Reflections of Rev Tatum’s Life
Reverend William McKinley Tatum known as Bill, Pop or Dub, was born February 18,1929, in Elkhart, Texas. He was the fifth child born to the late Robert and Janie Tatum.
We entered this year, 2021, with much confusion, political unrest, a pandemic and other adverse social climate, but early in the morning, on January 8, 2021, Rev. William McKinley Tatum was washed, and the angels came to take him home to Glory where he entered eternal rest. On that eighth day he began his life with Deity.
Rev. Tatum graduated from Henry High School, Elkhart, Texas in 1947. After graduation, he moved to Dallas, Texas and was briefly employed at Southern Methodist University. He later moved to Kermit, Texas in 1948 where he was employed as an orderly at Winkler County Memorial Hospital. He eventually settled in Odessa, Texas in the late fifties. He was employed as a battery an electric mechanic at Chambers Battery and Electric and later Norman’s Battery and Electric. He eventually opened Tatum’s and electric where he was self-employed until he retired in 2019. Before his health began to fail him, Rev. Tatum enjoyed fishing and always in quest of landing the “elusive big one”. He also took great pride in his Pitmaster skills. He was most in his elements when his friends would stop by the shop and talk and reminisce just about life.
Rev. Tatum accepted Christ as his personal savior at an early age. He became a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Elkhart, Texas and was baptized in the holy spirit. He started singing Gospel Music in his teenage years. He formed a gospel ensemble and sag gospel music at school and local churches. After moving to Odessa, his love for Quartet music led him to three organized groups where he was one of the lead singers with The Prayer Wheel Spiritual Singers. The Southern Jubilee Quartet and The Mighty Tones of Joy. This deep- seated love for Gospel Music was the catalyst that eventually led him to be called to preach. He accepted his first church in Monahan’s, Texas, where he presided over two years. Later he became pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Odessa, Texas where he pastored for thirty-two years until he retired from the ministry.
He was united in marriage in 1948 to Earline Tatum. To this union three children were born: Jerry McKinley Tatum, Linda Thompson, and Glenn W. Tatum. Later he was married to Mrs. Susie Faye Tatum and Mrs. Erma Lee Tatum.
He was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Janie Tatum, three wives: Earline Tatum, Susie Faye Tatum, and Erma L. Tatum. Four sisters: Vitoria Matchett, Eliza Tatum, Rudy Williams, and Robbie Williams M. Tatum; two brothers: Nathaniel W. Tatum and Dan W. Tatum and son, Jerry Tatum.
Rev. Tatum leaves to cherish and honor his memory; two daughters: Linda Thompson and Stephanie Thomas (Wayne); one son: Glenn Tatum; one sister Esther M. Clewis; one brother; Louis D. Tatum; one son-in-law; William Skinner; Thirteen grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends.