Monthly Archives: November, 2012

Homegoing of a Saint: Rev. Willie D. Wanzo, Sr., Milwaukee, WI

Rev. Willie D. Wanzo, Sr. passed on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 at the age of 86 years-old. Rev. Wanzo was the pastor of one of Milwaukee’s most prominent Black churches, Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church for four decades.

The church draws 500 plus for Sunday service weekly along with programs such as dishing up hot meals for those in need twice weekly. Rev. Wanzo moved to Milwaukee in 1951, arriving from his birthplace of Pine County, MS. He joined Metropolitan under the leadership of Rev. A. W. Wise, serving as a deacon, assistant Sunday School teacher and Supervisor.

Rev. Wanzo accepted his call to the ministry in 1955 and he served as assistant pastor of the church from 1955 to 1972 under the late Rev. E. M. Kelley. He was appointed interim pastor in August of 1972 and installed as pastor in August of 1973. He studied at various instititions including the Milwaukee School of EngineeringMATC. The American Baptist Institute of Chicago, The MoodyBible Institute and the Christ Church.

Rev. Wanzo was married to Gladys Wanzo for 54 years, and they were blessed with five children: Cassandra, Cathy, Regina, S.M. Sgt. (retired) Willie Wanzo, Jr. and Marcus Wanzo.

Homegoing of a Saint: Rev. Michael K. Wilson, San Diego / Oceanside, CA (UPDATED INFORMATION)

by Robert Earl Houston
(updated November 7, 2012)


This morning I was awakened by the sad news that Reverend Michael K. Wilson, former pastor of St. John MIssionary Baptist Church of Oceanside, CA and New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church of San Diego, CA went home to be with the Lord on Friday, November 2, 2012.

I met Rev. Wilson many years ago when I arrived in California in 1991. He had grown up in ministry at the Calvary Baptist Church of San Diego under the ministry of the late Dr. S.M. Lockridge.  When I moved to San Diego, I would run into him at various Progressive District events and we worked together in the cabinet under the leadership of Dr. Clyde Elliott Gaines. I was Corresponding Secretary/General Secretary and he was Recording Secretary. He would eventually become Vice Moderator under the leadership of Dr. G.A. Williams.

He was also a friend to my wife and her family. For several years, he lived in Sacramento, CA and was a member of Shiloh Baptist Church, under the leadership of Rev. Clifford W. Cheathon, Sr.

His services are pending. We certainly want to express our condolences to his family, church members, and friends.

“Earth has no sorrow, that Heaven cannot heal . . .”


Michael Keith Wilson
Michael Keith Wilson
May 2, 1960 – November 2, 2012

Michael Keith Wilson was born May 2, 1960 in San Diego, CA to Joe Glen Wilson and the late Rubie Lee Wilson. Almost five years later, his parents brought home a baby sister, Valerie Rachele, but he wanted a brother. It didn’t take long, he changed his mind and learned to love, protect and lookout for his little sister.

Michael and his family were all members of Calvary Baptist where the late Dr. S.M. Lockridge was the pastor. He accepted Jesus Christ as his savior at a young age and was baptized on February 5, 1967 by Rev. Lockridge. He loved, admired and respected Dr. Lockridge for his leadership and knowledge of the Word of God.

As a young man, Michael was active in church. He was a member of the Youth and Junior Usher Board, the Youth Choir, and was a Sunday School Department Secretary. Twice as a teenager, he won the State Oratorical Contest held by the California Missionary Baptist State Convention. Continuing into his adult life, he remained active in church organizations. He held several offices in the District Association, State Convention and the State Congress. He also served as 3rd Vice Moderator for the Progressive District Baptist Association.

Michael received his primary education in the San Diego Unified School District. He attended Henry Knox Elementary, Loma Portal Elementary, Collier Junior High School and graduated from James Madison High School in June 1978. While in school, he was a member of Ozzie’s Marching Band and Madison High School Marching Band. He was a skilled musician and played several instruments. During high school he excelled in sports. He played basketball, but his greatest love was football. Michael received a scholarship to Long Beach State, where he continued to play football. He had a dream to one day play in the NFL. He received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration with a double major in Management and Marketing.

In January 1983, Michael announced his calling to the ministry and preached his first sermon in July 1983 at the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, California where Dr. Solomon L. Drake is the pastor. He was ordained by Pastor Drake on November 7, 1984.

On June 9, 1984, Rev. Michael Wilson and Renee A. Beverly were united in Holy Matrimony in Los Angeles, CA and he became Daddy to Anthony “Tonee” P. Sherrill, II. This union was blessed with two more sons, Andre Rene Wilson and Austin Keith Wilson.

He attended Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA from 1985-1986, where he began his studies for his Master’s Degree. He also studied at the Golden State School of Theology in Oakland, CA and most recently Andersonville Theological Seminary online curriculum.

Rev. Wilson lived and worked in several cities. He and his family moved to Bakersfield, Los Angeles and then to Sacramento, CA. He worked as a Revenue Officer for the Internal Revenue Service. After the death of his mother, he and his family returned to San Diego. He worked as a Claims Adjuster and Supervisor in the Insurance Industry, a Council Representative for the late San Diego City Councilman George Stevens; he served as Executive Director of the Urban Housing Corporation for the San Diego Urban League. Over the years, he became very active in the community serving on numerous boards, neighborhood organizations and political groups.

In December 1994, Rev. Wilson was called to become pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in San Diego, CA. He served faithfully and proudly as Pastor for 14 years.

On January 16, 1999, Pastor Wilson and Patricia Anne Rawls were united in Holy Matrimony and he welcomed his new family members: Andre Sturkey, Cianna Sturkey and Bethany Williams. This union was blessed with one daughter, Dominique Patrice Wilson.

In January 2009, Pastor Wilson accepted his second call as pastor at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Oceanside, CA. He had a great love and respect for the former pastors of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Thomas W. Davis and Pastor Anthony C. Frazier. He served in the church and community faithfully.

In addition to his ministry, Rev. Wilson had a love for outdoor sporting activities. He loved to go fishing and just relax. His favorite experience was the annual Deer Hunting Trip in November to Seguin, TX with his father and brother-in-law. It was a great time to bond and share family time with the men in his family.

Rev. Wilson loved the Lord with all of his heart. He was dedicated to his ministry and Christian service. He was a blessed man having had tremendous experiences and relationships with many people.

On Friday, November 2, 2012, Rev. Michael Keith Wilson was called home to his resting place. He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Patricia Wilson; his father, Joe G. Wilson; godmother & aunt, Rosie D. Fitzgerald; Seven children, Andre Sturkey (Kimberly), Tonee Sherrill (Rhasaan), Andre Wilson, Cianna Sturkey, Austin Wilson, Bethany Williams and Dominique Wilson; grandsons Khyri Wilson and Judah Sturkey; sister, Valerie Morris, brother-in-law, Brian Morris; nephew, Kendrick Morris, niece, Valencia Morris, god sisters & cousins, Carol Williams and Vanessa Brown and many Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Friends.


Reverend Michael K. Wilson was born May 2, 1960 and went home to be with the Lord on November 2, 2012.

Homegoing Services for Reverend Michael K. Wilson have been announced as follows:

Friday, November 9, 2012
Viewing – 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Chapel of Preferred Cremation & Burial
6529 University Avenue, San Diego, California 92114

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Viewing – 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Services begin at 11:00 a.m.

Bayview Baptist Church
Dr. Timothy J. Winters, Host Pastor
6126 Benson Avenue
San Diego, CA 92114

Reverend James L. Moore, Pastor of the New Paradise Baptist Church, will deliver the Eulogy.

Dr. G.A. Williams, Moderator of the Progressive District Baptist Association, will be the Officiant.

Condolences may be sent to Bayview Baptist Church or Preferred Cremation & Burial.
FAX Condolences may be sent to: (619) 584-7030

Services entrusted to Preferred Cremation and Burial, San Diego, California.


November 8, 2012

The Family of Reverend Michael Keith Wilson
c/o Preferred Cremation and Burial
6529 University Avenue
San Diego, California 92115

Dear Patricia Wilson, Joe Wilson, and the Wilson Family,

We are saddened to hear of the homegoing of our friend and brother, the Reverend Michael Keith Wilson.  Please know that you have the prayers and spiritual support of this Pastor and Congregation.

