Rev. William Lawrence Pershing, son of John and Virginia (Shepherd) Pershing, was born May 20, 1967 in Casa Grande, Arizona. He went home to be with his Lord Sunday, July 15, 2012 due to injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.
As a young boy, Will made a very important decision in his life and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior and was baptized. He continued to follow the Lord throughout his life and his main passion in life was to share the gospel all over the world.
Will spent most of his growing up years in Arizona and New Mexico. He graduated from Silver City High School in Silver City, New Mexico. To further his education, Will obtained his Music Performance Degree from Western New Mexico University of Silver City (Class of 1990), with post graduate study in Biblical Studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary of Louisville, Kentucky (Class of 1990), and Bible and Music at Arizona College of the Bible (Class of 1991) and Music Education and Education at Western New Mexico University of Silver City (Class of 1993).
Will taught music, band and choral classes in Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri. Will served as an Associate / Music Pastor for several churches.
He loved teaching and even after becoming disabled due to a longtime illness, he continued teaching private music lessons and composing music.
Will loved to help people and churches. He worked for a time as a counselor at the Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health Center in Salem, Missouri. Will also designed websites for churches and encouraged them to use the technology of social media for outreach purposes.
Will loved to read and study God's word and was always sharing the Gospel with anyone that he came in contact with in person and on-line, especially those who were overlooked by the churches. One of the ways he did that was through freelance writing and blogging at willpershing.net. Will had a passion for his family and enjoyed spending as much time as possible with his wife and kids. He had the ability to make people laugh even in the toughest of situations. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing with family and friends. He was an active member of Promise Keepers and Navigators.
On April 10, 2010, Will was united in marriage to the love of his life, Mary Westgate-Schneider in Hannibal, Missouri. They shared over two years together and many wonderful memories.
Will leaves to cherish his memory and his legacy, his loving wife Mary of the home; two sons: Joshua and Michael of the home; one daughter Annelyse Pershing of Bunker, MO (from his previous marriage to Janis Pershing); his parents John and Virginia Pershing of Richland, MO; three siblings: Johanna Pershing of Lebanon, MO, David Pershing and Jennifer Pershing of Richland, MO; several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
To sum up Will's life, here is how he described himself on his blog: "I am a work in progress. I am a home-schooling dad of one girl (she visits as she is able) and two boys and husband to a very beautiful wife. I am committed to a new journey of learning, understanding and living out a peaceful spirit-filled missional/liturgical lifestyle in our home that we now call Refuge House. I am disabled due to a long term illness. I teach music privately and am writing to express the journey that I have embarked upon in my blog and as a freelance writer."
Celebration of Life services were held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 13, 2012 in the Memorial Chapel of Richland with Rev. Christopher Hendrix, and Dr. Tom Hover officiating. Bro. Don Bilbary and Bro. Alex Busenitz read Scripture and Dr. Keith Sherlin shared his wonderful memories of Will via video. Pianist Catherine Dent led the congregation in singing "In the Garden", "Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone" and "When We All Get to Heaven". A video prepared by Will's daughter, Annelyse Pershing, was played in memory of her dad. Services were under the direction of Memorial Chapel of Richland.