Cover photo for Bob Woolley's Obituary
Bob Woolley Profile Photo
1927 Bobby 2022

Bob Woolley

August 31, 1927 — February 1, 2022

Bob Woolley of Ozark, MO, ordained minister of music, Christian music composer, and conductor, died February 1 after a brief illness. He was 94.  He was born on August 31, 1927, in Ponca City, OK. Woolley earned a degree in music from Oklahoma Baptist University and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Southwest Baptist University.


In his senior year of college, Woolley served as a music minister at First Baptist Church, Bristow, OK, where he met a young college student, Margaret Wenzlaff. The two married in 1949.  An outstanding athlete, Woolley could have chosen to play professional baseball after graduation, but instead, followed God’s leading into ministry. 


He served in several churches in Oklahoma. During his 11 years at First Baptist Church of Duncan, he had the largest church choir in the state. In 1967, Woolley became minister of music at First Baptist Church, Raytown, MO, and in 1969, he was ordained to the ministry. In 1972, he was selected to lead the Missouri Baptist Convention’s Church Music Department and took great joy in mentoring countless church music ministers and musicians at home and around the world. He served as a soloist, clinician and festival director—ministering in 40 states and nine countries.  His approach brought out the best in choirs and they loved his sense of humor and ability to share God’s love through music.


Woolley was also the first director of the Missouri Music Men, and a charter member of the Centurymen men’s chorus.  He served on the committees for the 1975 and 1991 Baptist Hymnals, and twice served as assistant to William J. Reynolds as music director and coordinator of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.


As an accomplished composer and creative lyricist, he wrote more than a hundred songs, numerous musicals, and collaborated with his friend, the late Kurt Kaiser, on several projects. He was also a pioneer in generational music ministry, writing not only children’s musicals, such as “Follow the Star,” but also musicals for senior adults, including, “Saints Alive” and “You Are Special.”  


The Woolleys made their residence at The Baptist Home—Ozark, in Ozark, MO, in 2007.  In 2009, he was presented with the Lifetime Ministry Award by the Baptist Church Music Conference in recognition of his 64 years of devotion and service to Christ.


He is survived by Margaret, his wife of 72 years; two children and their spouses, Mike Woolley (Wende) of Angel Fire, NM, and Gina Woolley McMillin (Grant) of Kathleen, Georgia; four grandchildren, Ryan Woolley (Chrissy), Jeremy McMillin, Rob Woolley, and Cameron McMillin (Leslie); five great-grandchildren; one nephew and four nieces.


Bob Woolley’s Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.


In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be sent to The Baptist Home—Ozark, 1625 W Garton Rd, Ozark, MO 65721.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Bob Woolley, please visit our flower store.


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