On July 5, 1954 Billy McClellan was recruited to become the full-time pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Hamilton County, TX. Billy asked Harry C. Wigger, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Santa Anna to ordain him as a minister, with the ordination service occurring on August 11, 1954.

Billy remained the pastor of Providence Baptist Church until July 1956. During his time at Providence, Billy and Joy lived in Brownwood, TX attending Howard Payne College. Billy also worked at White-Wall Floral. During this time, Billy and Joy bought a light green, 1949 Packard automobile .. a “tank.”

Dewey and Lillian Sellers were founding members of Providence Baptist Church, and became lifelong friends of Billy and Joy during this time. Dewey was a farmer and rancher, and Lillian taught junior high math in the Hamilton School District. The Sellers’ didn’t have children of their own, and so enjoyed being adopted grandparents for Russell and Stanley, who were born after Billy and Joy left Hamilton County.