Many people come and go in your life. Few of them will have a lasting impact.
I met Dr. Bill Wilkerson during the summer of 1994 while living in Lugansk, Ukraine. My family in Texas had put together a suitcase and the team from First BC of Henderson brought it. (Small world: the Wilkerson’s son attended the same church as I did in Wichita Falls.)
Bill joked with me about how heavy it was. It was the first stuff I received from the US while on the field in 1994. It was stuff well appreciated and needed (Mexican food was the main stuff!!!).
Bill and his wife, Melba, led many teams to Lugansk in those years. Their church, First Henderson, sent a couple, Al and Carolyn, to live there for one year. Even with him being diagnosed aplastic anemia, he didn’t give up and kept going.
Throughout his life he dedicated much of his free time serving in the international community in South America, Africa and Europe. God used him greatly on those trips.
One of my fondest memories is a trip he made with 3 other men from First in the fall of 1995. In his carryon, Bill brought some frozen beef brisket from Sadler’s BBQ, which is located in Henderson. (A side note: the Sadler’s are long time members of First as well…)
One evening, after a very long day of ministry, we pulled out that brisket and enjoyed a wonderful meal of brisket. I can almost taste the BBQ now… makes me wish I had some!
On trips to Texas, I always made my way to Henderson for a couple of days visit. I always stayed at the Wilkerson’s home (on a bed that had at least 15 pillows, right Melba???). Bill and I would sit for hours just talking. Bill loved to talk and I enjoyed listening.
The Wilkerson’s and Parker’s were instrumental in my returning to America to attend seminary and returning to the mission field with the IMB. Click here to read his obituary.
I am sure that Bill is now enjoying his new home. Bill won’t soon be forgotten.