Dr. William "Bill" David BowyerJuly 1, 1953 ~ May 22, 2017 (age 63)
Dr. William “Bill” David Bowyer, 63, met his Savior face- to- face as his faith became sight on May 22, 2017. Born in a small town in southern Illinois, Bowyer attended Southern Illinois University. While attending college, he demonstrated both a servant’s heart and his call to ministry by serving simultaneously as the church janitor and student minister. After graduating from SIU, Bill moved to Fort Worth, TX to attend seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. While there he met Deana, his loving wife of 39 years. God would later bless Bill and Deana with two sons, Jacob and John.
Just after seminary, Bill pastored Royal Oaks Baptist Church in Dallas, TX, for six years. God would then lead him to Effingham, Illinois to pastor that city’s First Baptist Church. Bill then served Rock Hill Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO for 11 years. His final ministry assignment was serving as pastor of Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC for the past 19 years.
Bill’s greatest passion in ministry was telling others about Jesus. Regularly witnessing to others in his neighborhood, at restaurants, and throughout Wake Forest and Raleigh, Bill modeled an “as you are going” lifestyle of sharing Christ with others. However, his faithfulness in sharing Jesus wasn’t limited to his immediate surroundings. He was passionate about taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth – doing personal evangelism, training national pastors and church leaders, and being an encourager of full-time missionaries around the world. During his 40 years of pastoral ministry Bill led 43 mission teams to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in places such as El Salvador, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary, Azerbaijan, and Russia.
Bill was also a faithful Southern Baptist pastor, committed to the Cooperative Program, the IMB, NAMB, SBC seminaries, and the Southern Baptist Convention in general. He firmly believed Southern Baptists could do more together than separately. Bill labored to serve His Lord through sacrificial service with the SBC and its entities. He held multiple positions with the annual Convention meeting and was chosen to be a trustee of both Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Bill also served as the Chairman of the Search Committee that recommended Dr. Jason Allen to serve as the president of Midwestern Seminary. Under Dr. Allen’s leadership, Midwestern Seminary is enjoying the most fruitful days of its kingdom ministry.
Perhaps Bill’s most significant contribution to the work of God’s kingdom is his relentless investment in the lives of those who were called or mentored under his ministry. Hundreds of pastors, church leaders, and missionaries across the country and around the world were blessed to have had their lives impacted by Bill and his ministry. Whether it was early morning breakfast meetings, round-table lunches, Sunday evening training sessions, and even having men accompany him on funerals/weddings/mission trips, he used these opportunities to share, challenge, and teach. From simple everyday conversations or incisive counseling by phone regarding “emergency” church situations, these men were better equipped, and the churches they serve more effectively shepherded due to Bill’s faithful example and wise nurturing.
To describe Bill is to tell of a loving husband, a faithful father, a committed pastor and churchman, a diligent mentor, and a faithful friend. Yet, above all of these admirable traits, it is to tell of a man who loved Jesus His Lord, and one who passionately desired that others would come to know and love Him in the same way. Now, Bill is face-to-face with the Lord he so deeply loved and so faithfully served.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Evan E. Bowyer and Christine H. Bowyer; brother, James E. Bowyer. He is survived by his wife, Deana; sons, Jacob Bowyer (Beverly) of Raleigh, NC, John Bowyer (Meghan) of Nashville, TN; granddaughters, Harley and Joules of Raleigh, NC; brother, Tim Bowyer (Jan) of Newnan, GA; a loving church family, and a long list of young ministers and missionaries who were called and/or mentored under his ministry.
Visitation with the family will be held Friday, May 26, 2017 from 5:00 – 8:00pm at Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church, 3328 Forestville Road, Raleigh, NC. A Celebration of Life service honoring Bowyer’s life will be held on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 2:00PM at Binkley Chapel on the campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Dr. Danny Akin will officiate. A graveside service will follow at Pine Forest Memorial Gardens. Please omit flowers. Memorial contributions may be made to the Bill & Deana Bowyer Moldova Legacy Foundation at 716 Barley Green St Wake Forest, NC 27587. This is a 501(c)(3) foundation.