Bill Bigger ’85

Rev. Dr. William “Bill” John Bigger, 56, was welcomed into his heavenly home on May 1, 2019, after a short battle with brain cancer. His faith in God and devotion to his family carried him through this struggle and ultimately gave him peace.

Bill was born to Dr. John Bigger and the late Sarah “Sally” Bigger on January 22, 1963 in St. Louis, MO. He is a 1985 graduate of Davidson College with a BA in religion, and a 1990 graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with an MDiv. He earned his Doctorate of Ministry degree from McAfee School of Theology, Atlanta, GA in 2008.

Bill served as senior pastor at Hope Valley Baptist Church in Durham, NC since 2012. Pastor Bill previously had the honor of serving at Enka Baptist Church, Drexel First Baptist Church, Briarcliff Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church of Rome Georgia. His professional ministry began in 1985 as a US-2 missionary in Charlotte. It was during this time that he met the love of his life, Leigh Thompson. They were married in February 1987. 

Bill was a pastor truly gifted in caring for others. He was kind, compassionate, soft spoken, and self-sacrificing. Bill helped raise his two children with patience and humility, helping with their homework as well as coaching and cheering them on in their sports endeavors. He loved walking his dog Sammy and serving with the youth and children in his church. His greatest love was playing with and bragging on his grandbabies Clara and Isaac. 

Bill was blessed with a large and loving family. He is survived by his wife Leigh; his son Matthew William Bigger (Lauren); his daughter Kaylee Bigger Kuzbary (Daniel); his two precious grandchildren Clara Marie Bigger and Isaac William Bigger; his father Dr. John Bigger and Carolyn “CJ” Bigger; his siblings Bob Bigger, David Bigger, Robbie Bell, and Buffie Harper and their families; Leigh’s parents Dan and Sara Thompson and his 8 brothers-in-law and 8 sisters-in-law.

He also leaves behind 16 nieces and nephews and 11 great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Sally Bigger.

Clements Funeral Home in Durham, NC is handling funeral arrangements. Receiving of friends and family will take place at Hope Valley Baptist Church in Durham, NC on Saturday, May 4th from 5pm until 8pm. A memorial service will take place on Sunday, May 5th at 4pm at Hope Valley Baptist Church. Officiants will be Rev. Dr. Christopher Ingram, Rev. Dr. Steve Bolton and Rev. Amy Herring. A fellowship meal will be served for all family and friends following the service.

An additional memorial service will be held at Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC on Tuesday, May 7th with Rev. Bobby Morrow officiating. There will be a receiving of family and friends from 2-3 pm and a service to follow at 3pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to Hope Valley Baptist Church: 6900 Garrett Rd, Durham, NC 27707.

The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc. in Durham. Online condolences may be sent to