Bill McCoy ’87/’07 Honored with Distinguished Alumnus Award in Pastoral Ministry
During Alumnae/i Days 2019, Pittsburgh Seminary honored the Rev. Dr. William Gibson McCoy ’87/’07 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in Pastoral Ministry. Bill was born in Wheeling, W.Va., where his family owned and operated funeral homes for three generations. In his youth he was active in First PC (Wheeling), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Young Life, and various avenues of musical performance. After earning his bachelor’s from West Virginia University in 1978, Bill served a year-long internship in his family’s business, McCoy Funeral Homes Inc. He entered Pittsburgh School of Mortuary Science in 1979, graduated the next year, and then began working with his father as a funeral director.
Bill entered Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in the spring of 1983. As a student he sang in the Seminary’s choir and served as an intern at Pittsburgh’s Shadyside PC. And after graduating with his M.Div., Bill became associate pastor for youth and family ministries at Sewickley PC. During his time there, youth ministry blossomed and interfaced on a regular basis with other youth ministry efforts in the area and wider region. He also served in ministry at Western Penitentiary, Sewickley Ministerium (as president), Pittsburgh Presbytery Investment in Mission to India and Pakistan, and on the Pittsburgh Presbytery Preparation for Ministry Committee.
After six years at Sewickley PC, Bill was called as senior pastor of New Wilmington PC. During his pastorate the church’s annual budget tripled, giving to missions rose to more than one third of that budget, and church membership grew by more than 35 percent, so that New Wilmington PC led the Presbytery in growth and mission giving.
While in New Wilmington, Bill also served as a board member of Shenango Presbyterian Home and of Mercer State Prison Chapel, as president of New Wilmington Ministerium, and as a member of Shenango Presbytery’s Evangelism Committee, Stewardship and Mission Committee, Bills and Overtures Committee, and Permanent Judicial Council.
In 2006 Bill accepted the call to serve as senior pastor of First PC of Charleston, W.Va. A few months later, he received his D.Min. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. In the ensuing years Bill engaged in ministry on many levels: service as president of the Westminster Foundation, on the PTS Board of Directors, and as vice moderator of the Presbytery of West Virginia. Under his leadership First PC began emphasizing global mission, established a worship team and blended worship service, reestablished men’s groups and children’s and youth ministry programs, and developed a comprehensive Strategic Plan for the future ministry of the church. He was honorably retired from the West Virginia Presbytery in 2018 and continues to live in West Virginia with his wife, Mary.