BE CAREFUL what you pray for,” he said, laughing. “God has delivered, and it’s such a wonderful ride. I will never forget my journey here,” Mr. Billy said.
Mr. Billy and his wife, Shelia, have raised four children, and he also adds the countless youths he’s encountered in the halls of Lincoln County High School.
“Just passing by here one day, I knew this was the place for me. It just spoke to me, and I couldn’t tell you why,” he said.
But there’s no denying he heard right – it is the place for him.
“They have welcomed me and my family with open arms in this school. They have loved on me and my family constantly,” Mr. Billy said.
Even with all the demands on his time, this custodian is never too busy to see the good in the young students flooding the school’s halls. He sees hope for their future wherever he finds them – in the classroom, on the football field, on the basketball court, in the cafeteria, even in the parking lot.
“I meet some amazing kids, and I wanna help them out in every way I can. These kids are our future,” he said.
Mr. Billy sees each individual and the potential they hold, and he’s there for them no matter what.
“These kids are actually learning life lessons every single day. Even if they take their own path, they will always have somebody they can talk to. I want everything God has for each young person, and I want them to be able to receive it. I feel like my job is to help them get there by speaking the positive into their lives, not the negative,” he said.
Substitute teacher Jennifer Turbeville sees Mr. Billy in action.
She said, “Everybody loves Mr. Billy. He always takes time to wave, smile, and ask the students how things are going. He goes the extra mile to encourage them to stay strong and on the right road.”
Perhaps what draws students to Mr. Billy is the peace and calm that is core to his life and his outlook. In a time when many are divided, Mr. Billy is an instrument of peace.
“Division is not where we’re supposed to be living. For us to understand one another, there’s got to be connections, and we have to communicate. Lack of communication brings on fear,” he said.
Thankfully, Lincoln County High School is full of connections and communicators. Mr. Billy credits the teachers, principal, and administration for being a positive influence in the students’ lives.
An ordained minister, Mr. Billy said, “People prefer seeing a sermon, not being preached one.”
At the end of the day, at the end of his career, at the end of his life, Mr. Billy has one desire, he said. It’s “for generations to come, that the grace of God shown through Billy Hall.” -GN