Don’t Grow Weary of Doing Good, Brother: UGM’s Bill Thompson
On September 17, Interstate Batteries honored Bill Thompson with a surprise luncheon on the scenic 10th floor of the Westin Hotel. Not only was Bill celebrated for 30 years as Executive Director of the Union Gospel Mission (UGM), but for a lifetime of nourishing his fellow man by sharing the gospel, serving up hot meals to those in need and ladling out generous helpings of hope and good will.
This event was well attended by Interstate Team Members, Second Chance alumni and current members of the program from the UGM. Norm and Scott Miller spoke along with PowerCare’s James Washington, a fellow Team Member and Second Chance program graduate. There were several nods of appreciation in the room when James walked the group through his story from needing shelter at the UGM to today, living the American dream by purchasing a home for his family.
Finding Real Chemistry
How did this humble gentleman named Bill Thompson come to the Dallas Union Gospel Mission in the first place? Once a hard-driving chemist with Bristol Meyers in Syracuse, NY, Bill knows his path to the UGM was preordained in many ways.
During his time at Bristol Meyers, Bill always sought ways to volunteer and share the gospel especially during weekend Bible studies with the homeless. Once when volunteering at the local shelter he was asked a simple question, “Can you wash dishes?” “Well sure,” Bill said, “I wash them in the lab all day long!”
This started him on the trajectory that led to enrolling in the Dallas Bible College, moving his family to Dallas and becoming the Assistant Mission Director in 1983.
Finding an Old Friend
One of the first faces that he encountered in 1983 as Assistant Director was familiar, an aspiring boxer that Bill had shared the gospel with and warm donated meals back in Syracuse. This UGM guest might have been struggling for a new start in Dallas, Texas, but at least he had a friend returned to him that he knew would never quit him, Bill Thompson.
Today Bill no longer has to shuttle scores of men back and forth to church, five at a time in his ‘74 Grand Prix, or give the homeless a place to sleep in his basement protecting them from the blistering Upstate New York winters, because as Executive Director he has the resources of the Union Gospel Mission.
But, if you want to get a closer look at Bill and a chance to meet this good man, go volunteer at the UGM first Thursday of any month, Interstate’s night at the Union Gospel Mission, stick your hand out and shake Bill’s. And if your hand is covered in bubbles and dish soap, well even better!
Congratulations, Bill Thompson – keep doing God’s work!