SOCIAL CIRCLE — William “Bill” Tribble’s ministry began with a calling at 15 years old and literally took him around the world. However, his biggest impact arguably came during his time as pastor at First Baptist Church here.
Tribble’s life on earth came to an end March 5 at his home in Social Circle. He was 93 years old.
During World War II, Tribble served in the Navy Air Corps, honorably discharged in 1946. He and his wife, Mildred, would go on to have five children. However, the couple would endure tragedy with one, Barbara Gail, dying as an infant, and their youngest, Randy, succumbing to cancer at seven years old. Their oldest son, Billy, died in 2016.
After his active time in the military, Tribble became an electrical contractor in Atlanta. He and his partner would build the business into a success before Tribble and his family moved to Macon, where he would attend Mercer University.
Having accepted a call to ministry at 15, Tribble served at Marshallville Baptist Church for more than six years as well as Antioch Baptist in Madison and Alcovy Mountain Baptist in Monroe. His longest pastorate, however, came at First Baptist Social Circle, where he would remain for 27 years.
Following retirement from First Social Circle – where he was named pastor emeritus – Tribble would hold interim positions at more than 12 churches over 19 years. During his ministry he would teach for 20 years with the Georgia Extension Program, serve on the Georgia Baptist Convention Executive Committee and as vice chairman of the Administration Committee, and be conferred an honorary doctorate degree from the International Bible Institute and Seminary. He considered the highlight of his career the teaching opportunities in Japan and Hong Kong.
Regarding his longevity at First Baptist Social Circle, Tribble’s bit of advice? “Just love them.”
He is survived by his wife of 75 years, Mildred, daughters Denise Bergeland and Kay McLendon, four grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and two brothers – David and Joe. He was preceded in death by brothers George and Don.