Noted Baptist Leader, NGU Alum Bill Mackey Dies
Tigerville, SC (July 21, 2022) Dr. Bill F. Mackey, a noted Southern Baptist leader and member of North Greenville’s Class of 1961, died July 14 after battling cancer since late 2020. He was 81.
A native of Lancaster, S.C., Dr. Mackey was a pastor in Whitesburg, KY, before returning to South Carolina to serve on the South Carolina Baptist Convention staff from 1979-1998. He was director of the SCBC’s leadership development and evangelism growth team before resigning in February 1998 to become executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He served in that role until retiring in May 2011.
“Dr. Mackey was one of the finest Christian leaders I have ever known,” said Dr. Tony Beam, NGU Senior Director of Church and Community Engagement. “He gave you the sense that every day, in every conversation, he wanted to find a way to encourage and bless others. He never missed an opportunity to share the Gospel.”
“Bill Mackey was a Baptist statesman who served in a variety of strategic leadership roles, including among South Carolina Baptists. He was an advocate for personal evangelism, cooperative missions, and ministry education. I’m thankful that North Greenville played a key role in his development as a ministry leader,” said Dr. Nathan A. Finn, NGU Provost and Dean of the University Faculty.
Dr. Donny Mathis, NGU Dean of Faculty Development and Professor of Christian Studies, recalled Dr. Mackey’s leadership service with Kentucky Baptists.
“As someone who had been a Kentucky Baptist all of my life until God called me to serve at NGU in 2005, I can say without hesitation that Dr. Bill Mackey was a grace gift to Southern Baptists in Kentucky,” Mathis said. “He came to serve as executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention in a time of great turmoil and transition, and during his tenure served as a statesman who worked with diligence to broker peace and build consensus. Dr. Mackey has been a friend of my family for decades, and my dad, Dr. Don Mathis, served president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention at the time of Dr. Mackey’s retirement. Through all of those years, Dr. Mackey epitomized a consistent faithfulness to the Lord Jesus, godly character, and a spirit of gentleness that all of us would do well to employ as a model for the pursuit of the calling that God has placed upon our lives.”
Mackey and his wife, Kay W. Mackey (’61), moved to Raleigh, N.C., in retirement. His ministry career continued as he worked on a contract basis with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) and with Fruitland Baptist Bible College.
The Mackeys established the Dr. Bill F. and Kay W. Mackey Endowed Scholarship at NGU in July 2020, with Dr. Mackey stressing their desire to invest in the lives of students who “demonstrated commitment to career success, given the opportunity to achieve a baccalaureate education.”
The son of Robert Lee and Evelyn Ellis Mackey, Dr. Mackey completed his bachelor’s degree at Furman University and earned Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.
Mackey is survived by his wife, Kay; two daughters, Anonda Nepa and her husband, A.J. Nepa, of Wake Forest, NC, and Beth Wooten and her husband, J. Bartley Wooten (’98) of Beulaville, NC; and five grandchildren.