Trevecca Nazarene University

University mourns the death of former president Dr. William Greathouse

Last evening William M. Greathouse, president emeritus of Trevecca Nazarene University, realized completely the meaning of one of his often-quoted verses from the Bible: "For me, to live Is Christ, and to die Is gain" (Philippians 1:21). He died peacefully at his home in Hermitage, Tennessee, at 9:30 PM on Thursday, March 24, 2011. He suffered from congestive heart failure, and his health had been declining in recent weeks.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James Marvin and Mary Juliet Kierolf Greathouse, and his first wife, Ruth. He is survived by his children Becky (Ted) Martin, Mark (Jan) Greathouse, and Beth (Mike Sykes); seven grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren, and his wife, Judy.

“Last night we lost a great leader in the holiness movement. A pastor, teacher, writer, theologian, president of Trevecca and Nazarene Theological Seminary, general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, and a friend to young and old scholars, Dr. Greathouse defined Wesleyan holiness,” said current University President Dan Boone. “His encouraging presence was a gift to all whose lives he touched. His remarkable mind was still expanding and growing even as his body was declining in health.”

Greathouse served as general superintendent from 1976 to 1989. He was a pastor in the Church of the Nazarene from 1938 until 1963, serving in churches in Jackson, Franklin, Clarksville, and Nashville, Tennessee. He was pastor of Frist Church of the Nazarene in Nashville in 1963, when he was elected president of what is now Trevecca Nazarene University. In 1968 he was elected president of Nazarene Theological Seminary, where he served until his election as general superintendent in 1976. A respected theologian and author, Greathouse wrote for Church of the Nazarene publications; he completed a two-volume commentary on the Book of Romans for the denomination three years ago. Trevecca released his biography, Crucified with Christ, in 2010.

Arrangements for his funeral have not yet been completed. They will be posted on this site when they have been decided.