In October of 1953, after knowing Joy for about a month, Billy asked her to go out on a double date with Joe Allcorn (Billy’ roommate) and his girlfriend. During the date, while sitting in the back seat of Joe’s car, Billy decided to kiss Joy. At the end of the kiss, he intentionally bit Joy’s lower lip, to which she said “That hurt! Why did you do that?” Billy explained that he didn’t want them to get too serious too quickly. Joy retorted “You can be sure we won’t!” Regardless, the two had a fun date which … contrary to Joy’s “biting retort” … was followed by many more dates, and resulted in an announcement of their engagement in January 1954. Billy gave Joy an engagement ring during a special week on the Howard Payne campus called “Focus Week” for which Billy was the co-chairman.
When Joy notified her brother, Jimmy Goodman, of the engagement, he was not thrilled that Billy was a “preacher boy.” Joy’s father, Horace Goodman Sr. was proud, however, that Billy was a member of the McClellan family. Horace Sr. respected the E.S. McClellan family due to his work with the Bethel Baptist Church in Hill Community.
Horace Goodman Sr. was an evangelist in Central Texas during the early 1900’s and had held several revivals at the Bethel Baptist Church.
Horace had met Billy previously (around Christmas, 1953) while Billy and Joy were dating. Horace and his wife, Evelyn passed through Brownwood on a trip. When Billy was introduced, Horace Sr. looked Billy over .. silently, from head to toe, three times … before putting his hand out with a greeting. From that point onward, Billy and Horace Sr. maintained a close and loving relationship until Horace Sr.’s death in 1969.
Billy and Joy were married by Horace Goodman Sr. on August 6, 1954 at the Highland Park Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, TX. It’s notable that the pair dated for about 6 months and were engaged for about 6 months before getting married, even after a “biting” start.