Notice regarding Coronavirus...Read More

800-238-ARIA (2742)

Plan Ahead

Abraham, William

December 19, 1947 –
 October 7, 2021

Obituary

William James Abraham (December 19, 1947 – October 7, 2021).

Rev. William J. Abraham, 73, died on Thursday, October 7, 2021. A memorial service will be held at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 3300 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas 75205 on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 10:00 am. The service is open to the public.

Billy Abraham was born on December 19, 1947 to Irvine and Isabella Abraham in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom). His father died in an accident in 1951, leaving his mother with six boys. His earliest childhood memory is of Irish Methodist ministers praying with the family and bringing “orphan money” on Sundays. An academically gifted child, in 1955 Billy was selected to matriculate into Portora Royal School in his hometown from which he graduated in 1966.

He went on to pursue an honors degree in philosophy and psychology at Queen’s University in Belfast (1966-1970). As an undergraduate student, he was awarded the Peele Prize in Philosophy for an essay on the concept of human action. His love of philosophy was surpassed only by his deep conversion to the Christian faith, which he underwent in his late teens. He met his future wife, Muriel Elizabeth Charles at a youth group meeting of the Sandy Row Methodist Church in Belfast and the two were married on August 2, 1969. They had three children, all born in Belfast: Timothy Fletcher (1971-2012), Siobhan Elizabeth (b. 1973), and Shaun Wesley (b. 1978).

Following his calling, in 1970, Billy Abraham crossed the ocean to continue his education at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. At Asbury, he was particularly shaped by Robert Traina’s inductive method of Bible study. While studying at the seminary, Billy was elected President of Student Body and Council in 1971-1972. For his academic achievements he became a member (1972) and president (1973) of Theta Phi Honors Society and received his Master of Divinity degree in 1973. The same year he returned to Great Britain in order to pursue a doctorate in philosophical theology at the University of Oxford under the direction of a prominent philosopher of the Christian religion, Basil Mitchell (1917-2011). Abraham was awarded a D.Phil. at Oxford in 1977 with a dissertation on divine action and history, a topic that continued to be of focal significance in his scholarly career.

During his studies at Oxford, Abraham taught philosophy at Culhum College of Education, Culham, Abingdon, UK (1975-1977). Upon graduating from Oxford, he was a minister in the Methodist Church in Ireland serving St Andrew’s Church in Belfast (1977-1978), Irvinestown Methodist Church in Irvinestown (1978-1980), and Cullybackey Methodist Church, Village of Cullybackey, County Antrim, N. Ireland (1982-1984). His scholarly career continued at Seattle Pacific University, where he taught theology in 1980-1982 and 1984-1985. While teaching at SPU, Abraham published his first books: The Divine Inspiration of Holy Scripture (1981), Divine Revelation and the Limits of Historical Criticism (1982, reprinted in 2000 as Oxford Scholarly Classic), and The Coming Great Revival: Recovering the Full Evangelical Tradition (1984). These works began to establish Abraham’s reputation as a leading theological authority within Methodism and beyond.

In 1985, he joined the faculty of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University (SMU) first as Professor of Philosophy of Religion and McCreless Professor of Evangelism (1985-1995) and later as Albert Cook Outler Professor of Theology and Wesley Studies (1995-2020). At Perkins, his teaching spanned the disciplines of systematic theology, philosophy of religion, evangelism, and Wesley studies. For three decades, Abraham taught courses in systematic theology that were important for defining the character and depth of theological education received at Perkins. He also taught and supervised numerous doctoral students at the Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU. Under the auspices of the Center for Evangelism and Church Mission Studies, in 2000, Abraham founded the Polycarp Community consisting of graduate students and pastors who wished to continue their postgraduate research in theology on a British model. With his general supervision, many members of the Polycarp Community defended their doctoral dissertations at Durham University, the University of Manchester, the University of South Africa, and others. As an inspiring teacher and caring mentor, he made a lasting impact upon a generation of future pastors and university instructors. In 2003, he received the highest award for teaching at SMU and was appointed Altshuler University Distinguished Teacher.

