March 24, 1930October 5, 2019
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Reverend Billy Ray Wilson, 89, of Pickens, South Carolina, born March 24, 1930 went to be with his Lord on October 5, 2019. Born in Central, South Carolina, he was the son of the late Edgar Eugene Wilson and Mattie Elrod Wilson.

Reverend Wilson served a number of Wesleyan Churches in the Pickens, Oconee and Anderson areas including: Mount Calvary Wesleyan in Easley, Fellowship Wesleyan in Iva, Keowee Wesleyan in Seneca, Pelzer Wesleyan in Pelzer, Arial Wesleyan in Easley, Anderson Wesleyan in Anderson and last served Smith Chapel in Liberty before his retirement. He was happy to serve people in his role as minister and he affected many lives. He continued to be a vigilant prayer warrior for his Lord throughout his life. Billy Ray loved his grandchildren and his cornbread and milk and pinto beans. He was known by family to always be working on a project building things and telling tales of his childhood growing up. Reverend Wilson’s grandfather, John Elrod, co-founded Central Wesleyan on his front porch which is better known today as Southern Wesleyan University.

Reverend Wilson leaves behind his wife of 69 years Virginia Morgan Wilson. He was affectionately known to her as “Bill”. Billy Ray leaves behind his son Gene Wilson (Diane) of Six Mile, two daughters Faith Culbertson (Ken) of Piedmont, Becky Pitts (Roy) of Taylors, and a sister Genevieve Fowler of Liberty. Reverend Wilson’s extended family includes 6 loving grandchildren and 10 adorable and precious great-grands. He is predeceased by 6 sisters and 4 brothers.

A service will be held at the Dillard Funeral Home Chapel, at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 with a visitation being Monday evening, October 7, 2019 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Interment will follow the funeral service on Tuesday at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

Flowers are accepted or donations to the Pickens View Wesleyan Church building fund, 744 Bethlehem Ridge Road, Pickens, SC 29671.

Online Condolences may be sent to

Dillard Funeral Home is assisting the Wilson family.


  • Virginia Wilson, Wife
  • Genevieve Fowler, Sister
  • Becky Pitts, Daughter
  • Roy Pitts, Son-in-law
  • Gene Wilson, Son
  • Diane Wilson, Daughter-in-law
  • Faith Culbertson, Daughter
  • Ken Culbertson, Son-in-law
  • Reverend Billy Ray Wilson also leaves behind 6 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren,

  • Clayton Wilson
  • Ryan Wilson
  • Jeff Wilson
  • Chris Culbertson
  • Jai Gilliand
  • Terence Hill
  • Wesleyan Ministers, Honorary Pallbearer


  • Visitation

    Monday, October 7, 2019

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, October 8, 2019



have a memory or condolence to add?

Rhonda Terry

October 12, 2019

I am so sad at the lost of a great man. I remember fondly when yall were at Fellowship. May God bless your family and help you through this difficult time.

Esther Padgett

October 9, 2019

To Faith and Becky and your mother, I was driving on Highway 8 from Pickens to Easley last night, October 8. An in-color tribute to your daddy was brightly displayed on a sign. That was amazing, electronic and in color.

I am the daughter of Joyce and David Martin who attended Arial Wesleyan Church. I remember you all as pretty, fashionable older teenagers, as I was a child. Your mother wore pins in her hair.

Did your daddy drive a brown Pinto?

Anyway, we want to send our sympathy to your family. Daddy went to visitation. He said Preacher Wilson visited regularly and never acted better than anyone and always liked him. Mother was fond of him, too. She passed 3 years ago.

So sorry! Esther (Martin) Padgett

Lisa Hendrix

October 9, 2019

Preacher Wilson married my husband and I at Smith Chapel. My Momma and Daddy (Jimmy & Mary Lois Stewart) were members there. He will be missed. He was a kind hearted person that everyone loved.

Juliia Smith

October 7, 2019

I remember with joy the times Bob and I spent with Billy Ray while we were in Pickens. He and Virginia were wonderful friends and I pray The God of all comfort will be near you all at this time of loss.

W. Jonathan Payne

October 6, 2019

Sorry, in a way, to hear of Billy's home-going. Good friend to me as a young pastor and across the years. Want to thank you for the way you befriended and stood by my parents during the years. Means even more now than then. Keeping you in our prayers.

A prayer for you: Father, thank you for the life lived and the heritage left behind. I ask for your comforting presence in the days ahead. In Christ's name, Amen.

Jane and Don Acevedo

October 6, 2019

May Christ bring comfort and peace to your family Ryan. Much love, Don and Jane Acevedo

Glenda Hoyle

October 5, 2019

Dear Wilson Family,
So sorry to hear of Billy Ray's passing -- he leaves so many precious memories in my last 30 years of knowing him at Pickens View. My most outstanding was the great job he did as our Best Year's Fellowship leader - such wonderful and memorable outings with those snacks and drinks always on the bus!
He liked for me to share pens with him which I did whenever he was able to come to church. I wasn't expecting him the last Sunday he attended just a couple of months ago, so I went to the car and collected about 5 pens to share with him.
May God be with each of you in His own special way, especially Virginia, with His love, comfort and peace now and in the days to come.
Thoughts and prayers, Glenda

Martin and Faye LaBar

October 5, 2019

Pastor Wilson was a good and faithful man. He worked hard, prayed hard, wasn't afraid to try something new, and did his best. He was our pastor for nine years of ministry. We are sorry that we are out of town, and won't be able to attend the visitation or the funeral service.

Scott Barker

October 5, 2019

Praying for you all. May God comfort you. He left behind a great Christian heritage. God bless you.
Scott Barker Apopka, Florida