PCA Minister William B. Leonard, Jr., 98, Called Home to Glory

Bill Leonard served in a number of successive Presbyterian denominations, known as the alphabet soup of churches: BPC, EPC, RPCES, and PCA.

Colorado Springs is where Leonard founded two churches. In 1953, after leaving active duty at the end of the Korean War, where he served as a Navy Chaplain, he planted Grace Presbyterian Church. Twenty years later, in 1972, he was the organizing pastor of Village Seven Presbyterian Church.  He and his wife Helen developed exciting VBS programs that helped build both churches.

 

William B. Leonard, Jr., 98, went home to glory at 12:30 a.m. on Monday, September 21, 2015, in Colorado Springs, Colo., 11 days after celebrating his 98th birthday.  Leonard was born on September 10, 1917 in Los Angeles, Calif.

Colorado Springs is where Leonard founded two churches. In 1953, after leaving active duty at the end of the Korean War, where he served as a Navy Chaplain, he planted Grace Presbyterian Church. Twenty years later, in 1972, he was the organizing pastor of Village Seven Presbyterian Church.  He and his wife Helen developed exciting VBS programs that helped build both churches.

Bill was also the Chaplain Endorser for 40 years in a number of Presbyterian denominations that he was a part of: The Bible Presbyterian Church (BPC); the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC); The Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Church (RPCES); and the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

Because of his continuing involvement and interest in the chaplaincy, Leonard was one of the founders of the Presbyterian and Reformed Joint Commission on Chaplains and Military Personnel (now the PRCC). He served as PRCC Executive Director until 1995. He and Helen traveled the world visiting chaplains and their wives for many years after he retired as Senior Pastor of Village Seven in 1979.

Leonard was a pioneer of the Rocky Mountain Presbytery of the EPC, RPCES, and now the PCA. He served for many years on the early Boards of Covenant College and Covenant Seminary. He was elected the Moderator of the RPCES when it met in Colorado Springs in 1966.

Both of Leonard’s sons are elders in the PCA, William B. Leonard III, who is a ruling elder; and Stephen Leonard, who is a teaching elder and a former military chaplain. His two daughters are also active in PCA churches and ministries.

Steve Leonard recalled a special memory of his father: “When Dad was the pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Newburgh, N.Y., between WWII and Korean War, he taught for J. Oliver Buswell, who was a mentor, dear friend, and President at the Bible Institute in NYC. Dad became the endorser for chaplains, taking over this task from Dr. Buswell, who had been Dad’s endorser to the Navy Chaplaincy and assigned to the Marines.

Bill and Helen had four children, 17 grandchildren, and 37 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at Village Seven PCA in Colorado Springs on Sunday, October 4, at 3:00 p.m.