From Texas, where he was born on July 30, 1920, to Cleveland, where he retired on his 85th birthday, McCall shared his faith and love for God to everyone he met in every place he was.
McCall died on Sept. 8.
Born in Red Land, Texas, McCall was raised in humble surroundings, but he was a hard worker and graduated from high school in 1938. He went to work for Westinghouse Electric while going to school, studying electronics from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., then working from 4 p.m. to midnight. After two years of working for Westinghouse, he was asked to join the Army as a civilian worker repairing radios and other electronic equipment.
It was during that time, he said, God spoke to him about going to Guatemala.
McCall met his wife, Frances “Janie” — the “love of my life” — in 1942 at a prayer meeting. Although he said it was “love at first sight,” it was several months before they began dating. William was ready to marry her, he said, “but Jane wanted to wait until the war was over.”
The couple married on April 7, 1946, and their first son, Robert Duncan, was born in February 1947. Their second son, Mack Berry, was born a couple years later in September 1949.
But that calling to go to Guatemala was still in his heart. So the McCall family packed up and moved to Cleveland so McCall could attend what was then Lee College. He completed his studies at Trinity University, earning his bachelor’s degree in May 1951.
He began mission work in 1951 with his first appointment to Utila, Honduras. It wasn’t Guatemala, however. McCall knew this was the direction God had for him and his calling would be fulfilled in His time.
That was the beginning of 35 years as a missionary beginning in Honduras, and extending to Guatemala, Panama and Jamaica. He served as the overseer of Central Guatemala three years and was superintendent of the churches in Central America eight years. While in Panama, he was president of the International Latin Seminary where many church leaders today in Central America were trained.
In 1986, McCall retired from foreign missions service with the Church of God, but worked on as a liaison between mission students at Pentecostal Seminary and the Church of God World Missions Department. Until his “fully retired” date of July 30, 2005, he worked also with “Editorial Evagelica” magazine. He received an honorary doctorate from the Pentecostal Seminary in Puerto Rico and was recognized for his years of service to Church of God World Missions.
McCall was quick to say he was most proud of the work he was able to do in Guatemala. When he and his family moved there in 1952, very little mission work was being done. Today, according to the church, it is one of the largest mission countries in Latin America — due largely to the groundwork laid by this missonary.
McCall was one of five residents inducted into the Signature HealthCARE Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, receiving congratulations and best wishes from friends, family and other Signature residents. His picture will hang with other honored inductees in the Hall of Fame.
But with all of this, McCall did not want accolades. He was always careful to give credit for any success to His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Information for this article was provided by Chaplain Carl Caffrey of Signature HealthCARE of Cleveland.)