First Person: Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks

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

I still have a variety of jobs, ministries, and hobbies that keep me fairly busy. Thank you for each and every one of them. I had not ministered as a pastor since 2007, but 5 months after retiring from my ministry as head of the Tuskegee Lee Baptist Association’s missions, I became an interim pastor, followed by becoming their pastor. Thank you to the lovely members of Lanier Baptist Church in Lanett where I now have the privilege of serving. I’m grateful that I also have numerous opportunities and places to share my humor and music as Brother Billy Bob Bohannon.

Two weeks into my retirement, despite vaccinations, COVID-19 called. How convenient. I didn’t even have to worry about missing work. I am grateful that we had mild cases and survived.

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

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


I’m thankful that some of my music got aired on ICRadio this year. I even had a few songs that made the top 40 and even a #1 song. Although I’ve written 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 that God has given some of us. I pray for calm!

I’m thankful for pickleball and racquetball and my buddies there, my wood shop and the 31 inch redfish that Drew caught while we were deep sea fishing last summer. I’m thankful he caught the most and the biggest ones and that I didn’t get seasick.

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


Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into its gates with thanksgiving, and into its courtyards with praise. Be thankful to him and bless his name.”

We should not only enter His gates with thanksgiving, we should enter with thanksgiving every day. Have you ever felt guilty of saying, “I have nothing to be grateful for?” Really? How about every morning when our eyelids lift and before our feet hit the ground, we say, “Thanks for waking me up for another day.” Thank you that my eyes have opened and I can see?”

For ten years I almost lost sight in one eye, so I am especially thankful for the sight. OK, if you can’t see it, how about, “Thanks for hearing it?” Sorry, I didn’t mean to preach. professional habit. But while some may have more to be thankful for, we all have some things.

I hope you can say thank you too and have a wonderfully happy Thanksgiving!

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