An Update on Dr. Self

Dear Church Family,
Bill and I want to thank each of you for your support, and especially your prayers, for the Self family, lately. This has been (and still is) a strange and scary journey, and would be impossible to maneuver without your love and prayers.
Bill’s back surgery last fall, brought to light more serious problems. Since March, we have been sent, literally, all over Atlanta in search of a definitive diagnosis for his failing use of his legs, voice, balance, etc. After ten doctors/tests, the definitive diagnosis came by way of a phone call on April 23rd. As you know, it was devastating to know that Bill has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) for which there is no cure. Physical therapy, voice and swallowing therapy, started immediately. The best thing that has happened…and we credit your prayers…came about when we were accepted into the Emory ALS Clinic with Dr. Glass (well known internationally) and the ALS Association. Karen went with us for the first appointment, and from the minute we stepped into the reception area, on June 9th, all three of us felt a sense of calm, and caring. Every staff person was kind and gentle.
Dr. Glass explained a lot of what we can expect and offered help in the form of the ALS Association by providing information, and many other ways of helping. The kindness, honesty, even the physical touch, lifted our spirits. As you can imagine, we have been emotionally on a roller coaster…and I do not do well on a roller coaster! Every hour seems to have been a struggle. Bill has good days, and some not so good. He is still voraciously reading all those books in his library. His voice fails him, especially late in the day, or when he is over-tired. Of course, this limits his normal social activities. His happiest times are when Carter or Benjamin come by for a visit, or for heavy lifting I need. And of course, as always, Karen and Bryan always are available for anything we need. Our oldest son, Lee, will be coming for a visit in the next few days, and we look forward to being with him. Your cards and notes are so appreciated (they are read and re-read).
We are so blessed to be loved, and cared for by such a dear church family. Our family…all the Selfs’ love and appreciate all of you. May God be with each of you and richly bless you.
Carolyn and Bill Self

26 Comments. Leave new

  • Damaris Rivero
    June 17, 2015 3:33 pm

    We love you both…stay strong!
    That’s what you have taught us….

  • Jean & Ben Ward
    June 17, 2015 5:32 pm

    We are so blessed and thankful to have had you as our pastor . Sending love ‘& prayers daily ‘

  • David Pierce
    June 17, 2015 7:14 pm

    Dr Self and Carolyn,

    The amount of love and dedication to God’s Kingdom so many have received through your family is immeasurable. It’s just very difficult to express how much we love and appreciate what you stand for and what you have done for so many people! Our family is currently and has been so blessed by you and we appreciate you so much. We are praying for you and your family. God’s Love is never ending and boundless, you have told us that many times. David, Kelly, Chelsea and Garrett Pierce.

  • Darlene & Jeff Barnwell
    June 17, 2015 8:04 pm

    Dr. & Mrs. Self,

    Jeff and I as well as our entire family, including my parents – Pat & Janice Vinson – continue to pray and think of you both daily. Tomorrow we send our two youngest off to college. So hard to believe. We joined JCBC when the twins were about 18 months old. Zach and Trey are now 19 years old and heading to Statesboro to GSU. Jason, my oldest, was recently accepted into graduate school at UGA. He’s joining the School of Forestry. Tori, my only girl, is now 21 years old and is going into her senior year at UGA studying Spanish and International Affairs. Wow – so Jeff and I are empty nesters. So now that we are beginning a new part of our lives, we fall into the arms of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for comfort and support. Jesus has you both in His arms, so now you can both rest in His Mercy. God bless you both.

    The Barnwell Family

  • David and Jane Brown
    June 17, 2015 9:57 pm

    Dr. and Mrs. Self:

    From the moment I stepped into Wieuca Road Baptist in college, met my wife Jane on outreach night in the Peachtree Room, to the Nearly Wed Class and Newly Wed Class on to Sunday nights and “it’s been a good day” all the way to JCBC with our first child and then our second you have both been a guiding light and a huge influence on our lives. Please know our continuous prayers are with you and know that we send our love and appreciation for all you have been to us and so, so many.