A prolific scholar during his tenure at SMU, Abraham authored or edited over twenty-five books including: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (1985), The Rationality of Religious Belief: Essays in Honor of Basil Mitchell (edited with Stephen W. Holtzer, 1987), How to Play Theological Ping-Pong: Essays by Basil Mitchell (edited with Robert Prevost, 1989), The Logic of Evangelism (1989), The Art of Evangelism: Evangelism Carefully Crafted into the Life of the Local Church (1993), Waking from Doctrinal Amnesia (1995), Unity, Charity and Liberty: Building Bridges Under Icy Waters (edited with Donald Messer, 1996), Canon and Criterion in Christian Theology: From the Fathers to Feminists (1997, received Best Book Faculty Award at SMU and Joint Book of the Year Award from Institute of Christian Studies in 1999), Can United Methodists Stay United? (1998), Evangelism: Essays by Albert Cook Outler (edited with Albert Outler, 1998), The Logic of Renewal (2003), Saving Souls in the Twenty-First Century: A Missiological Midrash on John Wesley (2003), John Wesley for Armchair Theologians (2005), Crossing the Threshold of Divine Revelation (2006), Canonical Theism: A Proposal for Theology and the Church (edited with Jason E. Vickers and Natalie B. Van Kirk, 2008), The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies (edited with James E. Kirby, 2009), Aldersgate and Athens: John Wesley and the Foundations of Christian Belief (2010), Key United Methodist Beliefs (with David F. Watson, 2013), Among the Ashes: On Death, Grief, and Hope (2017), The Oxford Handbook of the Epistemology of Theology (edited with Frederick D. Aquino, 2017), Divine Agency and Divine Action (vols. 1 and 2: 2017, vol. 3: 2018, vol. 4: 2021), Methodism: A Very Short Introduction (2019), John Wesley’s Sermons on Various Occasions (3 vols., 2021, edited with a commentary).

Abraham also founded Highland Loch Press in Dallas, Texas, in which he self-published four titles: Celtic Fire: Evangelism in the Wisdom and Power of the Spirit (2012), The Bible: Beyond the Impasse (2012), Analytic Theology: A Bibliography (2012); Shaking Hands with the Devil: The Intersection of Terrorism and Theology (2013). In addition, he published over a hundred scholarly and popular articles, as well as produced audio-visual resources on the basics of the Christian faith, Bible study, Methodism, and church renewal. In 2012, he was awarded the Ford Fellowship, which is the highest award for scholarship at SMU. In 2013, Abraham also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wesleyan Theological Society (WTS).

The WTS award recognized Abraham’s wide-ranging contributions to Wesleyan and Methodist Studies over the decades. His work on John Wesley aimed to paint a nuanced picture of the eighteenth-century figure as evangelist, as theologian, as preacher, and as spiritual father. While Abraham offered cutting-edge scholarly insights—his treatment of Wesley’s theological epistemology is a prime example—he took great care to make his work on Wesley accessible to a general audience. He also published numerous books, chapters, and articles in Methodist Studies, continually emphasizing the importance of sound doctrine to the health of the church.

Evangelism and mission held a prominent place in his own calling, and this included significant scholarly work in this territory. Abraham’s exploration of the place of evangelism within the life of the church was marked by theological depth and pastoral concern. He developed a holistic conception of evangelism as a process of initiation into the life of the church and into the kingdom of God. Pressing back against reductionist accounts of what evangelism is, he called for immersion of new believers into the full riches of the Christian faith.

In creative and fruitful ways, he showed the relevance of philosophy of religion for theology. He sought to demonstrate the vitality of philosophy of religion as a discipline within both philosophy and religion. In extraordinary ways he acknowledged the distinction between these disciplines while exploring how they intersect and inform one another. Some of his research interests included the nature and scope of divine revelation, divine action, the rationality of religious belief, the relationship between theology and epistemology, and the meaning and nature of canon. His ability to see through problems and offer fresh insights is deeply relevant for the ongoing engagement between philosophy and religion.

