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Baptist journalist William Junker dies


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Baptist journalist William Junker died June 8 at his home in Nashville, Tenn., after an extended illness. He was 83.

Junker retired in 1992 from the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) after 13 years as director of the promotion department and director of editorial services where he supervised news services, including the Baptist Press bureau and MissionsUSA magazine.

In a tribute to Junker for the Baptist Communicators Association, Jim Newton, who served as HMB director of news and services and BP bureau chief, called Junker, a lifetime BCA member, “both my friend and my boss. He had the rare ability to be both a supervisor and a friend simultaneously. He never switched from one role to another; he was always consistently just himself. Bill had an exceptional combination of integrity and honesty, and even though he was quiet and gentle, he always spoke the truth in love.”

Prior to his work at the Home Mission Board, Junker served 22 years on the staff of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board’s student ministry (now LifeWay Christian Resources), where he was editor of The Student magazine. He also served as campus minister in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Junker authored four books, including “Contending for the Right to Know,” a history of the Association of State Baptist Papers (previously the Southern Baptist Press Association) founded in 1895.

Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, Junker graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in electrical engineering and from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


He was a member at Glendale Baptist Church in Nashville.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Patsy Hillman Junker, and their children, Jennifer Junker White, Gretchen Junker Byars and Kurt Hillman Junker; and eight grandchildren.
Compiled by Barbara Denman, director of communications for the Florida Baptist Convention.