Reverend Robert Mullis
Reverend Robert Mullis of Fruitland Park went home to be with the Lord on November 27, 2017 at the age of 79 following a brief struggle with the effects of a stroke and kidney failure.
“Buddy,” as he was known to his family and friends, was born in Miami, FL on December 29, 1937 to Otis and Clara Mullis as their only child. After graduating from Coral Gables High School and attending the University of Florida for one year, Buddy was led to a saving knowledge of Christ by his lifelong friend and fellow pastor-to-be, Bruce Foss. He felt called of God to become a pastor, so he enrolled in Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO. While there, he met Norma Faye West and they were married in 1960. “Fayo,” as Buddy lovingly called her, remained by his side in family and ministry until she passed away in 2011 following a long battle with cancer.
Upon graduation from BBC in 1961, Buddy returned to his home church, New Testament Baptist Church in Miami. Under the direction of his pastor and mentor, Dr. Al Janney, he spent one year training to become a pastor. When he was ready to start his own church, he and Dr. Janney first looked at Gainesville. But while driving back to Miami, Buddy fell in love with a little town called Leesburg, which at the time, only had one traffic light. Buddy and Norma soon returned to Leesburg, and on April 14, 1962, Calvary Baptist Church held its first service. Buddy became the first pastor to start his own church as a direct result of being trained by Dr. Janney at New Testament Baptist Church. Calvary Baptist Church was incorporated on February 8, 1963 with 23 charter members.
Calvary Baptist Church was founded on the principles of a strong belief in the Bible as the true, infallible Word of God, soul winning and discipleship of believers, and a strong worldwide missions outreach. Buddy has seen countless numbers of men and women who grew up in the church go on to their own full-time service in various aspects of ministry. Through his leadership, the church has given millions of dollars to missionaries and missions organizations who are spreading the gospel of Christ, both in the United States and in many foreign countries.
Calvary Baptist Church has been at five different locations throughout the years, including its current location on Eagles Nest Road, where it has been since 1988. Buddy remained as pastor of the church from its inception in 1962 until December 31, 2013 (over 51 years). At that time, he turned the leadership of the church over to Ken Dembeck, who had served as his faithful assistant pastor for 25 years. Ken remains the senior pastor to this day.
Buddy was loved by his family and friends. He is survived by his loving wife, Gay of five years; a sister-in-law, Carole Raffaello of Benton, LA; two sons, Bob (Valerie) Mullis of Royal Palm Beach, FL and Scott (Cindy) Mullis of Ayden, NC; two stepsons, David (Stefanie) Woosley of Chattanooga, TN and Allan (Valerie) Woosley of Louisville, KY; one stepdaughter, Amy Woosley of Lady Lake, FL; ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be Saturday, December 2nd from 9-10:15am at Calvary Baptist Church. A funeral service will be held at 10:30am at the church, with Dr. Al Janney officiating. Burial will follow at Shiloh Cemetery, Fruitland Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Baptist Church, 3740 Eagles Nest Road, Fruitland Park, FL 34741.
Arrangements entrusted to Beyers Funeral Home and Crematory, Leesburg.