Paul Oliver Nichols

Paul was the husband of Wilma Jean McKeand, daughter of James W. McKeand of Ceredo, WV 1905-1958.

Paul Oliver Nichols, age 100, of Overland Park, Kansas passed away on Saturday, April 15, 2023.

Paul Oliver Nichols, son of Henrietta Louise (Oliver) Nichols and Carl Nelson Nichols, Sr., was born on Sept. 5th, 1922 in Alamogordo, NM and passed from this life on April 15th, 2023 at home in Overland Park, KS at the age of 100 years, 7 months, and 10 days.

Paul was the third of eight children born to Carl and Henrietta Nichols. A few months after Paul was born, the family moved from Alamogordo, NM to El Paso, TX. While living in El Paso, two more children were added to the Nichols family. In December of 1930 during the Great Depression, the Nichols family moved to Hollywood, CA. The Nichols family would reside in California for many years to come, adding three more children to their family.

While in Hollywood, Paul and his siblings took work as actors at the nearby movie studios. For the Nichols kids, acting was a means of providing income to the family as they, like so many, struggled financially during the Great Depression. When Paul was 16 years old, he made the declaration that he wanted to be a preacher. Paul often said, “I used to be in the entertainment business, but I left showbusiness to get into the business of saving souls.”

Paul held his first gospel meeting in 1942 at Montebello, CA at the age 19. Paul would continue preaching the gospel for over 80 years. During his tenure as a preacher, he would spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to all 50 states and 27 different countries, spanning across four continents.

During his early preaching career, Paul traveled the United States from coast to coast, preaching wherever he could. In the spring of 1949, Paul traveled from Ada, OK to preach in Huntington, WV. It was while preaching in Huntington that he met the love of his life, Wilma Jean. Within two weeks of meeting, Wilma and he were engaged. Before they married, Paul warned Wilma that the life of a preacher was difficult, and they may have to endure hardships. Wilma replied, “If you can take it, I can too.” On November 28th, 1949 they were married. Their marriage lasted over 60 years, ending only when Wilma passed away in 2010.

In 1952, Wilma and he would travel by boat from New York to Malawi, Africa where they began mission work in the village of Wendewende. While in Malawi, Paul preached the gospel and converted many souls to Christ. The work Paul started in Malawi over 70 years ago still continues as a result of the efforts of many. From 1952 to today, there have been over 4000 churches of Christ registered with the Malawian government.

In the US, Paul worked with churches in California, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas, and more. From 1994 to the end of his life, Paul was the acting evangelist at the Stony Point Church of Christ in Kansas City, KS. Paul’s preaching has impacted thousands of people the world over, touching many generations of Christians, and winning countless souls to Christ by his influence.

Paul had many and varied talents in addition to preaching. He was a musician and taught vocal music schools. He hosted religious radio shows. He was an artist, a mechanic, and a carpenter. He was also a pilot and flew his last plane at the age of 98.

Paul leaves behind two daughters, Paulette Moran and her husband Mike of San Diego, CA, and Cheryl Harris and her husband Kevin of Overland Park, KS; three grandchildren, Vanessa McGarth (Dan), Marcus Moran, and Cameron Harris; two great grandchildren, Liam and Brennan McGarth; two siblings, Betty Middick of Harrisonville, MO, and Richard Nichols and his wife Joy of Springfield, MO; one sister-in-law, Earlene Nichols of Anderson, MO; and countless other family, friends, and Christian brethren.

Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma J. Nichols; his parents; and five siblings, Louise King, Charlie Nichols, Ray Nichols, Nelson Nichols, and Ed Nichols.

Paul’s century of life has had a broad reach and resounding impact on many. The world will surely miss him.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Nichols family.

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