Welcome Dr. Bill McConnell!
The Reverend Dr. William H. McConnell begins his ministry at First Christian Church, Haines City on February 1, 2023. Bill was born and reared in Kentucky. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1977 from Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Kentucky in Social Work and Religious Education. He went on to attend Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky to earn his Master of Divinity degree in December 1980 and earn his Doctor of Ministry degree in May 1988. He was ordained by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Kentucky on November 16, 1980.
Dr. McConnell is coming out of retirement to serve First Christian Church. Prior to his retirement he served the multi staffed congregation of Hillside Christian Church, Wichita, Kansas as their Senior Minister for 30 years, retiring at the end of 2020. Prior to that service he served the First Christian Church of Pine Bluff, Arkansas and for that the Charlestown Christian Church, Charlestown, Indiana. While a student in seminary he served Mount Zion Christian Church, Frankfort, Kentucky. While a student in college he served as the Assistant Minister to the New Castle United Ministries, New Castle, Kentucky.
Dr. McConnell has been very active in district, regional and general level work of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He presently serves on the Board of Trustees for Lexington Theological Seminary. He has served on the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. & Canada, Chaired the Board of Disciples Home Mission Board, and Chaired the Search Committee for Disciples Home Mission President in 2008. He has also served on the Kansas Regional Board, the Kansas Committee On Licensed Ministry, Mentor For Kansas Committee on Licensed Ministry, Kansas Regional Stewardship Chairperson, Arkansas Stewardship Resource Team, Arkansas Regional Board, President of the Central District Assembly of Arkansas, Arkansas Department of Evangelism & Membership, Indiana Regional Board, Indiana Area Fourteen Chairperson, Indiana Department of Christian Education, Kentucky/Indiana Disciple Clergy President, Kentucky/Indiana Disciple Clergy Treasurer.
He has also been very active in ecumenical and community ministries. Active in Rotary (A Paul Harris Fellow), served on the Board of Directors at Kansas Christian Home, served on the Bias Control Task Force – Wichita Public Schools, InterFaith Ministries in Wichita, Arkansas/Louisiana Commission for Higher Education Funding Chair, Arkansas/Louisiana Commission for Higher Education Board, Neighbor to Neighbor Board, Jefferson County Clergy Conference, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Campus Ministry Board, U.A.P.B. Campus Ministry Search Committee, United Church Ministries President, United Church Ministries Board, North Clark Ministerial Association Vice President, North Clark Ministerial Association, Head Chaplain of North Clark Community Hospital.
Over the years he has traveled to thirty countries, many leading church tours. He led/conducted A Tour of “Paul’s Footsteps” in Greece and Turkey, led/conducted A Tour of the Holy Lands in Israel and Egypt, traveled Italy, England, Scotland, Germany and Austria. In seminary Bill met his wife Vickie who was a student from North Carolina. They married in 1979 just before him beginning his ministry in Charlestown. They had two children, Brooks and Jonathan. Brooks is married and has two children (Peter & Nora) living in Portland, Organ and teaches Spanish in a middle school. His son Jonathan is an attorney in Wichita, Kansas, where he is married and has a daughter (Corryn). Bill’s wife died of cancer in 1997. A few years later he adopted Cyle, a 16 year old boy who had been in foster care from the age of five. Cyle is single and lives in a small town in Kansas.