William T. Gibble became NBA’s second full-time president in July 1971, serving for 11 years. He had grown up in a Disciples parsonage, attended TCU, and served as a pastor in Texas and Missouri, as well as a chaplain with the 9th Armored Division of the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II. Gibble was involved with a variety of Disciples boards and committees, including the NBA Board, UCSM, Home and State Missions Planning Council, and the Commission on Brotherhood Finance.
Words used to describe Gibble and his NBA presidency: “active,” “risk taker,” “visionary,” “a treasure, a great joy to work with.” Gibble was remembered “rushing through airports, trying to respond to ‘every window of opportunity’ that came to NBA.” He believed strongly in expansion; “the needs are growing…the church cannot sit still in its ministry…The new administration set out immediately to put NBA’s house in order and to prepare for advance.” (Inasmuch, p118.)
John Norris, NBA’s third treasurer, closed the single general operating fund, and each home became responsible for its own operation; those without positive balances closed. He revised the central accounting system and implemented more timely financial reporting and policies for bequests and reserve funds. In 1971, Leon Whitney joined the staff as NBA’s CFO, serving for 30 years. The same year, NBA created the Department of Service to Congregations, “to motivate congregations to be involved in local social and health services, to train volunteers and develop and implement such ministries, and to assist in evaluating existing and new programs.” (Inasmuch, p118, 125.)
Gibble retired in June 1982. During his tenure, “some of the most dramatic changes in NBA’s first century had taken place”: facilities increased from 20 to 42 campuses; corporate assets grew from nearly $28 million to nearly $78 million; and the annual budget increased nearly four-fold, to $24 million. “Most significant of all, the number of persons served had increased from 1,935 to 7,360 per year. Gibble had personally increased Disciples awareness of people’s needs. But more importantly, he had led NBA in empowering congregations and regions to develop their own programs in social and health services.” (Inasmuch, p130.)