Please allow me to call him what I called him all of the years I’ve know him, “Michael.” Michael first off was a “Lockridge Man” – he loved his pastor Dr. Lockridge. He quoted him. At times preached like him. Sometimes even talked like him. He loved his pastor. Even years after his passing, he revered him in death.

Michael was a “Churchman.”  Michael loved the Lord’s church, the Lord’s worship, the Lord’s preaching, and that extended to the District, State and National. Because of his work and family obligations he was not always able to attend, but he would always call to find out how the meeting went, who preached, how they preached, throw in a quick debate, and when’s the next meeting.

I had the privilege of seeing him a few months ago when I was visiting the West Coast. He was smiling as always, talking about Church, the Conventions, etc. However, knowing that he is in the presence of the Lord gives our hearts great comfort. We sorrow in his death, but we rejoice in his new life. We mourn his passing, but we celebrate his commencement. We remember his steps on earth, but we find solace in knowing that he now walks on streets made of gold, lives in a promised mansion, and has received his crown of life.

May God bless your family and the fraternity of preachers to which Michael belonged to and held membership. I regret that I’m unable to be with you due to previous commitments here, but know that I’m praying for your strength and the preaching ministry of he who will preach words of solace and strength.

It’s All About HIM,

Pastor Robert Earl Houston
Senior Pastor


Michael Wilson

How to Apply For a Church (Friendly Advice)

by Robert Earl Houston

This site is one of the first and certainly now one among many that offer a listing of African-American Baptist Churches that are looking for a pastor. I want to attempt to say a few things about the application process as it relates to this site:

a.  We DO NOT accept any resumes or issue any verbal invitations on behalf of any church – period. Every posting has a method of contact with the individual church. Frankly, I don’t need to know how long you’ve been in ministry, your desires, etc. Contact the local church ONLY.

b.  We DO NOT refer or endorse any candidate to a church. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a call from a Pulpit Committee and they’ve said, “Rev. XYZ has your name listed as a reference” and I haven’t either seen or spoken with that person either before or in years. In order for me to provide this service, I have to do so without ulterior motives and so I cannot do so, risk my integrity, by endorsing anyone to a church. Especially nowadays with so much foolishness happening in pulpits, if I don’t know you, it’s not in your best interest nor in the best interest of a church to endorse you or “set up an appointment.” (Obvious exception is for the sons and daughters of First Baptist Church).

c.  If you intend to apply for a church – get your stuff together. It doesn’t make any sense to apply for EVERY CHURCH that you find on the internet. God is not that schizophrenic that every church is for you. Be careful. Some churches are traditional and they want to stay there. Some churches are making transitions to new styles of worship. Some churches have no intention on joining this or that group. And, very importantly – learn how to put together a good resume before you send it off to a church. And for the love of the Lord, please learn how to spell and use english correctly. If I were advising a pulpit committee, if you misspelled “church” or “Jesus” or “resume” – you would be disqualified. If you offered a church a “vision package” that you have never seen before, never visited – you would be disqualified. One size does not fit all church.

d.  Pray. When I candidated for a church in Southern California, a dear friend of mine, Bishop Kenneth Spears, Sr. told me something I will never forget: “Rob, pray. He who prays the most . . .” And here I am, 17 years later giving the same advice – pray. Don’t pray “Lord, send me to this church.” No, that’s a selfish and self-motivated prayer. I believe a better prayer is “Lord, if it’s your will, and it will be a blessing to that body of believers, Lord, I am available to you.” I have discovered that pastoring is not about skill sets.

I candidated for a church once and it was between me and another minister. He did everything he could do to politically win the “election.” The problem was I was looking for a call, he was looking for an election. Big difference. He won the election. I accepted the Lord’s will in the matter and today, the Church is a shell of what she used to be – because of God’s ALLOWABLE WILL. Sometimes God does not send the best qualified nor the best equipped – sometimes He sends someone for His own reasons to enter the church into a rough season. Again, pray.

Because I did not win that election, God opened a door for me at Morris Cerullo World Evangelism in San Diego, California.
Because I did not win that election, God allowed me to candidate and then withdraw from the process in Central California at a wonderful congregation.
Because I did not win that election, God opened a door for me in Nashville, Tennessee.
Because I did not win that election, God opened a door for me in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Never go to a church because of an election. Go to a church because of the call of the Christ. He will make a way.

