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Olvey, Bill comment (0)

May 18, 2006

At 6 feet and about 170 pounds, Pastor Bill Olvey’s physical stature was average. But to those he served, he was no average pastor.

“He was always the leader,” said Morgan Callaway, secretary  at Smithville Baptist Church, Bessemer. “But at the same time, he didn’t mind helping to carry the trash out after the singing.”

Although Olvey had battled cancer for three years, the 66-year-old’s death in April was still sudden to his wife, Bobbie, and his church, she said. Olvey had been pastor of the Mud Creek Baptist Association church for a little more than 36 years when he died, and he and his wife were just a month shy of their 48th wedding anniversary.

Bobbie Olvey said although Olvey had no college or seminary degrees, it was clear God meant for him to be a pastor.

“From the time he was saved (at age 25), he studied the Bible,” she said, noting he even took some classes through Liberty University, based in Lynchburg, Va.

Olvey was pastor of Aldridge Missionary Baptist Church, Parrish, in Walker Baptist Association for a little more than a year before becoming pastor of Smithville Baptist in November 1969. While at both churches, he also worked as an electrician for Drummond coal company, witnessing to the miners as he worked, said Mud Creek Association Director of Missions Rod Milam. “He was a true example of Christian love and fellowship.”

 Olvey became full-time pastor of Smithville in 2000. His leadership and straightforward preaching endeared him to the church’s 100 or so members.

“He was a pastor and a friend. We did things together,” said Pete Curren, church deacon and trustee. “It’s like a brother that you would lose.”

Olvey is survived by his wife; his children David Olvey, Cindy Luker and Mark Olvey; five grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and his mother.  (TAB)

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