A native Texan, Larry Willis was born and reared in Dallas, Texas. He is the oldest child of Theo Willis, Jr., and Birdie Bell Bowens Willis. He has three sisters and one brother, all of whom live in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area.
Larry attended public school in the Dallas area and served his country for five years in the United States Air Force, stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, Rapid City, South Dakota.
Larry responded to God’s plan for his life by accepting the call to a preaching ministry and making his first public declaration of that call at the Southern Baptist Retreat at Glorieta, New Mexico, in July, 1989. He preached his first sermon at Keller Springs Baptist Church, Carrollton, Texas in October, 1989, with a plea to all to “Share Jesus Now, Receive Jesus Now”.
His stated desire is that “Believers come to know the breath, the width, the length and the depth of the love that Jesus Christ has for us.” His life passage is I Chronicles 28:20, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.”
Reverend Larry Willis is a graduate of Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where he received diplomas in Christian Education and Advanced Christian Education in May, 2003.
He served as Minister of Education at Keller Springs Baptist Church in 1990-1991. In 1991 the family united with Westside Baptist Church. Reverend Willis began a part-time position as Minister of Education in 1993 at Westside, while maintaining a fulltime position at Xerox Corporation.
In the Fall of 1998, Westside voted to hire him as fulltime Minister of Education. He began that role in January, 1999. He was promoted to Assistant Pastor in 2003. He served at Westside Baptist Church until 2007 in a full-time ministry position.
He was voted as full-time Pastor of Morse Street Baptist Church in October, 2007.
He has been married to the former Doris Marie Turner since 1985. Doris is employed as Director of Training and Quality Assurance at a Dallas area company. In addition, she has served along side her husband in ministry for more than 20 years, in the various areas of Christian education, including working with Child Evangelism Fellowship as a teacher and an instructor of teachers; women’s Bible study and discipleship leader, Vacation Bible School director, Sunday School teacher and leadership trainer, and WMU conference leader and speaker.