Woodyard continues serving 70 years after joining FBC Leroy

Woodyard continues serving 70 years after joining FBC Leroy

From his childhood days of riding to church in a horse-drawn wagon to more than 60 years spent teaching, George “Buddy” Woodyard  has been part of First Baptist Church, Leroy, all his life.

On Sept. 1, Woodyard “retired” and was honored for his service.

Woodyard received Christ and joined First, Leroy, around age 12. 

“I started singing in the choir,” he said. “My wife-to-be, Barbara Ann, was also singing in the choir.” 

He began teaching at First, Leroy, in his early 20s after he returned home from college in 1957 to care for his ailing father and manage the family farm in Jackson. He has been teaching God’s word there ever since. 

Initially Woodyard was a Royal Ambassador leader working with young boys and leading them in missions projects. 

But he also taught Sunday School, a job he would continue for the next six decades. 

For the first 10 to 15 years he taught the young adult class. Later he led the adult class and finally the adult men’s class.

“I enjoyed it,” Woodyard said. “I enjoyed the men. They were older than I but they were deep, deep into Scripture.”

And during those decades of teaching Woodyard influenced many lives, including that of his pastor.

“I have only been pastor here for a year but he has already been a great source of encouragement for me personally,” said First, Leroy, pastor Ben Posey. “I have also heard countless stories from other members, especially deacons who served alongside him and were taught or mentored by him.

“He is one of the most humble men I have ever met and he is fully devoted to the future success in ministry of this church,” Posey said.

Woodyard retired from the pulp and paper industry after a 40-year career and since retirement God has enabled him to be a witness not only in his church but also with former co-workers.

“I have had two or three folks ask what makes me different from the average person,” said Woodyard. 

Those conversations give him the opportunity to tell others about Jesus.

Grateful to be used

One particular gospel conversation enabled Woodyard to lead a friend to salvation. Woodyard is grateful to have been used by God that day because that friend died six months later from cancer.

Though he will not be actively teaching Woodyard still plans to be actively involved at church.

He and Barbara Ann are still singing in the choir. And one of the next projects on his to-do list is to help expand and enlarge the church’s playground.

“The road is crowded with things we do,” he said. “I know a lot about First Baptist Church, Leroy, and I know a lot about Jesus Christ. I just hope the good Lord will say well done.”