First person: Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks

As I look back on this past year, I am thankful for this first year of my retirement. At times, I thought it might never come, but it did, it has and now the year is almost over.

I still have a number of jobs, ministries and hobbies that keep me quite busy. I give thanks for each one of them. I had not served as a pastor since 2007, but 5 months after I retired from serving as director of missions of Tuskegee Lee Baptist Association, I became an interim pastor, followed by becoming their pastor. I give thanks for the sweet members of Lanier Baptist Church, in Lanett, where I now have the privilege of serving. I am thankful to also still have numerous opportunities and places to share my humor and music as Brother Billy Bob Bohannon.

Two weeks after my retirement, even with vaccines, COVID-19 came calling. How convenient. I didn’t even have to worry about missing work. I am thankful we had mild cases and survived.

I’m thankful that my wife, Jean, and I have been able to travel this year, especially, after the stay-home shutdown. We had the joy of visiting beautiful Ireland and Scotland in March. I’m sorry that half of our group caught COVID, but I was thankful that Jean and I still had antibodies from our bouts so we didn’t get it again.

For Christmas, Jean and I are going to take a river cruise through Germany and Austria on the Danube. I’m praying for rain over there because the river is so low we may have to pole our way or get out and push!


I’m thankful that some of my music has gained airplay on ICRadio this year. I’ve even had a few songs that charted in their Top 40 and even a No. 1 song. Even though I’ve written quite a few serious songs, a silly little Billy Bob song called “Burnt Biscuits” was the one. I’m even thankful for silliness and for the sense of humor God has given some of us. I’m praying for rest!

I am thankful for pickleball and racquetball and my buddies there, my woodworking shop, and that 31-inch redfish that Drew caught when we went deep-sea fishing last summer. I’m thankful he caught the most and the biggest and that I didn’t get seasick.

Last, but certainly not least, I give thanks to God, for my Savior Jesus Christ, for my loving wife, Jean, and for my family: Sara Ashley, Justin and Drew. I am thankful for each of you, and for this opportunity to spend with you in the newspapers that carry my column each week or online.


Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name.”

Not only should we enter His gates with thanksgiving, we should enter every day with thanksgiving. Have you ever been guilty of saying, “I don’t have anything to give thanks for?” Really? How about each morning when our eyelids rise, and before our feet ever hit the floor, we say, “Thank You that I woke up for another day. Thank You that my eyes did open and I can see?”

Ten years I almost lost vision in one eye, so I am especially thankful for vision. OK, if you can’t see, how about, “Thank You that I can hear?” Sorry, I didn’t mean to preach. Occupational habit. But while some may have more for which to give thanks, we all have some things.

I hope you are able to give many thanks too and have a wonderfully happy Thanksgiving!

EDITOR’S NOTE — Bill King is pastor of Lanier Baptist Church in Lanett and retired DOM for Tuskegee Lee Baptist Association. As his alter ego, Brother Billy Bob Bohannon, King performs music and comedy.