Again, I provide this service to be a blessing to the body of Christ. I try to keep the list as current as possible and I can tell you that most churches “settle in” for the winter and pulpit vacancies are few in the winter, but after the first of the year, after the holidays, Pulpit Committees get cranked up. I pray that you will submit yourself to his will in this process.

The Obituary of Rev. Danny Kirk, Sr., Fort Worth, TX

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

A loving husband, father, pastor, mentor and friend, Danny Kirk Sr., 53, of Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church in Forest Hill, cared for and loved so many, finished the 18th hole and went home to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. Celebration of life: Noon Saturday at Great Commission Missionary Baptist Church, 7700 McCart Ave., Dr. Douglas Brown, officiating, and gracious host, Pastor Derek Winkley, eulogist. Pastor Kirk will be entombed next to his daughter, Dannyell, in the mausoleum in Cedar Hill Memorial Park.

Visitation: Those wishing to pay respect to Pastor Kirk may do so 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday as he rests in repose in the Veronica Chapel at Gregory W. Spencer Funeral Directors and may visit 4 to 9 p.m. Friday at the church that he loved and labored for, Greater Sweethome Baptist Church, 7312 Forest Hill Drive. Pastor Kirk was a man after God’s own heart and served the people and community of Forest Hill with love and respect, where he never met a stranger and God planted a vision to organize the Greater Sweethome Baptist Church in 1995.

Pastor was a devoted golfer, and every free moment he wasn’t laboring in the ministry, he tried to go and tee off with his fellow pastor friends.

Survivors: Those left to cherish his loving and precious memories are his loving wife, Lady Lori A. Kirk; son, Danny “DJ” Kirk Jr.; mother, Bernice Kirk; parents, Melvin L. and Octavine McClendson; brothers, Earnest Kirk (Adeilla), Benell Kirk (JoAnn); sisters, Claniel Thomas (Pastor Willie R.), Lenell Kirk-Hall, Beatrice Gardner (Hugh), Shirley Ann McCullough; his Greater Sweethome Baptist Church family; and a host of other loving relatives and friends.

Barack Obama for President

by Robert Earl Houston

FRANKFORT, KY – I will be entering the voting booth just one block from my home on Tuesday morning to exercise a right I’ve possessed since May 17, 1978 – the right to vote. To me it is a sacred honor.

The premier election matter is the choice of a President of these United States who will lead us from January 2013-January 2017. I am voting for Barack Obama.

Since his entrance into national politics a few years ago, President Obama has yet to be the recipient of what our forefathers called “the loyal opposition.” Instead his Presidency has been haunted by those who sought his demise on day one. The GOP has yet to reach their hands across the aisles to work with the President who came into the office with a strong mandate only to see it circumvented by an angry and disenchanted Republican Party, which contains a sizeable portion of either those who are racist or racist in their actions, words and deeds.

Never in our nation’s history has the President been so disrespected. As an African-American male who has been in Christian Denominational life with the Southern Baptist Convention, in the workplace, and in corporate America – racism yet lives. However to hear our nation’s so-called leaders blatanly disrespect him, the Party of Lincoln resembles more of the Party of Bull Connor. Let’s call the roll, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michele Bachmann, Richard Land, Mark Levin, Billy Graham, and others, who are so desperate to get the President out of the White House, that they will support a member of what used to be an SBC and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association group that was labeled a cult less than a year ago, to the point of now they are hair-splitting for the appearance of some theological discourse on “theological cult” vs. “social cult.” It’s gobbledy-gook, malarky and another term that I will not use here that rhymes with “Mitt” in the same basket.

I don’t agree with President Obama carte blanche. But I didn’t agree with every President from 1978 until today. I had issues with Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, and yes, President Obama. However, my differences, whether they are political or theological, does not make me myopic and those are on the GOP Far Right, like former Governor Mike Huckabee, needs to understand that I’m not going to vote against someone over one issue. This is not a one issue election, no matter how people try to spin it. I’m not that stupid to accept the premise that God is going to take into account my vote for eternity. If that’s the case, the Children of Israel all should be in hell right now for supporting a King form of governance when God had set up, which were Judges.