    The Brown Family
    (David, Jane, Sean and Brittany)

  • Gina and Wesley Flowers
    June 17, 2015 10:40 pm

    Please rest assured that no matter how ALS affects your voice now, Dr. Bill Self’s voice will ALWAYS be heard loud and clear in the hearts and minds of his church family. This (and every) Father’s Day I hear it telling the story of Atticus Finch — and Scout being told, “Miss Jean Louise, stand up! Your father’s passing by.”

    We are all “standing up” now with you and lifting prayers for you, Carolyn, and the family.

  • Barbara Reynolds
    June 17, 2015 10:43 pm

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Lots of love and hugs.

  • Hatcher Hurd
    June 18, 2015 4:02 pm

    Bill, I know you and Carolyn are being bathed in the love of JCBC, but I just wanted add my sprinkle to the tide. I always enjoyed the conversations we had (too few) as JCBC grew and grew. You have always been an inspiration to me for your straight-shooting approach to life and relationships. You have touched people in countless ways.

    With love and affection,

  • Rustin, Cynthia, Tiffany and Natalie Holder
    June 18, 2015 6:22 pm

    You touched our lives many years ago. Our thoughts and prayers are with you now.

  • Dianne Otwell
    June 18, 2015 10:24 pm

    So sorry to hear of all of these frightening health issues! I will be lifting you both, and all who care for you, to the Lord. (I do so hope Bill can keep reading his books!)

    Dianne Otwell

  • Dear Dr Self:
    I have known of you and your many accomplishments even many years back in the 60’s and 70’s at Weiuca Road Baptist. As far as I am concerned, you built the ground work for the Mega churches of today before it was even fashionable. You have touched so many lives for the Kingdom of God it is just phenomenal. I am sure if they thought about the influences they saw in the Baptist faith, famous local pastors like Dr. Frank Cox and Dr James Merritt would have to thank you for all the ground breaking work you have performed during your impressive career as a Pastor and Evangelist. So many have come to the Lord from your challenging ministry. Maybe God’s plan is to reveal a cure for ALS to heal your body. I know of all people, you are definitely in God’s hands. However, I don’t feel God is done with you yet and the amazing ministry you have made for the Kingdom of God. I am very aware of this disease, one of my favorite Uncles died several years ago from ALS.
    I feel very honored to have the chance to reach out and claim God’s healing ability to wrap you in his arms and heal you! Know that in my heart I claim God’s healing hands and pray for that healing and easier times ahead. You have been an amazing blessed man, and still will reach many more. May God bless you for many years to come, “His Good and Faithful Servant.”
    Carl Seale, Lawrenceville, GA

  • Nancye Glenn
    June 19, 2015 9:46 pm

    Bill you and your family are in my prayers daily. It is a long and hard fight. God will be with you. Prayer Hugs to you all.
    Love, Nancye

  • Beth Royalty
    June 19, 2015 9:57 pm

    You are all very much in my prayers during this tender time. Thank you for sharing this difficult news. I pray that you continue to see the surprising ways and places you are blessed by God in all of God’s fullness. I hope you find joy in every day.

  • You remain one of the most influential men in my life, thank you. Shirley and I continue to remember you in our prayers, daily. May you and your family feel confident in God’s abiding presence.

  • Ann (Claypool) Beard
    June 20, 2015 12:26 am

    Dear Bill and Carolyn, I echo the sentiments of your countless concerned friends and devoted admirers and add my faithful prayers for you to theirs. I am so very sorry you are experiencing all these challenges and most grateful that you are in Dr. Glass’ and his staff’s good care at Emory. I’ll continue to send much love and to lift you in constant prayer. God bless you both. xox

  • Jennifer Sparks Wolcott
    June 20, 2015 8:10 am

    Dear Dr. Self:
    We are praying for you. You have been such an inspiration to me and my family for many years. You are loved and cared for by all of us.
    The Sparks and Wolcott families

  • Suzanne and Tony Petrucelli
    June 20, 2015 8:22 am

    Bill and Carolyn,

    So sorry to hear about your diagnosis!! You are both inspirations to so many people. We cherish the memories of you at Wieuca Baptist. Our favorite memories are of Sunday Night Services, where Bill always said with the lowered lights, “It’s been a Good Day”! We lift you up in prayer for healing and comfort. May you know even though you are not here physically at Wieuca you are definitely here in spirit. Your legacy lives on.

