Parkview Christian Church is welcoming a new pastor.

Bill Holly, originally of Wichita, has been in Chickasha less than a week, but is already impressed with the friendliness he has found here.

“The community has been very welcoming to me and everyone has been gracious, from the restaurants, to the bank and the Post Office,” Holly said.

Holly even flew in from a suburb of Indianapolis to attend the Grady County Fair and recently attended the Rock Island Arts Festival because he figured the two events were good places to meet people.

“It was very pleasurable, a cordial and welcoming community,” he said.

Holly replaces his friend and classmate Pastor David Woods who passed away Dec. 2 after serving as Senior Pastor since April, 2000.

“We were the best of friends in college and have stayed in touch over the years,” said Holly, who also attended school with several other ministers in town. “It is an honor to follow him.”

When the pastor position came open, Holly said he applied and, while the church elders said his resume and references were “very nice,” it was Woods’ widow Retta Woods comment that Holly “would do very well here” that got him the job.

“Actually, Retta’s the boss here,” Holly joked. “She lets us know what needs to be done.”

A single parent with a son living in Columbus, Ohio, Holly earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Ozark Christian College in Joplin in 1975 and his Master’s Degree from Cincinnati Christian University in 1985.

He has been involved in the ministry both full-time and part-time for the past 36 years. After his retirement from the Post Office, he returned to the ministry full time.

Holly said he plans to assess how things are right now at the church and to get to know his way around.

“Then, I plan to assess the people and the community to establish, along with the church staff, what direction we want to take,” Holly said. “We have an excellent outreach for the young people and a good mix of elderly, middle-age and younger people as well. I also want to thank the community for welcoming me and I look forward to a long and prosperous ministry.”

A former Tulsa resident, Holly said when he crossed the state line, he became a Sooner again, but added he has no ties to either of the state’s rival universities, OU and OSU.

Parkview Christian Church is located at 2828 S. 9th St. in Chickasha.

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