Samuel Douglas Dillard, age 90, of Belton, Texas, died October 5, 2019, at home.
A memorial service will be held at the First Baptist Church of Belton, 506 N. Main Street, Belton, Texas, on Thursday, October 10, at 2 p.m. under the direction of his pastor, Dr. Andy Davis. Family visitation will be held in the sanctuary foyer from 12:30 – 2 p.m. prior to the service. There will be no burial service, for in a final act of stewardship, Douglas gratefully willed his body to the Willed Body Program of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
Douglas was born in Temple, Texas, July 11, 1929, to Clarence “Cy” and Aleene Lynch Dillard. He graduated from Reagan Junior High and Temple High School, then Baylor University in Waco and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Douglas was licensed to ministry at 15 and ordained at 17 by Memorial Baptist Church, Temple. As a student, he served as pastor at Pendleton Baptist Church and School Creek Baptist in Lampasas County. His ministries also included service as youth evangelist and minister of education at several churches before launching a career in religious public relations.
Douglas operated a public relations and advertising firm known as Ministry of Ideas before becoming president of a management company that specialized in fund-raising for non-profit organizations. He won numerous awards and was listed in Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who in Public Relations, and PR Blue Book. He spent four years in an international business, where he was editor of the Texas International Business Directory, a monthly news magazine on world trade, and an online electronic bulletin board on world trade that pre-dated the rise of the Internet. He retired in 1995 as vice president for the Radio and Television Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, where he directed public relations, direct mail, marketing, graphics, and printing for radio and television programming that reached an audience of more than a half-billion persons in 87 countries.
In 1993, he received the Baptist General Convention of Texas Communications Award for outstanding contributions to the religious life of Texas through communications media. In 2002 the Dallas Chapter of Religion Communicators Council, of which he was a founding member and past president, presented him with the Norvell Slater Lifetime Achievement Award.
Douglas was widely known as a cartoonist and banquet speaker. He published three collections of his cartoons, illustrated several other books and award-winning filmstrips, and for more than 30 years published weekly editorial cartoons in The Baptist Standard and other religious news magazines. His beleaguered pastor character, “Brother Blotz,” has been viewed on the walls and in newsletters of thousands of churches. One of his editorial cartoons won a Freedom Foundation Honor Certificate.
After retiring, Douglas returned to Bell County in 2007 to marry his childhood sweetheart, JoAn Musick Flowers, and spent the rest of his life joining in her volunteer and philanthropic support of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belton Christian Youth Center, Texas Baptist Children’s Home, Hope Pregnancy Centers, Helping Hands, the J.A.I.L. Ministry, Friends of the Lena Armstrong Public Library, First Baptist Church Belton, Belton Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, and Central Texas Master Singers.
Douglas is survived by his wife JoAn Musick Dillard of Belton; sister Doris Dillard Edwards and brother-inlaw Marshall Edwards of Blowing Rock, North Carolina; son David Dillard and daughter-in-law Karen Dillard of Plano; daughters Debbie Manns of Georgetown and Donna Pool of Round Rock; twin stepsons Randy and Ricky Rubendall, ten grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Marah Martin Dillard.
He requested that memorials be given in his memory to the charity of your choice.