Adjunct Professor, Dr. Bill Proulx
So Many Ways To Serve God
I was born in the Bethesda Naval Hospital on 22 October, 1958. My father was career Navy. My parents divorced when I was 3, and we moved from Philadelphia to South Jersey to live with my maternal grandparents and great aunt. My grandmother and great aunt came to America from Italy in 1897 on a ship named the Kaiser Wilhelm. My surname, Proulx, is French Canadian, but I am closer to my Italian heritage. It is pronounced Prue.
I served one tour of duty in the Air Force during which I met and married my wife, Linda. We were married on 23 October 1982. We have no children.
When I got out of the Air Force, I went back into contract security and then got a job as a tractor trailer driver. But I was unfulfilled. It was during this time that my wife and I began attending a Church of the Nazarene because we had friends there. It was there that I was first introduced to Nazarene Bible College, and the call of God, which I had sensed as a teen, and was rekindled.
I enrolled in January of 1991 and completed the bachelor’s degree program in May of 1994. After graduating, I enrolled in a master’s degree program at Denver Seminary but had to stop for financial reasons. For the next eight months, my wife and I worked at Focus on the Family until we left in December of 1995.
In December of 1995, I accepted an assignment as youth pastor at a church in Salem, OH. After only a year and a half, the pastor resigned and took another assignment. The church voted to keep me as the senior pastor but the vote was exactly 2/3 to 1/3, too close for me to accept as a first-time senior pastor assignment. I stayed on as interim pastor and worship leader for six months until a new pastor was found.
I was then called to First Church of the Nazarene (COTN) in Victoria, TX. During the six years there, I completed a Master of Arts in Theology degree at Southern Nazarene University and started on a PhD.
I was next called to Church Street COTN, in Carlsbad, NM, in November of 2003. I started the above-mentioned PhD in 2002 but did not complete it until 2008. My doctorate, earned from Capella University, is in the human services field with a specialization in professional counseling.
I then served as senior pastor at Church Street COTN and was there for almost nine years. While there, I played guitar in the worship band every week and led worship every two to three weeks. I was a chaplain with the New Mexico State Guard in which capacity I conducted chapel services for the New Mexico Army National Guard on their drill Saturdays. I also usually trained with the Guard in Search and Rescue. I also served as a reserve Sheriff’s deputy/chaplain with the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office. I rode with deputies as a backup and also provided chaplaincy ministry when needed.
Due to circumstances that were partially out of my control, I reluctantly left Church Street COTN and the District Superintendent assigned me to a church in El Paso, TX, which is on the New Mexico District. After a little over two years, in January of 2015, we moved to Maryland to be closer to family.
When we arrived on the Mid-Atlantic District, I did not have an assignment, so we started to visit churches in an effort to find one that we could attend and plug into at whatever level was available. On one particular Sunday, in April of 2015, we visited the South Carroll COTN in Eldersburg, MD. We had no sooner sat down than someone came over to apologize because their pastor was not there that morning because he had been in a serious car accident and their associate pastor was also not there. They were only going to do some songs and share testimonies. I sat there thinking, “Do I want to tell them that I am an ordained Elder? Would it be too pushy?” It was then that I felt God’s thumb in my back – in the form of my wife’s elbow in my ribs. I volunteered to do a devotional. One of the leaders took us out for lunch and asked if I could fill the pulpit until their pastor was well enough to return. I told them that as long as the D.S. agreed, I would be glad to do so. When the pastor decided to retire, the church asked me to stay on as the senior pastor. After discussing the situation with the DS, I decided to take the position but remain bi-vocational and bring an associate pastor onboard that I could groom to become the lead pastor. That transition was completed in July of 2017.
In November of 2017, the D.S. asked me to take a district assignment as a District Interim Assigned (DIA). I am continuing in this role, but since the outbreak of COVID-19 I have not had any assignments but am still bi-vocational.
Dr. William Proulx has been teaching for NBC since 2006.