One day in the Spring of 2005, I was walking on the campus of Christ’s Church of the Valley and I saw Pastor Don Wilson greeting people as they were leaving the church services. This was Pastor Wilson’s routine. After giving each sermon, he would walk around greeting people as they left church services. I began to admire this man in his walk with his faith. He was the perfect example of how a Christ follower was and acted. Pastor Wilson did everything in silence, without the need or desire for recognition. He was not the face of the church, but he was leading the church. I have so many fond memories of Pastor Wilson, his wife Sue, and their journey in the founding of Christ’s Church of the Valley over 35 years ago. How does a couple begin a ministry like this continue to sustain it through the ups and downs of life? It takes courage and sacrifice to lead thousands to Christ.
Pastor Wilson’s messages have impacted me in significant ways — from CCV God’s Incredibles, The Passion, The Warrior, David Series, Easter at CCV, Christmas at CCV and Fireproof. These messages all had an impact on the development of my life. From learning to be a leader as a Dad for my kids, to learning from the mistakes of my previous marriage, to being a Warrior in the eyes of God, and valuing that we all are God’s Incredibles because of his creation for our lives. Time after time, Pastor Wilson has been an example of everything I want to be as a man. I can remember profoundly when I lost my dad within months of Pastor Wilson’s losing his dad. It was the worst feeling in the world. I felt so bad and had so much regret, because I felt like I had not shown my late father how much I truly respected him. To this day I am still challenged with regret. I was walking out of service after listening to Pastor Wilson preach one of his outstanding sermons, and he saw me, we briefly chatted, and the following words he spoke have had a continuous impact on my life to this day. “Travis,” he said “hang in there!” His words have been a driving inspiration to help me get through life’s toughest times.
“Travis,” he said “hang in there!”
The entire Wilson Family is worth their weight in gold. As a young man, coming straight home from serving in Iraq, one of my good friends at CCV in 2005, was Paul Wilson. I love this man and his family, including his beautiful wife Paula. I can remember spending time with these guys up at Lake Powell in North Arizona, on the borders of Colorado and Nevada. I would watch Paul preach his sermons just like his dad. I studied Paul, his walk with God, and how he made everyone around him special. He counsels me, he encourages me, and he led me to Christ and getting baptized in 2005, through his works and example. Paul was the most incredible Youth Pastor I have ever seen touch young lives. My late father always told me, find a good Christian friend and follow him to glory. I follow Paul and learn so much, and I am the dad I am in my faith because of Pastor Wilson and Paul Wilson.
Why do I feel this way? God passes the torch in leading me through my walk-in faith, from passing me on spiritually from my late father, to Pastor Wilson and Paul Wilson. They don’t know what they have meant to me, but it has been a joy. Now I am inspired to lead other young men like the Wilson Family has led me. How are you inspiring people to follow you in your walk with God? You can begin by being the example that gives hope to the unbelievers to leading them and seeing them become believers in Christ!
Mrs. Wilson is such an incredible woman, and truly has been a great friend and mentor to me in my life. The Mother’s Day messages were so inspirational to me and connected me to my late mother, who was the most amazing woman God gave to me in the beginning of my creation. When Mrs. Wilson would see me around campus or the coffee shop, she was always warm and gracious in her acknowledgment of me. I can say with honor, she is my best Facebook friend. I am sure she probably wants to tell me to “Cool it Travis, don’t be so Angry”, and she would be right. How do we in life continue to walk our faith without looking back? It is people like the Wilson family that God give us as an example. I am still young, and I place my hope in God, and I lean on his understanding for the direction of my life. Whom shall I fear, for the righteousness is my life, and he is my guide, for I have come to know the Lord for his love for my life and his sacrifice of his son that took my sins away. I have been redeemed!
Thank you, Pastor Wilson and Sue Wilson,
I LOVE YOU!
P.S. Paul: You still cannot beat me in Basketball! Lol haha 🙂