Riversides religious community and others recently flocked to Kansas Avenue Seventh Day Adventist Church as they honored their pastor and his family for ten years of service.
Additionally, community leaders came to show their appreciation of a man who kept a city together during a volatile time.
Friday evening guest speakers and associates spoke from their experience and association with Wilson as a fellow member of the clergy, while on Saturday evening, many locals came out to give words of thanks and appreciation for his outstanding work in the community.
Different churches were represented as they extolled the work that Wilson does daily in the community. They spoke of his leadership qualities and how in a time when the community was most vulnerable he stepped in as a leader and provided Christian leadership that kept it together.
Nearly every SDA church in the Inland Empire and San Diego attended. Local universities, both Loma Linda (where he is an adjunct professor) and La Serria brought a message and plaques in recognition of his work.
City of Riverside Councilman Ameal Moore also presented Wilson with a resolution.
Saturday evening speakers included: Rev. T. Elsworth Gantt, Second Baptist Church; Rev. Paul Munford, New Joy Missionary Baptist Church; Minister Vernon Mohammad, Moreno Valley Study Group Nation of Islam; Pastor Anthony Pascal, 16th Street Seventh Day Adventist Church; and Hardy and Cheryl Brown, Black Voice News.
Choirs and soloists kept the church rockin as one after the other answered the scripture that says, "make a joyful noise unto the Lord."
Wilson was the Chairman of the Tyisha Miller Steering Committee.
He was instrumental in keeping the lid on a volatile situation. Also presently he is hosting a community task force to curb gang violence in the Riverside Eastside community.
Each speaker told his or her story of how Wilsons leadership helped in the storm. Black Voice News Publisher Hardy Brown told attendees that he called Pastor Wilson "Luke" after the author of St. Luke and Acts in the Holy Bible.
He said that Wilson was like Luke in his leadership style Luke had compassion and he was concerned for the mistreated, the sick, the bereaved, and broken-hearted. He commended Wilson for stepping up like Luke to do what was necessary in the Tyisha Miller aftermath.
Mohammed lauded the abilities of Wilson and said that he handled things the way Jesus would have. Gantt said he appreciated the way his church came out to support him on this special day and that he admired his leadership style.
Munford said, "I commend him for his visionary leadership in the community as well as in the life of his church and for him taking a lead role in calming the wind of gang violence in the Eastside. He led his church to be sensitive to the needs of others," said Munford.
One person summed up the two day event. Bill Howe used the one word "fabulous," to describe the tenth anniversary of Pastor Jesse and Cheri Wilson.
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