In addition to his service to SMU, his visiting appointments included Visiting Professor at Central Asian Evangelical School of Theology, Karaganda, Kazakhstan (1998), Visiting Professor of Evangelical Theology at Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University (1999), Visiting Scholar at Trinity Theological School, Sibu, Malaysia (2006, 2008), Visiting Professor at Bishram School of Ministry, Kathmandu, Nepal (2006), and Visiting Professor at Evangelical Methodist Seminary, San Jose, Costa Rica (2007, 2008, 2021). The appointments in Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nepal, and Costa Rica are indicators of Abraham’s indefatigable missionary efforts and his burning desire to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with people around the world. In addition, his missionary work in Turda, Romania (2010-2021) involved evangelism and church-building. Abraham is the founder and president of Oasis International Missions (1999-2021) also known as Salt and Light European Ministries, a non-profit organization that supports Christian missions worldwide.

Upon his retirement from SMU in 2020, Abraham taught part-time at Dallas Baptist University. He also became the founding director of the Wesley House of Studies at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Waco, Texas. In grateful acknowledgement and joyful recognition of Professor Abraham’s outstanding, lifelong contribution to scholarship in service of the church in general and to Wesleyan Studies in particular, in September 2021, through the generous gifts of donors, Truett Seminary established in his honor The William J. Abraham Chair of the Wesley House of Studies.

A renowned speaker, Abraham gave public lectures at numerous educational institutions, societies, and churches, including: University of Edinburgh (1975), University of Lancaster (1976), Origen Society, Oxford (1976), Irish Baptist College (1977), Union Theological College, Belfast (1979), Wesleyan Theological Society (1981, 1984), Western Evangelical Seminary (1982), Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies (1982, 1987, 1992, 2006), Methodist Bicentennial Theological Consultation, Emory University (1983), Edgehill Theological College, Belfast (1984, 1996), National Meetings of the American Academy of Religion (1984, 2007, 2008, 2013), Regional Meetings of the American Academy of Religion (1986, 1987), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, New Orleans (1985), Bethel College (1987), Messiah College (1988), McMurry College (1989, 1991), American Jewish Committee, Dallas (1989), Duke University (1989), Southern Nazarene University (1990), Wesley Seminary (1990), University of London (1991), Pacific School of Evangelism, Sydney (1993), United Theological College, Sydney (1993), St John’s College, Auckland (1993), Onel College, Oxford (1994), Candler School of Theology (1997), Iliff School of Theology (1997), Korean Consultation, Honolulu (1998), Harvard University (1998), University of Illinois (1998), Cliff College (1999), Calvin College (2000, 2014), Washington National Cathedral (2000), Baylor University (2000, 2003, 2006, 2007), Canadian Methodist Historical Association (2000), Harvard Divinity School (2001), Point Loma Nazarene University (2002), Abilene Christian University (2002, 2003), Cliff College (2003), Downpatrick Cathedral, N. Ireland (2003), British Methodist Conference (2003), Duke Divinity School (2003), Wesleyan Theological Society (2004), Wheaton College (2004), Central Asian Evangelical School of Theology (2004), Singapore Methodist Church (2005), United Theological Seminary (2007), American Philosophical Association (2007), Lipscomb University (2008), Houghton College (2008), Denman Lectures, Nashville (2009), Mere Anglicanism Conference, Charleston (2009), World Universities Forum, Davos, Switzerland (2009), Community College, Corsicana (2010), Rutgers University (2010), Indiana Wesleyan University (2010), Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest (2010), University of Notre Dame (2011, 2013, 2014), University of St. Thomas (2013, 2015), Winget Lecture, Spring Arbor University (2014), Trinity Theological College, Singapore (2015), Colgate University (2018), Jesuit School of Theology, Paris (2019), Los Angeles Theology Conference (2019), Meetings of the International Orthodox Theological Association (Jerusalem, Israel, 2018 and Iasi, Romania 2019), and others.

