Bill Wiseman is dead at 91

Tulsa pastor mentored generations of justice, peace advocates

July 15, 2010

LOUISVILLE

The Rev. William J. Wiseman, 91, who mentored several generations of Presbyerian peace and justice advocates, died July 13 in Tulsa, Okla., after a lengthy illness.

A native of Ottawa, Canada and son of a senior bishop in the Free Methodist Church, Wiseman graduated from Asbury (Ky.) College and Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned his Ph.D. in theology from Temple University in Philadephia, with additional studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Wiseman's first pastorate was at Temple Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. After nearly 20 years of service there, he became pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, Okla., where he served from 1963 to 1984. While there he was named national Preacher of the Year in 1978. 

After retiring from First-Tulsa — where he was named pastor emeritus — Wiseman served as dean of the chapel and professor of religious studies at PC(USA)-related University of Tulsa.

He was instrumental in the National Conference of Christians and Jews and deeply involved in ecumenical and interfaith ministries in Tulsa.

At the national level of the PC(USA), Wiseman was best known for his service on the revision committee for the Confession of 1967 and his service on the committee that wrote  "Peacemaking: The Believer's Calling."

A memorial service is scheduled for July 20 at First Presbyterian Church, Tulsa.

Information for this story furnished by the Rev. Greg Coulter, executive presbyter, Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery; the Rev. Bob Brashear, pastor West Park Presbyterian Church, New York City; and the Rev. Molly Casteel, interim manager, Committee on Representation, Office of the General Assembly.

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