Funeral services for Bill Rice, president of the North Carolina Vocation Evangelist Fellowship, will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 15 at Glen Hope Baptist Church in Burlington. Family will receive guests at the church from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday night and at 10 a.m. on Friday.
The church is at 911 North Avenue.
Rice, 72, died in his sleep Monday night Jan. 11 at his home in Burlington.
Rice’s death came after a “perfectly normal day” according to association secretary Cindy Johnson, in which Rice attended a conference, did a hospital visitation and retired for the evening as usual. Rice, who was a physician’s assistant for 13 years before going blind, enrolled in seminary to pursue the call that had pursued him for 25 years, he said on his website.
God restored his sight and he became pastor of Shady Grove Baptist Church in Staley, which he led for eight years. Rice held many interim pastorates and concentrated his later ministry on helping Christians be faithful stewards with financial planning and stewardship seminars.
“Bill Rice was a man with a great love for God and a consuming desire to see people come into a personal relationshp with Jesus,” said Milton A. Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. “Bill and his wife Sandra have been stalwart members of the N.C. Vocational Evangelist Fellowship and he will be missed greatly by his peers and many other people who knew him.”