Church to celebrate pastors 40 years of service, 61st birthday

Published 2:48 pm Sunday, November 5, 2017



Russell Wilkins has a desire to use God in every aspect of his life.

And he’s been doing just that — at Saint John Church of Christ in Washington — for 40 years.

Wilkins, the pastor at Saint John Church of Christ, celebrated his 40th anniversary as pastor at his church yesterday, as well as his 61st birthday.

Wilkins said Saint John has given him nothing but good memories, such as taking mission trips to Ghana, feeding the community in parks, debuting 36 affordable housing units for the elderly as part of St. John Housing, debuting the St. John Empowerment Center with fitness center and brand new classrooms and much more.

“I have always felt personally loved, affirmed and supported even when some pockets of the ministry were unhappy for some reason or another,” Wilkins said. “I can honestly say Saint John has never treated me as a ‘paid employee.”

Wilkins said, as a young preacher about 40 years ago, he was called to serve when the former pastor fell ill; after he passed away, he was asked to serve at Saint John. He took the position and never looked back. He said the church’s vision is “to connect all people by building healthy relationships that lead to Christ,” and he believes it’s exactly where he needs to be to live out God’s mission. However, he said God’s mission is much bigger than him or his church.

“The kingdom of God is larger than any local church and bigger than my ‘corner’ of the world.  Whatever we do to advance his cause, I want it to be done to the glory of God,”

Wilkins said his church family has always been supportive of him, and the church members have continuously helped the church succeed through the years.

“Saint John, by the grace of God, continues to demonstrate receptivity to the vision God has placed on my heart. Saint John recognizes that we need to help each other to grow and that everyone has a role to play,” Wilkins said.