History of the Restoration Movement

Willis Kreager


Life Of Willis Kreager

Willis Kreager was born December 11, 1890 at Sherman, Texas. His parents were John Carey and Nancy Harrell Kreager, farmers. After attending the local public schools he attended nearby Gunter College, then Thorp Springs Christian College, and finally to David Lipscomb College in Nashville, Tennessee. He grew up in a rather large family of five sons and four daughters. His brothers, D.J., of San Angelo, Texas, and Jim, of California are still living (1978). He had the advantage of a Christian home and when he was eighteen years of age became obedient to the Faith during a meeting at the Walnut Street church in Sherman where Foy E. Wallace, Sr., was the local evangelist, and L.S. White was preaching in the meeting. Among others who also obeyed the gospel in this meeting, was Foy E. Wallace, Jr., who was a few years younger than Brother Kreager. Brother Kreager was married and operating a dairy farm at Tioga, Texas when he began preaching at about the age of twenty-five. A burning desire to save the lost seems to have been the reason for his preaching at the first and throughout life.

On the seventh of September, 1911, he was married to Amanda Legate. Four children were born to them. They are: Grace (Mrs. Virgil Bernard), Allene (Mrs. Hayden Pyeatt), Mildred (Mrs. Harvey Elkins), and Willis Kreager. In January of 1929 Amanda died and he was later married to Mattie Francis Hall. Two children, Joyce Shobris, and Nancy (Mrs. Bert Hart) were born of this union. There are fifteen grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.

In the main his work was in the field of “local evangelism,” though he did conduct gospel meetings from time to time. In addition to Tioga, where he started preaching, his work took him to Burkburnett, Colorado City, Carlisle/Price, Gainesville, San Augustine, and Quinlan where he worked with the church that met on the Boles Home campus. All of these places were in Texas.

In the late years of his life he became diabetic and also had some heart problems. The doctors advised him to give up local work, which he did. He returned to Gainesville, where he built a house, and did part-time work with the church in Westminister, Spring Grove, and Calisburg for about five years, then served the Spring Grove church in a full time capacity until the end of his life. On the last day (Oct. 15, 1962) he did what he customarily did, went to see the sick. He had been to the hospital to visit and upon returning home laid down to read the Firm Foundation. Just a few minutes later he was gone to a better world, having had the privilege of working to within about fifteen minutes of the end of life.

He was almost two years beyond the “three score and ten” mark. The body was returned to Sherman where he was born and grew up.

Brother Kreager was known as a tireless and unselfish worker for the Lord, and was a capable local church builder. Just today Perry D. Wilmeth told me of going to San Augustine to conduct a gospel meeting when Brother Kreager was preaching there. He said that Brother Kreager was a tireless visitor of the sick and needy that he knew everyone in that town, and they all knew and appreciated him. He said that he was “a sweet man”. I had lunch today with the venerable Tillit S. Teddlie, who knew Brother Kreager from the days of his youth. He made similar statements about him. More than a thousand people became obedient to the Faith under his preaching, and he helped to influence at least twenty-five young men to become gospel preachers. Surely these things indicate that he was a great and useful man. Though his body became weakened in the last years, his faith and zeal never faltered. To remember such a man is a source inspiration, not only to his children and their children, but to all of us. God will bless his memory, and we hope to meet him again in a better land.

-Loyd L. Smith, Gospel Preachers of Yesteryear, pages 189,190 - Originally appearing in the Christian Worker, November, 1979

Directions To The Grave of Willis Kreager

Willis Kreager is buried in the West Hill Cemetery in Sherman, Texas. Off Hwy. 75 in Sherman, take Exit 58, the Downtown Exit. Travel through the first light (W. Lamar St.{one-way east}) and go to next road, (W. Houston {one-way west}) and turn left. Go under the bridge, and as you do, look off to the left and you will see the cemetery in the distance on W. Lamar St. You will need to go up to S. Highland Street and then turn left. You should see the cemetery straight ahead. It is on W. Lamar St. Go straight into the cemetery at the main entrance and turn to the right as if to go to the offices. However, you will need to stop quickly, at the second section on your left, as the grave should be in a plot on under a large tree.

GPS Location

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West Hill Cemetery


Amanda Kreager

Willis Kreager

Photos Taken Febuary 23, 2012
Courtesy of Scott Harp

Web editor note: In February, 2012, it was my privilege to visit the grave of Willis Kreager. I was invited to take part in the annual Affirming The Faith Lectureship in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Getting into the area early, I was afforded the opportunity to put about 2000 miles on a rental car in order to locate graves of gospel preachers and church leaders of yesteryear in a wide area. My fourth day I was able to visit the grave of E.H. Rogers. Also buried in this cemetery is two more preachers, E.H. Rogers and O.A. Carr. Perhaps there are others.

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