He served as an advisor to the following presses: Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Abingdon Press, Rowan and Littlefield Press, Wadsworth Press, and University of Notre Dame Press. He was an advisor to London Weekly Television (1988) and served on the Editorial Board of Interpretation (1994-1997). A long-time friend of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Abraham was an Ecumenical Observer for the International Orthodox Theological Association.

A clergy member of Rio Texas Annual Conference (formerly the Southwest Texas Annual Conference), Dr. Abraham transferred his membership in 1990 from the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference, where he was ordained Deacon in 1979 and Elder in 1984. At the local level, he was regularly invited to preach, officiate at services, and teach Sunday school classes. He taught two Sunday School classes, In His Steps and First Light, at the Highland Park United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas for nearly thirty years until the week he died. At the denominational level, he served as a delegate to the South Central Jurisdictional Conference and also on the United Methodist General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns. He addressed numerous gatherings of United Methodists across the globe and helped to plant churches in many countries. For many years he was active in the Confessing Movement and participated in many official and unofficial conversations about the UMC’s doctrinal commitments.

In 2014, Billy struggled with and successfully recovered from colon cancer. He also had sleep apnea but otherwise his health remained strong. He was full of plans for his future missionary and scholarly work when he died suddenly while visiting a friend at an assisted living facility. A loving husband and caring father, he was preceded in death by his son Timothy (d. 2012) and is survived by his wife Muriel, his children Siobhan and Shaun, as well as his brothers John, Ivan, Cecil, and Ken Abraham.

Please leave the family condolences and share memories on this website.

Arrangements under the direction of:

Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home

19310 Preston Road

Dallas, Texas 75252

(214) 306-6700

34 Thoughts on Abraham, William
    Thomas P. Flint
    13 Oct 2021
    1:06pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of the death of Billy Abraham. He was not only a terrific but also a wonderful and exuberant colleague during his time with the Center for Philosophy of Religion here at Notre Dame. We will all miss him very much.

    Rev, Joseph T. Fields, Jr.
    13 Oct 2021
    1:52pm

    Dr. Abraham was my first professor at Perkins in a course entitled “Introduction to Philosophy of Religion.” As a second career person I had not been in a classsroom in almost 20 years. I was totally lost, wondering why I was there. After several classes I was still confused and lost. I gathered my courage and went and talked to “Billy”. He was gracious, he was kind. Many a time he gave me “a pain in the brain!” I am grateful to be in the ranks of the countless number of people this gentle, thoughtful, faithful man touched. Sola Deo Gloria!

    Gregory Norton
    13 Oct 2021
    3:47pm

    Dr William Abraham had just as much devotion to God as he was a scholar. He embodied Christ as a professor, pastor. I loved his work, ministry, and the breadth of his courses. I pray for someone to fill his shoes. God Bless his Family at this time.

    Kent Millard
    13 Oct 2021
    5:01pm

    Well done good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your master.

    Nancy Mossman
    13 Oct 2021
    10:34pm

    Billy Abraham inspired me to continue mu studies in theology. He welcomed me at the university when I was vey unsure about my calling and ability. I’m saddened to learn of his death. I pray for his family and friends as they grieve this terrible loss.

    Thomas Howell
    14 Oct 2021
    7:31am

    Billy Abraham was a Godly and remarkable man. He was a scholar, theologian and writer. He was very warm and energetic. He will be greatly missed.

    Daisy San Jorge Borrego
    14 Oct 2021
    8:59am

    Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for the death of your family member. My prayers are with you, and your family. Please accept my condolences during this heartbreaking time. I hope God blesses and comforts you, and takes the deceased’s soul to rest with Him in Heaven where they belong.

    Sylvia Bradshaw
    14 Oct 2021
    9:57am

    Well done, good and faithful servant! You leave a huge hole in this world where you once stood, but leave behind a legacy that will endure for generations. Thank you, family, for sharing him as much as you did. Your sacrifice is witnessed by his great works. I’m so grateful to have had time with this great hero of the faith.

    Karen S Hallmark
    14 Oct 2021
    10:19am

    Billy was my beloved Sunday School teacher (In His Steps), and friend. His knowledge and teaching ability are legendary. However, the things I will miss the most are his humor, and beautiful baritone singing voice. I always knew when Billy entered our classroom because harmonizing voice joining in our hymn announced his presence. He treasured his family, and was a TIRELESS worker for God’s glory. I cannot imagine how the hole that he left will be filled. My deepest condolences, as well as continued prayers, are with his beloved family. I picture Timothy, Randy Hill, Larry Brady, Wes Putnam, and Gene Soutter waiting with excitement to welcome him into Heaven.

    Jim Mayfield
    14 Oct 2021
    10:27am

    Billy was a special friend with an amazing brain and an large heart. He was a living embodiment of knowledge and vital piety untied in one human being.

    Bob Howard
    14 Oct 2021
    10:54am

    Dr. Abraham was the behind the scenes inspirational leader of Vision Africa Ministries, dounded in 1998 by one of his doctoral students, Dr. Sunday Onuoha. True to Billy’s zeal for sharing the gospel throughout the world, Vision Africa’s radio station in Abia State Nigeria reaches over 20 million withe the good news. He will always be our hero and his table at La Madelaine will never be forgotten. Blessings to the family of this great man.

    Ruben LF Habito
    14 Oct 2021
    12:01pm

    I remain in profound grief and shock at our esteemed and beloved Billy’s totally unexpected passing from our midst. Together with my spouse Maria Reis Habito, we owe him in our hearts with a lifetime’s worth of gratitude, as he was the chair of the Search Committee that brought me to Perkins School of Theology in 1989. He and his dear spouse Muriel were sponsors at our wedding ceremony at Perkins chapel in April 1990. The whole family, their son Timothy (deceased), daughter Siobhan, and son Shaun, were also like family to us especially in those early years of our life in Dallas, as they welcomed us to table on Thanksgiving and Christmas and so many other occasions. He was a stimulating conversation partner and on various theological themes, and there are still a number of issues i was looking forward to taking up with him, but alas! He was a frequent fixture at the breakfast scene at La Madeleine’s on Mockingbird and Central, and i had looked forward to joining him there that very morning of Oct. 8, 2021, as Maria and i went there for breakfast, and were profoundly shocked to learn later that day that he had passed the night before.
    With palms joined in prayer, and in deep mourning, with Muriel, Siobhan, Shaun, and all those who loved him, who learned from him, who were helped by him, inspired by him, challenged by him to think through things more thoroughly, or in some way gifted with his presence in their lives.
    Ruben and Maria Habito

    J.W. Hutcherson
    14 Oct 2021
    3:58pm

    What a privilege to have attended his classes.

    Susan Porr
    14 Oct 2021
    4:46pm

    I met Billy when I was a student at APTS and he was coming to speak. I picked him up from the airport and enjoyed such a wonderful and enlightened time listening to him on the trip to campus. He was a brilliant speaker and writer, and I am so sorry for your loss of his presence in your family.

    Emma Abraham
    15 Oct 2021
    3:01am

    What an inspirational man you are my dearest uncle watch over us all x

    Professor Andrew Walkerr
    15 Oct 2021
    1:40pm

    Professor William Abraham (known by most of his friends as Billy) was remarkable in his generosity and was respected by all who knew him. I first met him in 1987 and found him amusing, welcoming and full of surprises. These surprises stemmed from the fact that although he was a Methodist and a leading figure in the United Methodist Church – his personal predilection was for an ecumenical Christianity centered on the Gospel and the Creeds of the Early Church. This position of Billy’s led him to be critical of much liberal theology. He was truly an original thinker who was able to convey his sophisticated scholarship to a wide audience. I like so many others will really miss him.

    Kenneth Johnston
    15 Oct 2021
    8:07pm

    I first connected with Billy, as I knew him, in June 1970. I had just graduated from Trinity College, Dublin. His name was given to me by a mutual friend as I was trying to decide where to go to seminary. Billy encouraged me to go to Asbury where he was currently a student. Jan 2 1972, I arrived at Asbury. Billy and his wife Muriel, made me so welcome and helped me adjust to life in America. Upon his graduation, our paths separated but I never forgot him. What a journey he has had. May God comfort his family with His peace and presence.

    Erna Oliver
    18 Oct 2021
    6:07am

    In January 2020, just before COVID closed our country down, a number of South Africans from the University of South Africa had the huge privilege to meet Prof Billy Abraham, Dr Vaughn Baker and a number of our postgraduate students in person during a Postgraduate supervision conference. What a wonderful experience and learning curve. Please accept our sincere condolences for his friend and family. Although we only knew Prof Billy for a very short time, he made a huge imprint on our lives and theological thoughts. Our prayers will be with you all in these difficult times.

    Rev. Donna Sutton
    18 Oct 2021
    11:04am

    Dr Abraham was a good man and a professor who challenged me. His lesson have followed my my whole career. He will be missed.

    Constance Taylor
    18 Oct 2021
    12:15pm

    Siobhan, so sorry to hear about the passing of your father. Even though I’ve never met him, I met you, and from what you’ve said about him in conversation and reading how he touched so many, I can see what a wonderful person he was and what a huge loss for this world. Condolences and may God keep you and your family in his hands at this difficult time.

    Rev Byron Ahrens
    22 Oct 2021
    9:18am

    I was surprised to hear the sad news of Billy’s death. I had just exchanged emails with him shortly before he headed to Romania for mission work. Such an amazing and gifted man who has left us such a rich volume of important work for God’s kingdom. He will be missed in our time but seen again soon in God’s time. May God continue to give you His peace and empower us all to see through the grief to the hope beyond in Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Mary Shotlow
    22 Oct 2021
    9:34am

    Rest in peace, my friend. You have served well. To the family, I’m just one of those who Dr. Abraham touched with his teaching and advice. God sent him to help me along the Way. After completion of Advanced Course of Study, I realized the value of “the Billy Abrahams” in the world. He was a sower like Jesus. And now, may his works follow him.

    Sally Padgett
    23 Oct 2021
    12:33pm

    “Billy” had a great sense of humor that kept even brief conversations warm and memorable. He was a model scholar and a generous soul. His faith was out in the open and his self-deprecating humor supported his genuine humility. Billy is already deeply missed and mourned, and many like myself are engaged in prayers of support for his family. It is they who so generously shared Billy with the world, and I give thanks for them and the great ministry they shared through Billy.

    Deborah Witt-Jackson
    25 Oct 2021
    5:27pm

    I was deeply honored to have Billy as my Sunday School Teacher in 1st Light. He later became my mentor guiding me through the loss of my dear parents, encouraging me to be stand strong when I felt weak, and to gently, yet boldly, speak to those without faith. Billy became a beloved friend that can never be replaced in this life. I look forward to seeing him again one day in Heaven. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to Muriel, Siobhan and Shaun. May God’s holy and loving peace surround you during this time of loss.

    Sally DeMasters
    28 Oct 2021
    11:14am

    I am so sorry to hear of Professor Abraham’s death. I attended Perkins from the fall of 1991 through the spring semester of 1993, ( my last name was Rhodes then). He taught the class on systematic theology and was so very knowledgeable. Once, coming out of Highland Park United Methodist Church, we chanced to meet and began talking. When I needed to call to my 3 ( elementary school aged) children , he said he really liked the names of 2 of them: Patrick and Sharon.

    May God comfort his family. Amen.

    Ellen Charry
    28 Oct 2021
    12:59pm

    Billy was my leprechaun. He suffered so much but the twinkle in his eyes never dimmed. Shortly after he was naturalized I took him to see the buildings in which this nation was founded. It was a lovely day.
    We ceased being colleagues at Perkins in 1997 but that did not sever our friendship. He continued to help me academically until his dying day.
    He rests in God’s glory.

