That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Pastor & Ila Clark
Interview on Radio on October 13,2020
Our Pastor, William (Bill) Warren Clark was born in Lebanon, Missouri on Dec. 5th, 1946 and raised in a small town, Competition, Missouri. In his teen years his family moved to Marshall, Missouri where he attended Bible Baptist Church of Marshall, which was pastored by Pastor Jerald Manley. He was saved in 1964 under the ministry of Pastor Manley. Shortly after being born again, the Lord called him to Preach.
In 1964 he went to Bob Jones University, but because of some unforeseen health problems he had to put Bible College on hold. At the age of 19 he had his first battle with cancer. While recovering and working to pay his bills so that he might return to College he worked with another Pastor friend. Pastor Bill Barbry of the Druid Hills Baptist Church of Fort Smith Arkansas.In 1971, longing to do what God had called him to do, PREACH, God used Pastor Jerald Manley to direct him to a Church in Bridgeview, Illinois. In 1971, he accepted the invitation to Pastor what was then called the Southwest Baptist Church of Bridgeview. After he was accepted as Pastor he returned to Bible College this time attending Hyles Anderson College where he graduated in 1975.
He was married in 1976 to Ila Laske. It was Ila's grandmother and aunt who spoke to Pastor Jerald Manley about the need of a Pastor at Southwest Baptist Church. In 1976, he had another round of cancer; the doctors said there was no hope! But praise the Lord we know the Great Physician! Pastor and Ila have 3 children- William August of 1977, Timothy January 1981, and Elizabeth Dec. 1984. Pastor also received his Doctorate in 1984. Many changes have taken place at Southwest - starting with the name! It is now an Independent Fundamental Bible Believing Baptist Church! - First Baptist Church of Bridgeview. Our Pastor has been with us for 52 years as of October 2023 and we are looking forward to what God has in store for us for the future.