The Rev. Bill McCord gets chided about being retired. His standing response is, "Being retired means I only have to work 40 hours a week, instead of 60, but I now have weekends off."
McCord, 74, is frequently kidded because he is still active with the First United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Men's group and recently started putting in time with Citizens for Affordable Housing, Inc.
"I enjoy people," he said. "I really like people."
McCord grew up in Oklahoma. He attended Oakland University for his first year of college, then one semester at Oklahoma A&M before dropping out.
"After that, I worked construction in Corpus Christi, Texas. I went back to college in January 1950 - then the Korean War broke out June 25, 1950."
McCord said two of his friends were killed when U.S. Marines entered Inchon, Korea.
"I enlisted Nov. 2, 1950, in the Marines. This was my war. Every McCord man in the family has been in a military battle. I served three years - from Nov. 2, 1950, to Nov. 1, 1953."
After his service, McCord went back to college with the intention of returning to the Marine Corps as an officer. Then he heard a voice.
"I was sitting in worship service in Stillwater, Okla., and clearly heard God say he wanted me to be a pastor. Nobody else heard it," he said with a laugh.
McCord was appointed to serve his first church in May 1954. He was ordained in 1957.
He pastored at Methodist churches in Belmont, Bakersfield and Napa, Calif., before coming to Carson City in June 1987. He retired from First United Methodist Church in Carson City in 1997.
McCord teaches a Bible class, makes hospital calls on request, and fills in as pastor when the Revs. Rob Jennings-Teats or Dixie Jennings-Teats are on vacation.
"I like to preach," he said with a smile.
He also leads a resistance-exercise group and walks four miles a day on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
McCord's newest involvement is helping low-income people acquire a home through Citizens for Affordable Housing, Inc. The United Methodist Men have taken on a partnership with a woman who recently applied for a home, and will help her build it from the foundation up.
"Each partner is required to work 171Ú2 hours per week on the house," he said. "We have 35 members of the church, both men and women, who will help put in the 171Ú2 hours. There are six homes being built in Dayton, and we'll help build all of them."
McCord said Citizens for Affordable Housing, Inc. wants more applicants.
"The low-income in our community have a chance to have their own home, but many don't know this is available to them. They will have a mortgage, and they will have to put in some sweat equity, but it's their house."
All homes are built in rural counties. Carson City, Las Vegas and Reno are not eligible. McCord said anyone interested may call 883-7101. The office is at 307 W. Winnie Lane.
McCord has been married 48 years to Marleba. They're children are Stewart in Sacramento,and Kristin and David, both in Carson City. The McCords have four grandchildren.
"I've always said my vocation, avocation and hobby is the church," McCord said. "It still is.
He agrees on some issues with fellow pastors, but is at opposite ends of the spectrum of others.
"I'm opposed to the war in Iraq. I'm for gay and lesbian marriages. And you have to understand the differences in cultures of that time (biblical) and this time. I've stood on the street corners of Bakersfield with Vietnam veterans who were opposed to the Vietnam War."
Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1223.