness we share the news that Elder Bill Wampler, who served as president of the Iowa-Missouri Conference from 1981-1999, passed away on Tuesday. He was 89.
Several pastors around the conference and all three current conference officers served with Elder Wampler during his presidency. Wampler is remembered as a compassionate leader who loved the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its mission, as well as a man of common sense and a great sense of humor.
“He took a chance on many young pastors who had no formal education, giving them time to demonstrate their calling to the gospel ministry,” said Robert Wagley, executive secretary for the conference. “He enjoyed being with the people with whom he served, and he knew how to have a good time while working together. Peggy and I will be forever grateful for his calling us to Iowa-Missouri and giving us a chance to serve in the Lord’s work here and in other capacities around the world.”
Following the consolidation of the Iowa and Missouri conferences in 1980, he saw the fledgling new conference through some difficult financial challenges. “I will remember Elder Wampler for his positive leadership during tough times, his dedication to improving the facilities at Sunnydale Academy, his basic common sense, and most of all his great sense of humor,” said Rhonda Karr, conference treasurer. “It was truly a joy to work with him.”
Though he was theologically conservative, Wampler took a progressive stance on issues like gender equality in church employment. In a time when even non-pastoral leadership positions were largely reserved for men, Wampler was responsible for Karr’s appointment to treasurer in 1998.
“We’re going to miss Elder Wampler, but we’ll long remember his leadership in the Iowa-Missouri Conference,” said Dean Coridan, current conference president. “In my opinion, he was the best conference president we’ve ever had.”
A memorial service will be held at 4:00 pm on Sabbath, January 26 at the Standifer Gap Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Please join us in praying for Elder Wampler’s family during this time.