This induction was initiated by Rayburn’s family, in honor of his 80th birthday. The event was held in Cross Chapel at 11 a.m, followed by a luncheon at North Cleveland Church of God’s Bryant Fellowship Hall.
Billy and Norma Rayburn began attending the Church of God in Battle Creek, Mich., after they married. Here Rayburn became an active layman and served as YPE director.
Rayburn served the Church of God in a variety of ministries over the years, including pastor. He pastored London, Ontario, 1956-1960; Plymouth, Mich., 1960-1962; Palmer Park in Detroit, 1962-1967; and Ecorse, Mich., 1967-1974.
His Church of God appointed positions include secretary and treasurer of Eastern Canada, 1956-1960; state overseer of Alaska, 1974-1978; state overseer of Chicago Metro, 1978-1982; cross cultural director, 1982-1986; and state overseer of Michigan, 1986-1990.
During the period of time when he served as state overseer of Chicago Metro, he made the connection with the Romanian church in the United States.
Subsequently he was appointed director of Cross Cultural Ministries and Romanian territorial overseer, an appointment he maintained until his retirement in 2000.
Because of his significant ministry to and relationship with the Romanian Church of God churches, he endeared himself to the Romanian people and greatly impacted the ministries of the Church of God churches.
He has served as camp meeting, prayer conference and seminar speaker across the U.S., Canada, and internationally.
Rayburn married Joyce Lane in 1999 after the death of his first wife, Norma. Bill and Norma were blessed with four children. He was also blessed with two stepchildren, 10 grandchildren, three stepgrandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
Love and kindness were a recurring theme among the luncheon guests who offered tribute on May 30.
Stepson Tony Lane said of Rayburn, “His love for people groups, particularly the Romanian community, represented in the United States, has embraced and propelled many in ministry in the Church of God. This endowment will permit others to follow in his footsteps and legacy as we continue to enlarge our borders in the harvest.”
Induction into the Hall of Prophets at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary is reserved for those certified ministers whose service to Jesus Christ and the Church of God has been meritorious.
For more information regarding this endowment, contact Joy Terpstra at 423-478-7020 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.