Difference between revisions of "Bill Ichter"

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Ichter said that one "cannot live a good or meaningful life without [[God]] in your life. Louisiana College taught me how to live and not just how to make a living."<ref name=bio/>
 
Ichter said that one "cannot live a good or meaningful life without [[God]] in your life. Louisiana College taught me how to live and not just how to make a living."<ref name=bio/>
  
On June 22, 2018, Ichter suffered a fractured hip in a household fall.
+
On June 22, 2018, Ichter suffered a fractured hip in a household fall; he is recovering.
  
 
==References==
 
==References==

Revision as of 21:03, 10 July 2018

William H. "Bill" Ichter
Bill Ichter.jpg
Political party Republican

Born December 1925
Nanticoke, Berks County, Pennsylvania
Spouse Jerry Catron Ichter (married 1949)
Religion Baptist clergyman from Minden, Louisiana

William H. Ichter, known as Bill Ichter (born December 1925),[1] is a Southern Baptist clergyman who for thirty-five years was a missionary to Brazil under auspices of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

One cannot live a good or meaningful life without God in your life. - Bill Ichter

Biography

Ichter was one of two sons of Harold Lester Ichter (1903-1993) and the former Harriet Ellen Tremayne in Nanticoke, a small coal-mining community in Berks County near Reading in southeastern Pennsylvania.[2] Harold Ichter was an employee of the United States Postal Service and the Pennsylvania National Guard; the family was hardly impacted by the Great Depression because of the father's two paychecks. With the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the senior Ichter was sent to Alexandria, Louisiana, to be an umpire for the war games at nearby United States Army camps. As a result of this move, the younger Ichter came into contact with Southern Baptists. He graduated a semester early in 1943 from Bolton High School in Alexandria.[2]

He served from February 1944 to June 1946 as a corporal in General George S. Patton, Jr.'s Third Army infantry in Europe[2] and participated in various musical groups with the Allied Army of Occupation. His book, Who Me, God? reflects in part on his military experiences.[3] Harold Ichter was mobilized as part of the 28th Infantry Division but failed his overseas physical because of arthritis and was instead sent to administer prisoner of war camps at Camp Livingston in Louisiana and other facilities in Texas and New Mexico, while son Bill sailed overseas from Fort Dix, New Jersey, and arrived in England on February 6, 1945, soon sent thereafter into Patton's army. After the war, he toured Rome as part of an Army choir and saw first-hand the devastation and rampant poverty of postwar Italy.[2]

In 1949, Bill Ichter with assistance from the G.I. Bill of Rights completed his bachelor's degree from Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville with majors in Bible and music. Ichter made his profession of faith in Jesus Christ at a campus chapel service preached by W. O. Vaught, who from 1945 to 1983 was the pastor of the Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. While serving in the music ministry of the Istrouma Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Ichter felt the divine call for mission work. He obtained a master's degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans and continued to serve area churches. In 1956, at his appointment ceremony in Richmond, Virginia, Ichter met Billy Graham, who was holding a crusade that week in Richmond and spoke to each new missionary. In 1964, Ichter compiled a crusade hymnal and composed one song himself. In 1974, Ichter led the 11,500-voice Graham Crusade Choir during the evangelist's appearance in Rio de Janeiro.[3] Upon Graham's death in 2018, Ichter recalled in an interview with his hometown newspaper that the world-known evangelist was "a very dynamic man. A very humble man, and a great man of the Lord. He was well recognized, but he wasn’t a political figure. He was a unifier. When we had the crusade choir, the different denominations had never worked together on anything, but he was the unifier that brought them together."[4] Ichter added, “Heaven will be richer. He’s up there with Bev Shea and Cliff Barrows. The three of them were inseparable during the Graham crusades all over the country, and now they’re together again.”[4]

Ichter returned to Louisiana from Brazil in 1990. In recent years, he has resided in Minden in  Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, where he is active in the First Baptist Church and has been a hospital chaplain.[2] On Veterans Day 2014, his adopted city of Minden observed "Bill Ichter Day," proclaimed by Mayor Marvin T. "Tommy" Davis.[5] In the ceremony, Ichter received from the French consul the Legion of Honor medal, the highest award by that nation. He had also won a Bronze Star during the war. His name was the first to be placed on the Wall of Honor at Minden's Veterans Flag Memorial. The South Webster Chamber of Commerce awarded him  its "Lifetime Achievement Award."[3]

Ichter and his wife, the former Jerry Catron (born June 1930), wed in 1949 and have four children.[2] Mrs. Ichter is a daughter of businessman Alonzo Brown Catron (1897-1984) and the former Luta Edmonson (1904-1999), who are interred at the New Forest Cemetery in the village of Forest near Oak Grove in West Carroll Parish in northeastern Louisiana.[6] The Ichters' daughter and son-in-law, Alana (born May 1950) and Ronald W. Greenwich (born July 1948), also reside in Minden.[3] A son, Carlos Leslyn Ichter (born c. 1960), is the minister of music at the Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, and is a music graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.[7]

Ichter said that one "cannot live a good or meaningful life without God in your life. Louisiana College taught me how to live and not just how to make a living."[3]

On June 22, 2018, Ichter suffered a fractured hip in a household fall; he is recovering.

References

  1. William Ichter, December 1925. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on March 19, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 William Ichter - Oral History Project - World War II (1944-1946). Familysearch.org. Retrieved on March 18, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Bill Ichter ('49): Music Missionary to Brazil, Columns: The Magazine for Louisiana College Alumni and Friends, Winter 2016, p. 22.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Caleb Daniel. Bill and Billy. Retrieved on February 28, 2018.
  5. Bonnie Culverhouse (October 15, 2014). Rev. Bill Ichter saluted on Veterans Day. Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on March 19, 2017.
  6. Alonzo Brown Catron. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on March 21, 2017.
  7. Carlos Ichter. Retrieved on March 19, 2017.