Rev. Dr. Billy Key
September 05, 2017
Rev. Dr. William R. (Billy) Key died on Aug. 27, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Mildred (Sunshine) Key and their five children, Brenda Adams (Don) of Dublin, Danny Key (Kris) of Augusta, Todd Key (Janice) of Barney, Scott Key of Dublin, and Betsy Moran (Keith) of Dublin. Also surviving are 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
Billy is survived by his brother, Rev. Dr. Jack Key of Dublin. He was preceded in death by his parents, Morris Denton Key and Bertha Leila Key of Adrian; his sisters, Bertha Nell Bagwell of Macon and Major Marjorie Leila Key (Salvation Army) of Dallas, Texas; and his brother, Woodruff Denton Key, of Swainsboro.
Billy was born in Adrian, Georgia on Dec. 18, 1923. He graduated from Adrian High School, Young Harris College, Asbury College, and Asbury Theological Seminary. He received the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1976. He served as a United Methodist pastor for 43 years. His pastoral appointments included: Gravel Switch/Johnson Chapel, Highland/Kings Mountain, the Kentucky Annual Conference; appointments in the South Georgia Annual Conference included: Winona Park/Gilcrest Park, Waycross; Woodland, St. Marys, Waynesboro First, Perry, Americus First, Tifton First, Valdosta First, Superintendent of the Dublin District, Isle of Hope, Savannah.
Billy was a leader in the South Georgia Annual Conference, elected to the General Conference clergy delegation five times, the final time as leader of the delegation. Known for his commitment to orthodox evangelical Christianity, he served for many years as a member of the board of Good News, a national organization which promotes scriptural Christianity in the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition. He was very active in the Emmaus Walk retreat community, serving on dozens of walks into his eighth decade of life. He retired from active pastoral ministry in 1989 and became a full-time evangelist, preaching in approximately 200 camp meetings and local church revivals following his retirement from pastoral ministry.
His family knew him as a fruitful pastor and lover of Jesus and scripture, a person who exuded a positive spirit of faith and love, a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, whose example of Christian character, faith, hope and love will continue to inspire generations to follow
A memorial service was held Sept. 1 at Pine Forest United Methodist Church with Rev. Wes Moye officiating.
Memorial gifts can be made to: Rev. Billy Key Endowment Scholarship, Asbury Theological Seminary, 204 Lexington Avenue, Wilmore, KY 40390, or to Serenity Hospice.