It is with great sadness we share the news that Elder Bill Wampler, who served as president of the Iowa-Missouri Conference from 1981-1999, passed away on Jan. 22 at the age of 89.

Wampler is remembered as a compassionate leader who loved the Adventist Church, as well as a man of common sense with a great sense of humor.

“He took a chance on many young pastors who had no formal education, giving them time to demonstrate their calling to the gospel ministry,” said Robert Wagley, executive secretary for the conference. “Peggy and I will be forever grateful for his calling us to Iowa-Missouri and giving us a chance to serve in the Lord’s work.”

Following the consolidation of the Iowa and Missouri conferences in 1980, Wampler saw the fledgling new conference through financial challenges. “I will remember Elder Wampler for his positive leadership during tough times, his dedication to improving the facilities at Sunnydale Academy, his basic common sense, and most of all his great sense of humor,” said Rhonda Karr, conference treasurer.

Though he was theologically conservative, Wampler took a progressive stance on issues like gender equality in church employment. In a time when even non-pastoral leadership positions were largely reserved for men, Wampler was responsible for Karr’s appointment as treasurer in 1998.

“We’ll miss Elder Wampler, but we’ll long remember his leadership in the Iowa-Missouri Conference,” said Dean Coridan, conference president.

A memorial service was held Jan. 26 at the Standifer Gap Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee.