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Bob Woolley

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 Bobby Woolley, please visit our flower store.


There are not enough words or space to tell you what a great man Bob is. I will always remember him as my friend and mentor who always had to time to listen and was always there for "words of encouragement." Every time I hear someone call me "Bickel " I will think of Bob because that was my name to him. I will miss this man. Can you imagine the music in Heaven? Margaret, Gina and Mike God bless you.

Stephen “Bickel” Feb 3 2022 11:44 PM

Baptist life had its own "greatest generation," and Bob was a prominent member. Praying for Margaret and all the family.

Tim Palmer Feb 3 2022 11:00 PM

Bob was a pitter, a watermelon pitter, he would pit your watermelon free he he, oh what fun when the juice would run from his elbow to his knee he he! What an amazing man!

Nolan D Carrier Feb 3 2022 9:31 PM

Bob was special. One of our first get togethers was having a conversation while we walked along the railroad tracks at Linneus ,MO. Even found a few old railroad spikes😀

Bill Wehmeyer Feb 3 2022 9:08 PM

What a wonderful man Bob Woolley was. I will always remember his marvelous voice and how kind he was. I know he will be missed and we pray for the family during this time.

Debbie HubbsHart Feb 3 2022 8:05 PM

I was so privaleged to have Mr. Wooly as my choir director at First Babtist in Duncan Ok.
I was in his junior choir.
He not only was a very talented music teacher but, took us to Junior Music Camp at Falls Creek Baptist Assembly where I accepted the Lord as my Savior!
I am now 65 years old but, still remember his wonderful example in my youth!He also was a friend of my uncle John Mathews who was a minister in Missouri.

Nancy Reidling Cooper Feb 3 2022 7:05 PM

What a wonderful man of God who loved music and people! He was an encourager and supporter of many young ministers like me!

Ken Chapman Feb 3 2022 4:20 PM

Margaret, Betty and I send our love and prayers at this
difficult time. Betty and Wesley Brizendine

J. Wesley and Betty Brizendine Feb 3 2022 3:09 PM

Gina and family, my deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Cheryl Indermuehle Irwin Feb 3 2022 1:56 PM

Mike, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Your Dad was a very special man and know he will be missed by all of you.

Curt & Becky Jones Feb 3 2022 12:08 PM

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