William (Bill) H. Gibson, Jr. is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as mission director of the United Methodist Mission in Senegal.
The United Methodist presence in Senegal, a predominantly Muslim nation, began in 1989 through disaster relief efforts of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). The church, a formal United Methodist Mission, was registered by the government in 1995, and is now engaged in organizing congregations and equipping pastors. Bill and his wife, Gwendolyn, also a missionary, traveled to Senegal in 2011 with the International Volunteers in Mission program.
Bill Gibson is a microbiologist with a passion for mission. Dr. Gibson—he holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois—is a native of Tennessee, where he attended high school and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Knoxville College. He earned a Master’s degree and doctorate in 1972 and 1975, respectively.
Bill was raised in Methodist and Cumberland Presbyterian homes. He became a United Methodist when he and Gwen joined The United Methodist Church in Highland Park, New Jersey. His career path was marked by several relocations, which resulted in membership transfers. Each new church family received the Gibsons warmly. Home is currently Appleton, Wisconsin, where Bill is a member of Emmanuel United Methodist Church and a lay member of the Wisconsin Annual Conference.
Bill has taught Sunday school, led Disciple Bible studies, worked on church fundraising drives, participated in the Emmaus community, supported UMCOR campaigns, taken part in CROP Walks Against Hunger, and chaired numerous church and district committees. His motto for life is, “Loving God is Loving People,” which was also the name of a workshop he led for the Aurora District Committee on Religion and Race (Northern Illinois Conference).
A sense of mission has been with William all his life. He was influenced by the example of his Methodist great-grandmother, his Cumberland Presbyterian grandmother, and the elders in his childhood church. He says that he found maturity in the teachings of John Wesley. “My work and associations through the Walk to Emmaus have helped me appreciate and accept the call to mission and discipleship and help prepare me for a life of faith and service.”
Bill and Gwendolyn are the parents of four adult children. They have three grandchildren.
: Wisconsin Annual Conference
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