William Henry Baker IV of Westfield, born in Fort Worth, Texas on December 18, 1930. Died on December 3rd, 2010 at the age of 79. William accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal savior when he was 15 years old. It has been this relationship to his Lord that has directed each step of his life. He graduated from the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA) on June 2, 1953. He received two degrees (a Masters in Theology and a Master of Divinity) from Talbot Seminary, Los Angeles in June 1957. He began pastoring the Country Church of Talbert, Talbert Township near Santa Ana, California at the age of 19 and continued there while he finished his education at Biola and Talbot Graduate School. Later William went to work for United States Bank in Monrovia, California in 1957. In 1958 he met his future wife and later on March 4th, 1961 married Emma Louise and they resided in Monrovia, CA.
After approximately a year of marriage he became Assistant Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Monrovia where he was active with the youth group, Jr. High group, directed the Choir and taught young couple’s Sunday School Class. William was honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States on September 4, 1962, after serving 10 years as a chaplain. His rank was 2nd Lieutenant, Staff Specialist.
In 1963 he decided to go to graduate school for a Doctorate and teach in a Bible College. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with his Doctorate in New Testament Theology. During the time he was at Dallas he pastored Arlington Bible Church. At graduation he accepted a teaching position at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. He taught there until 1968 when he accepted a position at Philadelphia College of the Bible in Philadelphia, PA. While teaching at PCB he began to serve as pulpit supply at Easton Union Church in Easton, NJ and ultimately resigned his teaching position and became full-time pastor at Easton Union. He was pastor there from 1973 to 1976 at which time he received an offer from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. He taught Bible and Theology classes until approximately 1989 when he and Dr. Bill Thrasher were asked to help begin the Graduate school at Moody and he taught in the Grad School until his retirement in 2002. While he was on faculty in Grad School he was also serving as pastor to Grace Bible Church in Wild Rose, W I. At the time of his retirement he became full time pastor there. Six months after resigning as pastor at Grace he began leading a Sunday Morning Bible study which led to the organizing of a new church, Countryside Bible in Waupaca, WI. He was there for about 2 years and then retired.
During his life he authored 4 books: Worthy of Death, Sanctification, In the Image of God and a Commentary on James and 1 & 11 Peter.
Dr. Baker was preceded in death by his parents, Ora Phelps Baker of Stevens Point, WI and William Henry Baker the III of Dallas, Texas.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Emma Louise; 4 Children: Rebecca of Eden, WI;, Benjamin (Lynn, daughter-in-law) of Stevensville, MT;, Matthew of Canyon Lake, TX; and Joshua of Westfield, WI; 8 grandchildren; Elizabeth, Adam, Benjamin, Timothy, Austin, Marie, Jocelyn and Andrea; 4 Great Granddaughters; Ashleigh, Allyson, Alexandra and Marisol.
A funeral service for William will be held on Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at Oxford Bible Church, Oxford with Rev. Donald Wedel officiating. A visitation will be held on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the hour of service at the church. Following the traditional service William’s wishes are to be cremated. Inurnment will be at a later date in Texas.