Butler encourages others

Published 11:59 pm Monday, September 7, 2009

Bill Butler has a simple philosophy on life, “Be a doer,” and he shares it and more in his first book.

Butler, an evangelist from the Cedar Grove community, has spent the last two decades spreading the word of God to communities both local and as far away as Africa.

It has taken five years and countless life lessons for Butler to put his thoughts on paper, but once he did, he found an amazingly simple and singular thought he knew he needed to share.

“The point to life is we all know what we should do,” Butler said. “Doing what we need to do produces results. Those results are what make this world great. I found that we don’t need to just read and study the word. We need to put it into practice.”

Butler recounts the moment he was “saved,” in his book — which can be found at the Christian Book and Gift store at Tabby D’s.

“It was Oct. 22, 1975, at a quarter till 12 on my kitchen floor,” he said. “I never went to church. That night a Baptist deacon came and presented the gospel to me. I didn’t know He died on the cross for my sins. I couldn’t believe it. But that night, I realized the importance of that. That night, I accepted it and the rest is history.”

Since then, Butler has spent his time as a traveling missionary, taking the story of Christ and His word to the jungles of Africa, the plains of the Texas and Arizona and even in local churches.

“What I learned in all those places is that life is sort of like baking a cake,” he said. “We’ve all got the ingredients necessary to make a great cake, but without someone to show us how to do it or to give us some directions to fall, that cake’s not going to turn out. That’s what this book is. I think it gives some direction to those who need a little direction.”

It was through the urgings of an Andalusia man — Jim Seymour — that Butler said he found what he needed to write down his thoughts.

“It was hard,” he said. “I didn’t realize what it took to write and to put your thoughts on paper and make them make sense. Jim was the first person to say that I should, that my message was good and people needed to hear it. I took him up on that.”

Butler said through all his travels, people — no matter their location — had a singular thing in common.

“Everyone is looking for help in some form,” he said. “That’s why I wrote my book, so that hopefully they would find something in it that would give them comfort.

“And when they found that, it would give them the realizations they needed to implement it in their life — to be a doer,” he said. “It’s simple. If you see a neighbor and their grass needs cutting, be a doer. Do it. Mow their grass. The satisfaction you get knowing you helped someone in need will open doors you never imagined.”

Butler and his wife, Edie, a teacher at Opp High School, have been married for nearly 10 years and are founders of Great Community Ministries. Together, they have five children and three grandchildren.