Tag Archives: Church

Why I Left The Church of iPhone

by Robert Earl Houston

This week, I severed a relationship that goes back some six years ago. After hearing about the “good news” and hearing others talk about it, I gave my time and attention to the iPhone and trusted in the vision of their “Pastor” – Steve Jobs.

It’s been quite the relationship. Standing in the rain for the latest phone. I remember being in Memphis one year when an update came in and standing in oppressive heat outside to get the latest version. I remember being in Paducah and walking into an AT&T store without any problems and snatching up the latest phone.

I’ve been a great disciple. I converted my wife, several of my friends, even slipped in a reference to my phone in conversations with friends, loved ones, and even people I didn’t know. I remember showing my phone to a grandfather and his grandson on a flight and watching the kid’s eyes light up as I showed him the game, “Stupid Zombies 2” and remember him shouting, “Air Drop! Air Drop!” Ahh . . . Pastor Jobs had me tuning in for his once a year or sometimes twice a year, two hour presentations . . . and of course, his “one more thing” meant something wonderful was about to be announced!

But this week, I left the Church of iPhone. Rather than just to leave without explanation, I thought this might be helpful and explain to the new pastor, Tim Cook, why I left. I’ve been converted to the Galaxy Note 2, and am in the midst of new member orientation, learning all the ins and outs.

First, my Pastor ain’t like my last one.

Pastor Tim Cook is a decent guy, I’m sure. But he just doesn’t have the presence or vision like Pastor Steve Jobs. Pastor Tim looks like a guy trying to be cool, when Pastor Steve was cool. Pastor Tim looks like a guy who took off his coat because it’s hot, where Pastor Steve looks like a guy who woke up, threw on a turtleneck and had no intension of wearing a jacket.

Not only that Pastor Tim has not captured my imagination. I gave him a change. When Pastor Steve died on October 5, 2011 – a memorial service was held and it was announced that Pastor Tim was Pastor Steve’s handpicked successor – but that was not enough.

Secondly, this Pastor lacks vision

The iPhone has become boring. It’s true – it’s still one of the biggest phones out there, but the innovation has been lacking. The speed and camera is sometimes impressive, but the apps look the same today as they did two years ago. The phone is relatively small in this Phablet age. I’m 53 – I don’t need a 3″ phone, I need something I can see and relate to.

Vision brought me to Apple. Pastor Jobs had vision. I can’t even remember the name of the last phone that I owned before iPhone – because I was amazed that I could do so much with this device in my hand. Pastor Jobs kept things hush-hush until he presented the very best. He was like the preacher who never announced before what he was going to preach. Somebody asked him one day, “why won’t you tell us what you’re going to preach on Sunday?” He said, “Well, you might not come because you’ll figure it out and preach it around the block or you’ll say ‘I’ll skip it for a better sermon.”

#3 – My Pastor let’s me have fun

My Galaxy Note 2 is fun. I’ve been on medical leave since May 30, 2013, and I’ve had time, with my leg propped up to see what the phone can and can’t do. I like the fact that my phone doesn’t have to be tethered to my computer to add an app. I like the fact that even though I’m still an Apple person, there are apps that make my Mac and Galaxy Note “talk to each other.” The Samsung folk have got it right. I know, the argument will be made that Apple is “American Made” but according to their own documents, even though their offices are in California, on paper, they are based in Ireland. Samsung is based in Japan. So they’re both non-US companies.

The truth is I don’t want a phone that’s just like everyone else’s. I want a different screen. I want different apps. I want to have fun with my phone. I don’t want a Victorian device that does not allow for some personality. I don’t want to be a lemming, I want to be a sheep. I have different wool, different eyesight, different strengths, different weaknesses. I look for that in my phone. Accept me for my strengths and weaknesses, and show me that I can learn to do or be better.

Hmmmm . . . I also look for that in my Church and Pastor.

Your Comments are Welcome.

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


by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

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