Apostle Bill E. Alston passed away peacefully in his home on April 28, 2016. He waited until no one was looking and quietly slipped away into the presence of his Lord and Savior. For in God’s presence there is fullness of joy; at His right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
Bill was born on September 14, 1952, in Covington, Tennessee to the union of Donnie Mae and William E. Alston. He was the second of ten children; six sisters and three brothers.
He received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior in 1969, at the age of 17 under the ministry of Bishop Joe L. Hughes, at Greater Utopian Pentecostal Assembly of Holiness Church. From the time Bill Alston was born again, he had a great passion to advance the Kingdom of God. He had a passion to see the lost saved, and to see people set free, delivered, and living lives of freedom and victory.
Bill would never miss an opportunity to tell people about Jesus. On day when he “accidently” called a wrong number, he shared the gospel and led the young lady on the phone to the Lord. He didn’t realize it at that moment, but that was no accident, it was a divine setup to connect him to person who would become his life mate. Bill Alston was united in holy matrimony with Venner J. Alston on December 4, 1971. And, as he vowed on their wedding day, for 44 years he lavished her with love, honored, cherished, respected, and protected her. Though there were no biological children, God blessed them with many spiritual children including Maurice & Sheryl Hernandez, Jeffrey Morse, and a sister-in-law, Jan Calvin, who loved him as her own brother. Toward the end of his life Maurice, Sheryl, Jeffrey and Jan became a constant support in Bill’s life in various capacities.
In 1995, he received a certificate in Biblical Studies from Christian International School of Ministry. Bill worked at the Pfister and Vogel Tanning Company for 28 years. In 1995, Bill and Venner left Greater Utopian, their home church for more than 25 years, and pioneered Abundant Grace Christian Worship Church, which later was renamed City Church.
The Alstons (Bill & his wife Venner) established City Kids Academy, and Alston’s Preparatory Academy with a mission to create, empower and inspire a new generation of global thinkers. For ten years they successfully educated children. Bill spent his days at the daycare talking with children, teaching them to play chess and checkers.
His call to the nations and love for travel took Apostle Bill to many places both nationally and internationally. His international travels included Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Faith and family were extremely important to Apostle Bill. His genuine love and concern could be seen when he called his family together at his bedside for a final exhortation. He told them of his desire to be close to them and exhorted them to continue to love one another and to not forget each other. Even in his final hours, it was Bill’s desire to model the love of Christ for his family.
Apostle Bill led by example. He was passionate about his relationship with God and exhibited how real men worship God. He worshipped uninhibited, with his hands lifted high and his mouth filled with praise… And when he no longer could make it to church, Arias Walker, City Church praise and worship leader, was faithful to come and worship with him and to sing over him. Bill’s demonstrative teaching style, mixed with simplicity and humor ministered to the hearts of believers and unbelievers alike. He lived his life in a way that made it possible for him to say as did the Apostle Paul, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” His seed remains in the earth and will continue to grow and produce much fruit.
He was preceded in death by his father William E. Alston, his mother, Donnie Mae Alston, one brother, Ralph Alston, and three sisters, Gloria, Geraldine, and Sandra Alston. He leaves to cherish his memory, his loving wife Venner J. Alston, two brothers, Anthony and Dennis Alston; three sisters: Donie and Precious Alston, and April Hackett. He is also survived by one uncle, one aunt and a host of nieces and nephews including a special nephew, Deon Dorsey and a special niece, Viola (Mark) Alston-Erving, cousins, in-laws, a host of sons and daughters of City Church and two adorable mini-Schnauzers, Buddy and Sassy Alston that, by the way, think they are children.
Bill E. Alston was a faithful husband, a father to the fatherless, an exceptional role model, a man of integrity and wisdom, and even now, his wonderful sense of humor gives us much to smile about through this difficult time. Apostle Bill E. Alston, you will truly be missed, but we look forward to seeing you again.