Celebrating the Woman Next Door: Deborah Wiggins

This month, in partnership with AdventHealth for Women, we’re recognizing some of the women in our community who are selflessly giving to others while raising families, supporting their loved ones and/or building their careers. Whether they know it or not, their stories inspire other women near and far.


Meet Deborah Wiggins

Deborah Wiggins has served at The Hope Church for 38 years and has had the honor for the past 21 years of serving under the leadership of her husband. Besides being the First Lady of The Hope Church, she is the Chief Administrative Officer, the Director of Hope Cares, and the leader of the Sister to Sister Women’s Fellowship. She is also the Leading Lady of the International Bishops’ Conference where she heads the fellowship for the Bishops’ Wives. She is an ordained minister, an author, an entrepreneur, a former TV Personality, widely known as a member of the Current Ladies on Good Life 45 and the Founder of the Washington Shores Christmas Parade and Celebration. Deborah is happily married to Archbishop Allen T.D. Wiggins and is a proud mother of five and grandmother of four. Her family is her pride and joy.

What is your WHY?

My “why” probably goes back to my very young years and has to do with me being a young single mother. I understand how difficult it can be to just navigate life and provide basic needs for your family. I was never homeless or anything of that nature, but I can only imagine that I was probably one paycheck away from being in the same boat, in the same position as some of the people that God has given me the honor of serving.

Have you drawn inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you?

My mother was a teen mom and was unable to raise my brother and me. I was raised by my great-grandparents. It was the most amazing life where I learned about caring and a life of service. I was raised by a family that loved me and cared for me. We always had people in our home that didn’t have a place to go, and they had nothing to eat. It was not uncommon for us to have dinner and have a guest in our home. I learned we are one big community, one big family, and that we have to love and take care of one another. Love is action and not just an emotion. My great-grandmother’s name was Louise Martin, but everybody in the community called her Big Mama. She became Mama for everybody, for people that didn’t have family, that didn’t have a mother. She has always been that example and I credit who I am and how I am to have grown up with such an amazing example.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my family, very proud of the work God allows us to do and the people that He allows us to minister to. I have four sons and a daughter, and I have three granddaughters and one grandson. And when I say I am really proud of my family, it’s not because they are doctors and lawyers; it’s because they are great human beings. They are great people who love each other, and love people who serve right alongside of us in ministry. It makes it a joy to do what we do because they are right there with us every step of the way, helping us to make things happen. The work can be stressful, but I love it and I get to do it with my family.


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Written by Daniel Korentur

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