Rev. Benjamin Wilmer “Bill” Inghram, a member of one of the city’s historic families has passed away at the age of 88 after a long illness.
His family was the founder of St. Paul AME Church in San Bernardino and he was a retired A.M.E. pastor. There were no big I’s and little you’s in his life. Everyone was important and if you knew him you thought you were special. One job he worked at before being called into the ministry was a custodian for San Bernardino Unified Schools. He was well loved by those who knew him and had the opportunity to work with him.
Inghram was the second child born July 22, 1922 to Ben and Letitia Inghram in San Bernardino, California. Inghram, as he was called in those days attended Harding Elementary School, Sturges Junior High School, San Bernardino High School and San Bernardino Valley College.
Inghram achieved prominence in football and track in junior and senior high school where he set records in track in the Citrus Belt League.
After a short employment at the Santa Fe Railroads and Harris Department store, Inghram was drafted into the Army in 1942 where he served in North Africa and France with the 780th Police Battalion.
After his discharge, Inghram returned to San Bernardino and soon met a young lady by the name of Billie Mae Childs. They wed in 1946 and Carl Clemons his childhood friend as his best man. From that union, two children were born, Alfred Jerry and Ronald LeRoy Inghram. His former wife, Billie Mae Inghram, his son Ronald LeRoy and his siblings Carl and Bernice Inghram preceded him in death. Inghram accepted Christ as his personal Savior at an early age at St. Paul AME Church and lived as a devout young Christian with the determination to become a minister.
Inghram later attended Los Angeles City College, the University of Southern California, University of Redlands, California State University, San Bernardino and California Baptist College. He received a degree from Biola University Bible College.
Inghram worked in the San Bernardino City Unified School District as an instructor for developmentally disabled adults, and taught at the Inland Empire Job Corp. In 1957, Presiding Elder A.K. Quinn assigned Rev. Inghram to Bethel AME Church, Barstow, where he served for 40 years. A shepherd who was loyal, dedicated, and devoted to “his sheep” never wanting to leave them.
He was an Instructor for the Board of Ministerial Training for 3rd year studies. On September 24, 1978, he married Jeanice Clark, who he affectionally called “Honey.”
Through that union he acquired three children, Christopher Laing Clark, Crystal Lynne Clark, and Jeanette LaVonne Clark.
On February 24, 2011, Rev. Inghram completed his Christian race, leaving to cherish his loving memory, his devoted wife of 32 years Jeanice Esther Inghram, two sons Alfred Jerry (Toni) Inghram of Phoenix, AZ and Christopher (Daphne) Clark of Coral Springs, FL; two daughters Crystal (Larry) Nash of Colton and Jeanette “Little (Phillip) Florence of Rialto; eight grandsons, 13 granddaughters, six great granddaughter, seven great grandsons, one God daughter, Deloris (Fred) Leister of Victorville, four aunts, his beloved Aunt Dorothy Inghram of San Bernardino; Esther Battey of Compton, Eva Williams of Los Angeles and Leona (Clifford) Prelow of Carson and countless relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held Friday at St. Paul AME Church beginning at 11:00 a.m. with Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry giving the eulogy.
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