Published in the May 28, 2020 edition.

LAWRENCE — The Reverend Doctor Steven Ray Wigall, 69, was born in Lindsay, Calif., on April 15, 1951, son of Donald and Irma Wigall. He entered God’s Kingdom on April 23, 2020 from natural causes in Lawrence. He is survived by his wife of nearly 47 years Loleata Bunton Wigall and son Martin Ross Wigall. Lolly and Steve hosted exchange students who are also family; Anke Breusing, Tuija Karanko, Jose Aceituno, Konstantin Guericke, and Synnove Haga.

Steve graduated from North High School, Bakersfield, Calif. in 1968. He attended the Bible Institute of Los Angeles University from 1968-1970. He earned his bachelor’s degree in World Religions from Stevenson College at the University of California Santa Cruz in 1972. In 1973, he earned a teaching credential from the California State University at Bakersfield. He and Loleata Bunton were married on June 9, 1973.

Steve earned two master’s degrees from Princeton Seminary, New Jersey (M. Div., and M. Th.), in 1977, and 1978 before becoming the first full time pastor at the Presbyterian Church of Millstone Township, N.J. While at Millstone, he earned a teacher level certificate for Jin Shin Do (acupressure), and a certificate of Spiritual Direction from the Guild for Spiritual Guidance. He served as pastor for 10 years before moving to Lawrence to earn his Doctorate of Theology from Boston University School of Theology in 1998.

Lolly and Steve were active in Presbyterian Marriage Encounter, providing weekends all over the country, and serving as the National Clergy Couple for one term. Steve worked as a Direct Care Provider and his last degree was an associate’s degree from Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill.

Steve became involved as moderator at the Gay Christian Network website. As a result of his work with couples, he wrote “Preparing for Christian Marriage.” It is the only workbook and counseling book designed to help pastors and LGBTQ couples wanting to marry.

Steve was known for encouraging people to grow spiritually and emotionally. He had tremendous compassion for others. He was known for his theological discussions with his ability to integrate different traditions into a faith firmly based in Jesus Christ. He had joy even in his health difficulties, and he was known for his generosity, his thoughtful intellect, and encouragement of others to fulfill their dreams. He will be missed. When it is safe to gather, we will have a Celebration of Life.