Official Homegoing Services
Obituary of Bishop William C. Oatman, Sr.
Bishop Elect William Charles Oatman Sr., was called home to be with the Lord on September 24, 2018. Bishop was born March 1, 1960 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey to the late Deacon and Deaconess Charles and Leila Oatman. He was affectionately known as “Butch” to all who knew him. Bishop attended Egg Harbor Township Schools and graduated from Absegami High School. He played football, basketball and ran track. Bishop had an affinity for computers and went to and graduated from Devry Institute with an extensive knowledge of not only computers but circuitry.
From a young age, Bishop had an ear for music. He professed that it was a gift from God. A way to give Him glory, honor and praise. At the age of 13 he picked up the guitar. That wasn’t his gift. He could only play 1 song, “Wichita Lineman” by Glen Campbell. The organ began to speak to him around the age of 16. Some of his mentors musically were Thomas Jennings, Bishop Charles R. Lyles and Paul Watson. From the moment he touched the keys, God sealed his gift. To say he was an organist is an understatement. He was “The Maestro”. The sound he emitted from playing the keys would give you peace for your soul. "Peace For My Soul", which was his first professional placement, and was sang and recorded by Edwin Hawkins and the Tri-State Mass Choir. The first church he played for was St. Paul AME in Pleasantville, NJ. From there, he would play at almost every church in the South Jersey area and abroad. He traveled to various countries with the Harlem Gospel Singers and Dr. Beverly Vaughn. Bishop loved choir music. He loved the sound of full voices. He lead numerous choirs including the Youth Crusade Mass Choir, Stockton University’s Ebony Ensemble, Praise Incorporated, United Voices, Revelation 7:14, St. Matthews Baptist Church of Williamstown, NJ, and the Galloway Saints of Redeeming Love Christian Fellowship, Galloway, NJ.
His gift of music was not limited to playing instruments. His reach extended into composing and producing. His talent allowed him to not only write songs for choirs in the tri-state area but he scored music for plays including, “Yes God Is Real”. He taught songs at the Gospel Music Workshop for the Male Chorus, Tri-State Mass Choir, St. Matthews Baptist Church and Union Baptist Temple, Bridgeton NJ. They would go on to record these songs.
Of all the artist that he worked with and wrote songs for, his wife Alicia was his favorite. Alicia caught his eye back in high school at a football game where Bridgeton High spanked Absegami High School. This is a common source of laughter between them. Bishop didn’t think he would see her again. He was wrong. He was the organist at a service and for the first time, he was messing up! He was so mesmerized by her voice. When he went to approach her, the light went off. He realized this was the same woman he saw in high school! They wed on September 5,1992 at Asbury United Methodist Church in Atlantic City, NJ. From this union came 5 children and a plethora of grandchildren. Bishop and Alicia would live out the rest of their lives happily married and working together in ministry.
Bishop accepted his divine calling into the ministry in September of 1981. He preached his trial sermon at St. James Bible Deliverance of Egg Harbor City on December 27th, 1981. Shortly thereafter he began to pursue his ministerial training under the direction and tutelage of the late Reverend Moses T. Walton, DD, PhD. Bishop Oatman further pursued his studies with Dr. Adie Holmes. In 1986, Bishop Oatman was ordained under the leadership of Dr. Alberta Johnson, DD. In addition to his many years of experience, Bishop Oatman also had a great love for Christian education. He believed that one should “study to show thyself approved,” so he continued his studies in Bishopric Counseling with the Last Day Remnant School of Biblical Studies as well as an in-depth study of Systematic and Elemental Theology. The culmination of all his biblical training resuIted in Bishop Oatman proudly receiving his Doctorate of Divinity from Jameson School of Theology in 2013. Bishop Oatman desired to always rightly divide the word of truth. He encouraged others to do the same. As part of The Lord’s master plan for their lives, Bishop Oatman and his wife Co-Pastor Alicia Oatman founded Redeeming Love Christian Fellowship in 2002. The Lord gave him the vision and Bishop Oatman has completed his obedience in carrying it out. Redeeming Love, with its humble beginnings, held its first service on June 16th 2002 in the basement of Bishop’s home. In the matter of two years, the Lord blessed the Redeeming Love congregation to purchase their current facility in Galloway Township, New Jersey in 2004. Currently, Redeeming Love Christian Fellowship is a multi-ethnic congregation catering to the worship needs of not only the African American, but Caucasian, the Hispanic and the Haitian communities as well. Bishop Oatman loved God with his whole heart and had a passion for souls. His love for souls was evident in the ministry’s growth of new converts being added to the church as stated in scripture. Bishop Oatman extended his ministry beyond the pulpit. He has been heard preaching the word of God on radio, and each Sunday the services are live streamed through Facebook.
Bishop was predeceased by his parents, Deacon and Deaconess Charles and Leila Oatman; his biological mother, Geamarice Bumpass; his sisters, Barbara Joy Oatman and Patricia (Pinky) Bumpass; his daughter, Ayana Fletcher; and his uncle, William Bumpass.
He leaves to cherish his memory “the sugar that sweetens his tea” his wife and girlfriend Alicia; his “sissy”, Deborah; his sons and daughters, Geamarice (McKenley), William Jr (Terrie), Lamaar (Mary Ann), Tierra and Brittney; his special sons and daughters, Michael Jones Sr., Earl Fletcher, Charles White, Tanya Campbell, Anita Bailey, Mandy Feigenbaum and many more; his grandchildren, Teryjah, Kandrea, Chase, Aaron, Isaias, Cassandra, Kristina, Kyria, Leylah, Prince William, Jamier, Lamaar Jr, Elijah, Britain, Xavier, Malachi, Tierrell, Kendra, Cori, Trinity, Willow and Marshelle; his Godchildren, Clay III, Diamonique, Michael Jr, and Faith; his extend family, the Bumpass, Dunn, Lark, Singer, Rice, and Murray families. Bishop was the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for the last 20 years. They just didn’t know it.
755 White Horse Pike
Atco, New Jersey 08004
Fax: (856) 336-2098
Orlando G. Covington, Jr., Executive Director, N.J. Lic. No. 4377