Carrying "The Light" Across The Pond: A Journey Of Obedience

by: Joan Peterson | May 13, 2017

We hope you had the opportunity to experience our Easter production “The Light” last month. This was a special celebration honoring the 20th Anniversary of a production created and produced at First Baptist Orlando throughout the late 80s and 90s that involved over 600 people and a massive set that spanned the entire front portion of the worship center. Can you imagine packing up a production like this, a cast of 300, and taking it over to the United Kingdom?

Pastor Bill Curl is both a dreamer and a doer–and he did it!

Bill and his wife Lucy Pat Curl served as missionaries in Wales, U.K. with our International Mission Board from 1990-2008. They became so involved in the local Baptist churches that in 2000, Bill was elected President of the Baptist Union of Wales. In 1997, they coordinated an intense effort between First Baptist Orlando and 55 Welsh churches to re-construct the massive set overseas and host the cast of The Light for an incredible week of ministry.

He is a man of many talents that has worn multiple hats!

This time of ministry in Wales was sandwiched between two periods of ministry here at First Orlando. Bill came to our church in 1972 as Associate Pastor. He served as Interim Pastor until our Pastor Emeritus Jim Henry was called to the church. He has also served as Minister of Missions and assisted in the music department as a Youth Choir director and assistant director the for the Senior Adult choir.

Upon returning from Wales in December of 2008, Bill returned to First Orlando and has been part of our Pastoral Care ministry. He currently coordinates and staffs our GriefShare Ministry, which provides hope and healing to many hurting people each year. (For information on this ministry, visit: www.firstorlando.com/care/griefshare) In addition to grief ministry, he provides counseling, visits hospitals and nursing facilities, supervises the Minister on Call program, and conducts many weddings and funerals.

Coupled with pastoring, singing, and drama, Bill used to have a private pilot’s license and owned an airplane. He is truly a “Jack of all trades!”

He and Lucy Pat are famous on more than one continent for riding a tandem bicycle.

For the past 45 years, they have used the attention the bike has garnered them to start conversations about the Lord. They also use the “bicycle built for two” as an illustration in many marriage conferences and counseling sessions.

Bill and Lucy Pat have been married for 56 years and have 4 children, 12 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. They have instilled a spiritual legacy in this family that started as a young child, when Bill came to know the Lord. Raised in the church in Louisville, Kentucky, Bill describes this experience:

“As a 7-year-old in a morning worship service I came under deep conviction of the Holy Spirit that I had sinned and needed a savior. After asking Jesus to forgive and save me, I was baptized. At 16 I made a deeply significant affirmation of that decision at a youth camp.”

This dedication to the Lord led him to Georgetown College for both a Bachelor of Arts and later a Doctor of Divinity, and Seminary in between for a Master of Divinity. He pastored two churches in Kentucky before sensing the Lord leading them to First Baptist Orlando. This clear “call” was again evident when the Lord challenged them to move overseas, which he considers one of the biggest challenges he has faced.

“…the decision for me and Lucy Pat to leave family, home, and the ministry at First Baptist Orlando to serve in overseas missions: The sense of call was so clear that we really had no choice but to be obedient. That call sustained us many times while we were training, adjusting, and ministering in the UK and Western Europe.”

Bill’s favorite verse is Philippians 4:4- “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Being obedient to the Lord’s direction is the key to being able to rejoice always, no matter the circumstance.

++(This September, Dr. Bill Curl celebrates 60-years of ministry!)++

How has your obedience to the Lord’s direction in your life impacted the lives of others? Comment below.

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