Oxford Hospice announces the addition of Rev. Dr. Bill Christman, pictured, as hospice chaplain, with responsibility for meeting the spiritual-care needs of patients and families facing life-limiting illness. Christman will serve the Joplin area in conjunction with Oxford’s team of nurses, social workers, aides, trained volunteers and other hospice professionals to provide comprehensive end-of-life care.
“Hospice is concerned with the well-being of the whole person, including the spiritual dimension,” said Christman, who also serves part time as pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Baxter Springs. “I feel it’s a privilege to offer spiritual support to patients and families and to work in the hospice movement with Oxford,” he said.
Christman is well known locally as a minister; member of the Christman Department Store family, which owned Joplin’s largest dry-goods store from 1890 to 1955; and as the 2003 Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen of the Year, a designation he received for his founding membership in the Joplin Community Health Clinic, which has given free treatment to thousands of patients, and his assistance in establishing the Joplin Children's Haven, which gives accommodation to children who are at risk.
As a Presbyterian minister, Christman has spent much of his career leading congregations in Scotland, where he served in multi-racial, multi-religious, center-city areas of deprivation; helped to refurbish a hospice building while serving as a volunteer hospice chaplain; and, in 1991, became National Prison Chaplain for the Scottish Prison Service and the first full-time Protestant prison chaplain in the country. Twice Christman was invited to preach at Crathie Church and enjoy the hospitality of Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle.
Christman received his bachelor’s degree in ministry from University of Edinburgh, New College, Scotland; his doctorate from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Texas; and a Fulbright fellowship to Harvard University School of Education.
Christman’s biography is included in every edition of Who’s Who in Scotland since its initial publication in 1981 until 1992, when he, his wife and two daughters returned to the U.S.