After a long battle with a rare bullous lung disease Bro. William Casivant passed away on Sunday, July 21, 2013 at the John M. Reed Nursing Home in Limestone, Tennessee. He now sleeps in the Lord.
He first wrote to us in 2004 after finding a Bible Basics in the County Jail in Mountain City, Tennessee. Sis. Marilyn Seagoe was his tutor. He was one of our first prison bap- tisms. He always believed in One God and so he did not get attached to other churches. Instead when he was first
in prison he was associated with the Sunni Muslims, studied, and did become an imam and had a group of men under him. Then it bothered him that he may be leading men away from Jesus, so when he found the Christadelphians and learned what we believed, he was very happy. He quit being an imam. Then he took the Exploring the Bible course and then read What the Bible Teaches. He also received various pamphlets from us. Bro. Wes Booker visited him and heard his confession of faith. On September 30, 2004 the chaplain of the county jail walked with Wil- liam across the street from the jail to a nearby church where he immersed William in the Lord. William was allowed to walk across the street to the church just as a civilian would have, without any handcuffs. This surprised him. He was trusted by the chaplain. He served his time in the Brushy Mountain Prison, which has now been closed because it is obsolete. William liked to preach the Word to others while he was in prison. He was released in 2006 to begin his life over. It was rough beginning again and he made a few mistakes, but did find work as a carpenter. He had a degree in welding and was a journeyman carpenter and millwright.
Bro. William was born on December 3, 1962 in Connecticut. He was raised in Florida, lived in Michigan, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Bro. William devel- oped a rare bullous lung disease as a young man. In his twenties he went to the Vanderbilt Hospital where he had half of his lungs removed in hopes it would stop the disease, but it didn’t. His mother died of this disease at 59 and so did another relative. He had a rough life.
Bro. William kept working as a carpenter fixing roofs, decks, and interiors of mo- bile homes. He cut up huge trees that fell over in storms in the area all the while trying to deal with his breathing problem. Sometime before 2004 he said that a doctor gave him five years to live and he lived beyond that. Sis. Marilyn told him that was because God wanted him to learn the Truth.
He hated to go to the hospital when his lungs got worse, because the doctors where he lived at the time (Johnson City, Tennessee) didn’t understand his disease. They treated him like an alien with all kinds of tests. His condition grew worse. He and his wife, Dianne, moved from Johnson City to Bulls Gap and lived in a mobile home in the country. Here William was able to get hospice care. In the beginning they sent over a chaplain to introduce himself to William and that was all. Wil- liam asked him if he had anything else he had to do and the chaplain said ‘No,’ so William invited him to stay a bit. They talked for two hours and the chaplain said he hadn’t run across anyone as educated as he was in a while. He even asked William if he could come back and visit with him again. He never saw anyone so calm and understanding about how his life was going. This made William feel good. He loved to talk about God.
Eventually hospice was not giving William and Dianne enough care. They needed more assistance so hospice made arrangements for them both to be approved to go to a nursing home. William was always looking out for Dianne and wanted her cared for when he passed away. He knew the time was near.
Bro. William appreciated all the help and support that our ecclesia gave to him. He wanted so much to come and meet our ecclesia and to thank everyone personally, but that wasn’t meant to be, although the ecclesia was always in his prayers. He told me once that this was the family he was always seeking to find. He now sleeps awaiting the call of Jesus upon his return to set up God’s Kingdom.
Ted Sleeper (San Francisco Peninsula, CA)