The Rev. Dr. C. William (Bill) Nichols passed to new life with God on April 21 after a lengthy illness. He was 84 years old. A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 25, at Central Christian Church in Decatur, Ill., a congregation he served from 1973 until 1991 when he answered a call to be Interim General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Prior to his call to Central, Nichols served churches in Oklahoma and Kansas.
Nichols was known for his preaching and storytelling abilities as well as his gentle presence as a healer during a tumultuous time in the Disciples’ history. Not only was he preacher and healer, he also authored several devotional books published by Chalice Press. Nichols also served as senior pastor at National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C. after his stint in the general offices.
In addition to his academic degrees from Culver-Stockton College, Phillips University and the University of Chicago, Nichols received honorary degrees from Phillips, Eureka College, Bethany College, and Chapman University.
He also served on numerous boards including: Division of Overseas Ministries, Disciples Homeland Missions, Council on Christian Unity, Church Extension, Higher Education, National Benevolent Association, Bilateral Council of American and Puerto Rican Churches, Colorado Christian Home, Kansas Christian Home, National Council of Churches, and Disciples Historical Society.
Nichols is survived by his wife of 63 years, Claudine, and their children David and Claudia, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Condolences may be sent to Claudine at 431 Timber Drive, Decatur IL, 62521.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be directed to one of three recipients: Christian Church Foundation, C. William and Claudine Nichols Fund, P.O.Box 1986, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1986; Central Christian Church, 650 W. William, Decatur, IL 62522; or Baby TALK, 500 East Lake Shore Drive, Decatur, IL 62521.