    Love, Tony and Suzanne Petrucelli

  • Warren Fields
    June 20, 2015 3:06 pm

    God be with you in all the days that lie ahead. I am so grateful for our friendship over so many years. I remember well our time of service together at FBC Chamblee and the groundbreaking ceremony at Johns Creek. We cleared some weeds and set up our tent on the plot of ground now occupied by JCBC. As I recall, we could see nothing but trees and weeds in any direction. What a blessing it was for me to serve under your leadership in that period of transition from Chamblee to JC.
    Grace, mercy, peace and healing from God our Father in the glorious name of Christ our Savior and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
    Love to you and Carolyn from Warren and Bobbie

  • Barbara Hawkins
    June 20, 2015 4:43 pm

    Dear Dr. Self,

    You were the only speaker I NEVER cut when you spoke at convocation at Wesleyan from 1962 – 1966. You were the BEST!

  • Jim & Barbara Ambuehl
    June 22, 2015 8:55 am

    Dr. Self & family:
    We live in Colorado and are the parents of Courtney Collins. We had the pleasure of attending JCBC on several occasions and really appreciated Dr. Self’s sermons. We will keep Dr. Self and the entire family in our prayers.
    May God Bless You.
    Jim & Barbara

  • Phil and Dot Heard
    June 24, 2015 10:52 am

    We joined Wieuca when we moved to Atlanta in 1975. Our whole family agreed the first time we visited that this was the church for us. Thank you, Dr. Self and Carolyn, for your anointed ministry to us and thousands of others. Our son Tom and his wife were members later at Johns Creek. Our heart-felt prayers will be with you during this challenging journey.

  • I don’t believe there is no cure of a disease in this world. Scientists do not find the medicine yet. However, besides the medicine I believe there is a healing process by praying to god. God will make something impossible to be possible.

  • Anne Jones (from NC)
    July 29, 2015 1:48 pm

    Needless to say, one of the issues of being all the way off in the foreign land of NC is staying in touch. But God has his own way of keeping us together as a family so I send up my words and HE hears them and HE is the one who binds us as “family” – a word often mentioned by Bill himself! So this part of the family of JCBC joins with everyone else in praying for Bill and the Self family as this last test lies in Bill’s path. That road does have the most blessed of “depots” and the “waiting room” at the end is glorious! But not yet, please. We need Bill here for a while!
    Anne Jones, Charlotte NC

  • Randy and Candy Macon
    August 24, 2015 10:22 pm

    Candy and I pray for both Dr and Mrs Self. They played and important part in our lives while in college at Wieuca. We were married by Dr Self and ordained by him. I was baptized at Wieuca. Dr Self baptized my dad. Our ministry began with our nurture at Wieuca under the leadership of Bill Self thank you for your mentorship all these years. We love you both and will continue to pray for you both.

  • Bill and Carolyn,my dear friends You have filled the void in my life and with Sam’s when he was with us. I pray and will continue to pray God will fill the voids in your lives. I know,without a doubt that He is always with you both. It is so good to know you have such excellent medical he

    My thoughts and LOVE are with you always.

    Mallie (AKA) Lib Gilliam

  • Annelle Woolley Jones
    September 17, 2015 9:24 am

    Thank you, Dr. Self, for marrying my husband Phillip and me at Wieuca Baptist Church on December 10, 1988. I’m probably the only bride who was ever late to her own wedding and who dropped her flowers in the middle of the ceremony. You gently placed your hand on mine to let me know the flowers were fine on the floor. We lost you for a while when we moved away, but found you again at John’s Creek. Of course you know our marriage “took” and we’re growing old together. I wonder how many marriages you performed, and how many are growing old together today. We are praying for you. Keep smiling that wonderful smile!


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