    Rev. Larry E Collins
    28 Oct 2021
    7:23pm

    I took a class this summer at Truett Seminary with Dr. Abraham on the 44 Sermons of John Wesley. I have never been that spellbound by a professor. I felt like a dried out sponge, soaking up all I could as fast as I could. I was sitting at the feet of a fine Christian man, a massive intellect, an incredible teacher, and a warm hearted brother in Christ. I envy people who knew him better and longer than I. But my short association was incredibly impactful and I will be forever grateful.

    Jonathan Massey
    28 Oct 2021
    10:38pm

    Although I never met him in person, Dr. Abraham’s writings have had a profound effect on my life for decades. I am traveling from Phoenix to be at his memorial service.

    Judy Comstock
    29 Oct 2021
    9:23pm

    My husband Carl and I were saddened to hear of the death of our most respected and honorable friend. We have fond memories of his sermons preached at First United Methodist Church in Bedford, Texas where he was a staff member for a brief time. We reconnected when he was a guest preacher at Church of the Resurrection where I served as Director of Children’s Ministry at the Leawood Campus. Billy had the ability to make everyone he encountered feel special. His love for Christ was evident, his knowledge of scripture was impressive, and his passion for church doctrine was deeply appreciated. We have truly lost a man of value to the Church.

    Milford & Jeannie Zirkel
    30 Oct 2021
    3:42pm

    What a meaningful and special worship service this morning. We appreciated being able to participate through the internet, so thank you, family for this special privilege. We shall surely miss Billy, but are grateful for the years of knowing him and visiting with him and reading his marvelous works.
    Rev. Milford (Zeke) and Jeannie Zirkel

    Jeremy Nagorski
    31 Oct 2021
    3:08pm

    I only learned yesterday of Billy’s passing. I was devastated! My condolences go out to his family. Billy was a saint! He was the wisest and kindest professor I ever had the opportunity to study with. And over-and-above his role as my professor, he actually invited me into his home to live with he and his son, Timothy, for six months during the summer and fall of 2005 (after my ex-wife suddenly abandoned our marriage). During that 2005-2006 academic year I had the opportunity to serve as his research assistant and during that time he ministered to my emotional brokenness without failing to continually inspire me intellectually and spiritually. And lastly, he encouraged me on my path to becoming Eastern Orthodox just this past September.

    May his memory be eternal!

    Ellen Charry
    1 Nov 2021
    10:46pm

    Today is All Saints Day. It was harder for me than the memorial service. Billy was saintly in more ways than will ever be known. I write to conclude of my prior post. On taking Billy to visit US historical sites in Philadelphia after his naturalization I asked him why he had done this after having live in the US for four decades. He answered simply: “this country has been good to me.” His stature beams glory. May God take him to his bosom.

    Dr Gary Dalton
    4 Nov 2021
    7:36am

    Billy touched so many lives in so many different ways. I first got to know him in 1978 when he all too briefly became our Methodist minister on the Irvinestown and Pettigo circuit in Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. I was 14 and he had a profound influence on my young life. He had an enthusiasm for life, the Christian faith and a genuine interest in every individual he met.

    Dr. J. Samuel Subramanian
    1 Dec 2021
    11:38am

    Very sorry to learn of Dr. Abraham’s passing away. He was the International Students’ Advisor when I was at Perkins. He was always available to talk with me. I took a course on Evangelism with him and his friend, Andrew Walker. It was a great learning. I enjoyed talking to him at Perkins Reception. He will be greatly missed. My deepest condolences and prayers to the family and friends.

