While living in Rochelle, TX and pastoring the First Baptist Church of Rochelle, Billy attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX.

During this time, a businessman and rancher named Mr. Bond who lived near Rochelle contributed a stipend to help the McClellan family ride the train back and forth between Rochelle and Ft. Worth each week. Billy, Joy, and baby Russell would catch the train in Brownwood on Monday evening, stay in Ft. Worth until Friday evening, and ride the train back to Brownwood. During one trip, the train whistle woke baby Russell who exclaimed “I hear choo choo!”

The family moved to Cranfills Gap, TX in August 1959 where Billy pastored until January 1961. In January 1961, the family moved to Georgetown, TX where Billy pastored the Crestview Baptist Church until July 1964. While in Cranfills Gap and Georgetown, Billy commuted daily to Ft. Worth for seminary studies.

While Billy was a seminary student and the family lived in Rochelle, Joy took piano lessons at Southwestern Baptist Seminary. When the family lived in Cranfills Gap and Georgetown, Joy taught second/third grade and worked as a homemaker. She also played the piano and organ for church services and other meetings. To make ends meet, Billy periodically took a second job at a nearby planing mill and worked nights making wood trim.

In January 1962, Billy was awarded a baccalaureate degree in divinity from Southwestern Baptist Seminary.