I believe that President Obama inherited a mess. Any reasonable person understands that when you move into the White House in January of 2008, and discover the nation is embroiled in two non-paid for wars, economic failure, and the verge of economic collapse of several industries – no one person can get this reversed overnight, especially with a hostile minority then majority House of Representatives who seek sound bites instead of solutions. However, he has been able to stem the bleeding from the recession, jobs are rising slowly – but that beats the alternative, and for the black community – he has been the paragon of virtue as a husband and a father.

I don’t argue that Mitt Romney has been a great father to his children as well. But there is a trust factor that I cannot get past in order to give Mr. Romney the keys to the White House. I don’t trust him when it comes to upholding the Voting Rights Act. I don’t trust him when it comes to keeping Medicare and Welfare viable. I don’t trust him when it comes to dropping nuclear bombs on the Middle East. I don’t trust him when it comes to promoting “American Exceptionalism” over sovereign nations. I don’t trust him over including any African-Americans or Hispanic-Americans in any meaningful cabinet positions. I don’t trust him to be a world statesman instead of a gaffe prone insulter of the highest order with our friends. I don’t trust him to tell the truth. I don’t trust him to really support Israel when his own religion teaches that the center of the spiritual universe is not Jerusalem but Salt Lake City. I don’t trust him to press for Federal monies when the next disaster takes place.  I don’t trust him to reach out to the poor and the needy, but instead of sustaining or enhancing what is commonly called “Obamacare” – I expect him to dismantle, destroy and not replace it, so that things go back to the “same-o, same-o” and throw millions off of the damning bus to health care in this nation. I don’t expect Mitt Romney to look favorably or at least with respect upon other religious, other preferences, other cultures, and other opinions in this great country.

The Far Right has not only labeled the President everything but a child of God, but they have chosen a path that leads to destruction. The blatantly racism comments about the President, the rape comments, the hatred of fellow citizens because of their lifestyles, the inference that every policy of the President is socialist, and the fact that the GOP is in the backpocket of millionaires and is no longer the Grand Old Party. It’s not grand when they hate blacks, hispanics, fear-mongering, lies, voter suppression, etc.

So, I’m supporting the re-election of President Obama. While this nation is going through a seismic re-alignment that my pentecostal friends would call a “shift” – it doesn’t make sense to change Commanders in Chief at this time. There is a cultural shift occurring in this nation and I believe that as this name experiences change numerically, culturally, educationally, and in so many other ways – I’d rather have a level head on the deck instead of a Chicken Little who cries, “the sky is falling” when it’s not falling.

I’m supporting the President.

The Obituary of Julia Elizabeth Monie Griffin

First Baptist Church is saddened by the homegoing of our member, Sis. Julia Elizabeth Monie Griffin. Her homegoing services will be held on Friday, November 2, 2012. Visitation is from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Homegoing Service begins at 12:00 Noon. Pastor Robert Earl Houston will be officiating. 

Julia Elizabeth Monie Griffin, was born to the union of Will Berry and Emma Monie.  She entered this life on February 28, 1933 and went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on October 30, 2012 surrounded by her loving family.

Julia professed her faith in Christ at an early age and joined First Baptist Church, under the pastorate of Rev. R.E.S. Utterbach.  She sang in the Women’s Choir and Young Adult Choir.  She was instrumental in the remodeling of the restrooms in the Fellowship Hall and remained a member until her death.

She was educated at Rosenwald School and graduated from Mayo-Underwood High School.  Julia was gifted with a beautiful voice and sang throughout her younger years in her high school Glee Club and at First Baptist Church.  Julia was also a member of the gospel group “The Harmonettes,” which performed in churches throughout Kentucky during the 1950’s.  In later year, her favorite past time was talking on the phone into the late hours with her cousin, Mabel Conda.

Julia retired from Kentucky state government after 20 plus years.  She also worked at the Stewart Home for over 12 years.  She was a life member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post 9235, which she faithfully supported.  She was a member of the Franklin Co. Senior Citizens.

She leaves to cherish her memory four devoted children who were the delight of her life, James (Barbara) Monie, Albert (Roxanne) Davis, Robert Griffin and Varita Griffin; brother James (Patricia) Monie; Sister, Emma Tillman; Seven grandchildren; Seven great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Julia was preceded in death by her parents, son Dennis Griffin and her brother William Monie


by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

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