A Missourian originally, Bill holds degrees from numerous academic institutions. He was ordained as a minister in the United Methodist Church and served as a pastor in Missouri and Maryland before being commissioned as a Chaplain in the United States Air Force. He spent twenty-six years on active duty, retiring in 1980 in the grade of colonel. Following this, he pastored in Texas for many more years. He and his wife, Pat, of sixty-one years have three children and eight grandchildren.