Leave A Condolence

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Testimonials

R. Driver
Read More
"Excellent customer service, they made you feel like you were their only customer. Very helpful and explained what we should expect during the process. They basically took care of our needs during this time. They contacted DFW National Cemetery for us which made it a smooth experience. Definitely will use them again."
K. Barker
Read More
"I was amazed how professional Abel Rodriguez and his staff at Aria Funeral Preston Dallas Texas. Abel guided me through the process and my options of their services that they offered for my mother. Abel is a compassionate, caring, calm, good listener, efficient and did an excellent job! Thank you!"
R. Woll
Read More
"If I could give 6 stars I would. Aria made a difficult easier to deal with by basically taking care of everything in an efficient but very empathetic manner. I can speak highly enough of Dusty Martin, who helped us with all of the planning and logistics. He was incredibly understanding and helpful."
Angel M.
Read More
"Nothing prepares you for the grief you go through when losing a child. I called this funeral home at 2:00 am broken and could barely talk. The amount of compassion and empathy they showed me immediately let me know I found the right place to cremate my son. I cannot thank them enough for their professionalism, SINCERE concern, and commitment to making sure my son was honored in the most respectful way. I hope this Funeral home values her as much as my family and I do."
McGee Family
Read More
"Wayne and Staff, thank you for taking care of the arrangements for our mom, Exter McGee and our dad, Philip McGee. You have been great to work with during such a difficult time."
Elledge Family
Elledge Family
Read More
"On behalf of my family, I wanted you to know how much we appreciate your handling of my husband's final arrangements. Wayne Baxter assisted & guided us through the entire process with such care & compassion. Don't know what we would have done without him! Sincerely, Colleen Elledge"
The Peterson Family
The Peterson FamilyYelp! Review - Northwest Highway 5-Stars
Read More
"I can’t say enough about how helpful and professional Dusty Martin, the funeral director at the Aria Cremation location on NW Highway has been. From my initial call, he was kind and informative. My friend died at home while on hospice and she was picked up in about an hour after receiving the call from the hospice nurse. The person who arrived to pick her up was also very professional/respectful and allowed us to take as much time with her as we wished. When I met with Dusty the next day about arrangements, he explained the process and options available without being pushy or trying to “sell” extras. Throughout the process, he kept me informed and, for example, was careful to be certain I understood the cost of the obituary I wanted and offered some options for reducing that cost if I wished. When I stopped by for another reason and started talking about some of the problems I was having with the pictures and media I hoped to use at a memorial lunch I was planning, he not only listened patiently but offered technology advice and let me use his personal media player. I have had experience arranging cremations for four others using two other local companies, and this experience with Dusty at Aria has been by far the best one I have had."
Paula Barnes
Paula BarnesGoogle Review
Read More
"My Daddy’s service and our family experience at Aria Northwest Highway was truly blessed. Funeral Director Dustin Martin is the kind of person that you would like to see on a more regular basis – but in his industry – you hope to not see him that often. That being said – THANK YOU DUSTIN for your unending kindness, compassion and friendship through the process. Meeting you and discussing Dallas History, Find A Grave and my Dad’s lifelong contributions to the great City of Dallas was simply wonderful! In memory of my dad James A. Dodd, Sr. – I want to personally thank you and let you know that you made everything better in that moment. Your calling to “Be There” is spot on. Aria has a one in a million guy in you! Bling Blinky of TEXAS Shout Out: God Bless You!!"
Previous
Next

Get In Touch

Locations

Immediate Attention

Contact Us

Preston Road

“George Bush at Preston”

Aria - Northwest Highway

“5 Miles East of Hillcrest Memorial Park / Lake Highlands”

Funeral Homes Irving Tx: Aria Cremation

“Belt Line Road at 183”

Fannin Memorial Gardens

Veterans Funeral Services

Darst Funeral Home

Search Obituaries

Important Information

  1. If death has occurred and or is imminent, please call the Aria location nearest you.

    PRESTON ROAD
    214.306.6700

    NORTHWEST HIGHWAY
    214.340.8008

    BELTLINE ROAD
    972.607.4400

  2. Click here to Download the Cremation Forms.
  3. Have the cremation authorization form notarized
  4. Fax the forms back to us at:
    • NW Highway
      214-340-8009
    • Preston Rd.
      972-526-7410
    • Belt Line Rd.
      972-573-1008
 

Additional Information