William Lee “Bill” Woodruff, Jr.

Arkansas-Louisiana Conference President, 1985-1994

His Early Years

William Lee Woodruff, Jr. was born January 16, 1928, in Takoma Park, Maryland to William Lee Woodruff and Ruth Evangeline During Woodruff. He was called Billy Lee during his growing up years to discern him from his namesake father. Billy Lee was raised in Takoma Park, in a home on 19 Westmoreland Avenue, which is now numbered 6802 Westmoreland (Ancestry, 2019).

Billy Lee ca. 1935 (Ancestry, 2014b).

His School Years

Bill’s graduation on May 22, 1946, from Takoma Academy (Ancestry, 2014a).

Billy Lee (Bill) attended John Nevins Andrews Elementary School, Takoma Academy, and Washington Missionary College (Columbia Union College, Washington Adventist University), where he met Betty Ann Woods. He and Betty married on his nineteenth birthday, January 16, 1947, in Staunton, Virginia (Ancestry, 2014a). Bill graduated in 1954 with degrees in theology and business administration, and Betty worked as a secretary for the General Conference, having completed her secretarial course at the college (Gilliland, 1996).

Years of Ministry

Family photo taken in Beckley, West Virginia (Ancestry, 2014c).

Following graduation, Bill began his ministry in West Virginia as pastor of the Grafton, Shinston and Galloway District. He moved on to Beckley and then the Huntington Seventh-day Adventist Church in West Virginia. On July 13, 1958, his daughter, Ruth Ann, was his first baptismal candidate shortly before he was ordained. He was given special permission to baptize a group of people prior to his ordination. In 1960 the family, including three daughters, Ruth Ann, Patricia, and Judy moved to Jamestown, New York, where he built a new church building. Next they moved on to a large church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Ancestry, 2014a).

Bill Woodruff in 1968 at College Place, WA (Ancestry, 2014a).

From there he accepted a call to the College Place Village Church in Washington state in 1967. This was a large church with 1,500 members and a new church building was constructed on the corner of 12th and Larch Street during his administration. In 1974 he became the ministerial secretary in the Indiana Conference (Ancestry, 2014a). Bill worked eight years as president of the Alaska Mission, which attained conference status during his time there (Gilliland, 1996). Bill became president of the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference in 1985 until his retirement on January 1, 1996.

Retirement Years

Bill continued to serve the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference on a part-time basis in the Stewardship and Trust Services departments until he and Betty moved to Mount Vernon, Washington, in 1998. On September 27, 2001, at Bay View, Washington, Elder Bill Woodruff passed away from heart failure. He is buried at Hawthorn Memorial Park in Mount Vernon, Washington (Ancestry, 2019).

Bill and Betty Woodruff ca. 1990 in Shreveport, Louisiana (Ancestry, 2014c).


Ancestry Family Trees. (2014a, May 22). William Lee “Bill” Woodruff, Jr. Retrieved from ancestry.com.

Ibid. (2014b, Jul. 13).

Ibid. (2014c, Jul. 14).

Ibid. (2014d, Jul 15).

Ibid. (2019, Sep. 17).

Gilliland, Patti. (1996, Apr. 1). Southwestern Union Record, p. 16.

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