Billy Ray Roberts, age 84, entered his heavenly reward on October 6th, 2020. He joined the ranks of the cloud of witnesses to continue his watch over our family with even greater clarity and strength. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday, October 12, 2020 at Clifton Funeral Home. Due to Covid restrictions, there will be limited occupancy in the chapel. Burial will follow at Clifton Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 2:00-4:00 P.M. Sunday, October 11, 2020 at Clifton Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life will be held on Oct. 24th.
Billy was born on April 26th, 1936 in Bell County, Texas to Claude Lee and Cora Bell Roberts. On August 22nd, 1959 he married Genova Jean Benefield. Two children were born to this union, Donna Jill and Sandy Lynn.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, and son-in-law, Bill Edwards, husband of Jill. He is survived by his wife, Jean Roberts of Clifton; daughter, Donna Jill Edwards of San Antonio; daughter Sandy Lynn Dool and husband Rev. Richard Dool of Waco; grandchildren, Angel Plemons and husband Rev. Carey Plemons of Selma; Anthony Edwards of Robinson; Rev. Brittney Dool of Clifton; Rev. Colton Dool of Waco; and great granddaughter Astrid Amanda Bright Plemons of Selma. He is survived by 3 brothers and 5 sisters; along with a host of nieces, nephews, extended church family and friends.
From an early age, Billy was a hard worker. He lived and worked in Clifton for nearly 50 years. In 1963 he began working at Wilson’s Moulding in Clifton which became what is known today as Clifton Moulding. He was among the first handicapped individuals to be hired in the moulding plant. After much persuasion with owner, Elsie Wilson, to give him a chance, she was his advocate for several promotions. He retired as a Foreman, after 29 years of service. He set high expectations for those who worked for him and in turn he was loyal to the needs and concerns they had. They would do anything for him because he was just and fair.
In 1962, He was baptized in JESUS NAME in Belton, Texas and received the HOLY GHOST during a revival in Meridian in 1965. He wanted everyone to experience JESUS in this same way, so he began to witness and hold Bible Studies. Anyone who needed a ride to church was given one. In the days before seatbelt laws, the station wagon he owned would have as many as 14 people in it at one time. There was always room for one more.
Because of his love for the LORD, he, his wife, children, grandchildren and great granddaughter learned to spend time in Daily Prayer, Bible reading and Biblical devotions that are not a ritual. They were times of growth in the Spirit and communing with the ONE he Adored. When he got saved, he gave his all, putting GOD first in all things. There was never a day he wanted to go back to his former life. Heaven and serving the LORD with all of his heart became his everything.
He believed in tithing his time, talent, and increase for what one gives to GOD is what will last. It will be of good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. He had a Heart of Sacrifice; was the epitome of Faithfulness and Stewardship; and had a Commitment to Prayer and Fasting, with great Faith and Trust in GOD. He knew how to Praise the LORD in all things whether good or bad. Even though he made his request known to GOD in prayer, he always prayed “LORD, NOT MY WILL, BUT THINE BE DONE.”
All of these attributes lead him to have a love for the people of Mexico. He gave the funds for a church to be built. He desired Jesus to be accessible so the people would not have to travel for several days each way to go to one church service. He even purchased two burros for the missionaries to travel where a vehicle could not carry them. Besides being faithful in giving to his own church he always gave sacrificially to Foreign Missions.
When Jill and Sandy wanted to be involved in Bible Quizzing he was there to support them. He gave up vacations to take them to local, regional and national tournaments all over the United States. After the girls were married and became coaches he and mother still traveled with the teams to be sure they got there on time even if he had to drive 24 hours straight only stopping to get gas and food. A trip to Utah, California, New York, Canada and everywhere in between; no trip was too far!
He invested his time, talent, and offerings into many churches across Texas. In the early 1960’s, he donated his money and skills to build the restrooms, classrooms and fellowship hall onto the sanctuary of the original Pentecostal church in Clifton. During the 1970’s, he oversaw the building of a new facility for the Hillsboro First United Pentecostal Church. In the 1990’s, he and his son-in-law Bill donated the funds and skill for the remodeling of the facility and installation of a new air condition system in the United Pentecostal Church of Snyder, where his children attended. About the same time, he and his son-in-law Richard donated funds and built the present Life Pentecostal Church of Clifton. Being crippled and having polio did not hinder him from climbing ladders, swinging hammers and sitting on roof trusses.
Through the years he continued to have a desire in his heart to help many other churches. There would be too many to tell. But, one other church comes to mind that of Greater Life of Lacy Lakeview. He prayed for a way to get the parking lot paved. One day a man showed up asking if we wanted the parking lot paved. He said he already had the materials mixed but was unable to use them on his project. He didn’t want to waste the asphalt, he would take a minimal price and not charge for the equipment if the church would allow him to lay the asphalt that same day. Dad was there and said yes, He was a firm believer if you ask you will receive.
Once he became wheelchair bound he would still drive Jean to do weekly visitations and pick up people for church - up until January of this year. He also took time to assist her in preparing the banana nut bread she made each week even driving her on her routes. This money was used for the church and for people in need. When someone in need asked for assistance he never turned them away empty handed.
So you see, though he himself was not a licensed minister he was a Lay Minister for the LORD. He respected the ministry, paving the way and leaving a legacy for his children and grandchildren to become active in all areas of ministry. Bill and Jill were/are heavily involved in all aspects of ministry from Music to Bible Studies. Rev. Richard and Sandy have pastored for the past 17 years, starting a Home Missions work and currently Co-Pastor of Clifton. Rev. Carey and Angel have served as Youth and College Career Pastors and are Bible Study leaders. Anthony has served in the Music Ministry and Bible Quizzing. Rev. Brittney currently serves as Co-Pastor of the church he attended and is a Healthcare Chaplain. Rev. Colton has been preaching since he was thirteen and leads the Youth.
Over the past few days as people have called they have spoken of the twinkle in his eyes, his smile, his consistency, his kindness and goodness. He was the same no matter where you saw him. Even as time advanced the years and his mobility became limited his spirit and humor never dampened. He was a man of few words, who believed a man’s word was his most valuable possession. His handshake was his bond.
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