William Reilly

Hello and welcome!

A little bit about me: I'm currently in my third year of studying divinity at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. After several years of vocational ministry in Texas, I moved to Atlanta with my wife, Cecelia, to pursue my M.Div. and grow in my understanding of God and church. I am passionate about playing (not very well) and watching sports, Mexican food, and spending time with Cecelia and our two dogs Magnolia and Moxie. Some of my other hobbies include adventures, interneting, and meeting new people. Below you will find my ministry background and work experience. 

If you would like to know more, click here to learn more about my interests and hobbies.



I was born in Plano, Texas as the youngest of three. My parents divorced when I was six years old, so mom and us kids moved to her hometown of Big Spring, Texas. Almost everyone in my mom's family is a pastor, deacon, or Sunday school leader, so I grew up surrounded by religion. In December of 1997, at the age of 7, I confessed my faith in Christ and was baptized at Vincent Baptist Church. Shortly after, we started attending Sand Springs Baptist Church, a small Texas Baptist church with some of the most incredible people I have ever met. It was at this church, at the age of 17, that I preached for the first time and considered ministry as a future vocation.

After high school, I attended college at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. While there, I discovered my love of theological education through several wonderful religion classes. I also discovered my passion for ministry through my work at St. Paul United Methodist Church. I started as the Assistant Youth Director, and upon college graduation was promoted to the College Minister. Eventually, I became the Student Minister, responsible for overseeing both youth and college aged groups. While there, I created the college program and grew the youth program both spiritually and in attendance. I had several incredible bosses and mentors at St. Paul that taught me invaluable lessons about ministry and the church. During my time at St. Paul I confirmed what I had felt at the age of 17, that I was called and gifted to be a pastor. To pursue this calling, I left St. Paul to attend Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. 

At Candler I have learned from exceptional professors, been inspired by incredible classmates, and been able to experience diverse ministry experiences. I have honed my pastoral care skills through an internship at a retirement home and fortified my pastoral skills by serving as a pastoral resident and interim pastor at Edgewood Church. Aside from basic studies my interests have included asset based community development, the balance of tradition/ritual and innovation/contextualization, and the use of technology in ministry. Cecelia and I have also been able to explore what it means to be a good neighbor through intentional living in the Pittsburgh, Atlanta community. For more information about our experiences in Pittsburgh check out Cecelia's blog.



Central to my faith is the belief that Jesus Christ is a real historical person who died and was resurrected. The acceptance of Jesus as human and divine is one of the few theological issues I consider immutable. Further, I believe that through a relationship with Jesus we are transformed. This transformation is essential not only for our sake, but others, as it is what changes the world. That is because the world changes through personal relationships that draw both parties closer to God. This belief is why I emphasize relational ministry and authentic discipleship. 

I am a proud Baptist, strongly affirming the four basic Baptist beliefs of soul freedom, church autonomy, religious freedom, and the authority of the Scripture. To this end, I associate myself with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. My positions tend to be moderate, and I regularly acknowledge that no one, including myself, has it all figured out. Above all, I hope to love God, love others, and make disciples of Jesus. That is really all that matters. 

To learn about my ministry philosophy click here.