Dr. Wilma Norman Bachus was born August 8, 1940 to the union of Leslie Joyner Norman and Jesse C. Norman in Desoto County, Mississippi. Both parents preceded her in death. She was the youngest of five children. Wilma was also preceded in death by three sisters, Thelma Cole, Cora Lucille Jones, and Frankie Edwards.
Wilma’s early education was in the Dean Hill School in Desoto County, Mississippi, and she was later educated in the Memphis City School system; graduating from Geeter High School in May 1958. On August 10, 1958 she married the love of her life, Clemmie Lee Bachus and they celebrated sixty-one years of marriage in August 2019. To this union five children were born: Reginald Emery, Verneda Faye, Clemmie Jerome, Selwyn Quentin and Sonja Willene.
Dr. Bachus was a lifelong learner continually pursuing excellence in education. She earned an Associate’s degree from Donnelly College, a Bachelor’s degree from Ottawa University, a Master’s degree from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and a PhD from Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana.
In 1951, Wilma accepted Christ, was baptized, and began her Christian journey at Dean Hill Baptist Church. She was an accomplished and widely respected first lady who served with grace, poise, and dignity in that capacity alongside her distinguished husband for more than 55 years; 48 of which were at Mount Zion Baptist Church of Kansas City, KS. Further, she served as Sunday Church School teacher and leader, and authored several books and publications. As first lady she was counsel and trusted confidante to many members of the church and countless first ladies across the country. She was an integral contributor to the expansive growth of the Mount Zion Sunday Church School program and led the work of the Sunday Church School Outreach and Teacher Training Team. She also taught Women’s Class No. 6 for 43 years. Dr. Bachus penned and published two books: “Called to the Ministry of Pastor’s Wife: A Perspective” and “The Need for Urgency of Outreach and In-reach in the Sunday Church School”. Additionally, her heart for service extended beyond her home and Mount Zion into the community, which has included work with the Kansas City Baptist Minister’s Wives and Widows, Citizens for Education in Wyandotte County, School Linked Services, Kansas City Literacy, the Turtle Hill Community Association, and as a volunteer in the Kansas City Kansas public schools reading program for elementary children. Dr. Bachus served on the Doctor of Ministry Advisory Commission of Western Baptist Bible College in Kansas City, Missouri and taught several years in the December conference of the Sunday School Publishing Board in Nashville, Tennessee, an auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention USA, Incorporated.
Dr. Bachus loved the Lord with all her heart and has long carried a burden for lost souls. You might find her witnessing to nearly anyone in any setting when she saw the opportunity and sharing the gospel as mandated by the Great Commission given to us in Matthew 28:19-20.
Two of her favorite daily meditational scriptures were Proverbs 3:5-6 and Psalm 119:133. She constantly reminded her family, friends, and loved ones that “Only what you do for Christ will last.”
Dr. Bachus leaves to cherish her memory, her husband, Rev. Dr. C.L. Bachus; her children: Rev. Dr. Reginald E. Bachus (Detra), Chicago, IL; Verneda Bachus, Chicago, IL; Jerome Bachus (Nikki Robinson), Kansas City, KS; Rev. Dr. Selwyn Q. Bachus (Marla), Omaha, NE; and Sonja Bachus, Waldorf, MD. She also leaves her twin brother, Wilson Norman (Mildred), Memphis, TN; two sisters-in-law, Rosie Mae Mosby and Lucille Huggins Smith (Al); brother-in-law, Rev. Johnny Clarence Bachus (Johnella); all of Memphis, TN; and brother-in-law, Herman Bachus (Carolyn), Madison, WI. Additionally, she leaves ten grandchildren: Clemeita Bachus, Rev. Reginald L. Bachus (Brittany), Regina Bachus, Darrian Flint, DeAris Flint, Bria Robinson, Selwyn Q. Bachus II, Bryan Robinson, Myles Bachus, and Justin Bachus; six great grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews, family, friends, and her Mount Zion Baptist Church family.
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