News Death Notice

WILSON, John A. after living over 100 years on this earth, has now received his eternal reward and is with His beloved Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His earthly life was brought to a close on November 7, 2012. John Wilson dedicated his life to the God who created him and to the Christ who redeemed him and called him to be a minister of the Gospel. John Wilson was born on August 30, 1912, in Maryville, Missouri, to Charles and Lois Wilson, the third of six children. When he was five, the family moved to Corning, Iowa, where they attended the Federated Church. He was a graduate of Corning High School, in 1930, and attended his first year of college at Park College, Kansas City, Missouri, to study for the Presbyterian ministry. During that summer, while selling Bibles door to door, he met a minister, Mr. C.C. Kleckner. He challenged this young Bible salesman to look deeper into what the Bible taught about salvation and the church. In August 1931, John Wilson was baptized into Christ. He was also introduced to the Cincinnati Bible Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio, and challenged to go there to study for the ministry. Twenty days after his baptism, John Wilson left for Cincinnati in a Model-A Ford he purchased for $15. Without any money and having never seen the college, he began his studies in 1931. He graduated in 1934 with an A.B. degree. He began a student ministry in Taylorsport, Kentucky, followed by a 9½-year ministry with the Bridgetown Church of Christ in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Wilson was then called to be the minister at First Christian Church in Springfield, Ohio, in August of 1944. He served 45 years as their preaching minister and continued teaching, visiting the sick and conducting funerals and weddings as long as his health permitted; a total of 67 years. During those years of ministry, Mr. Wilson led the church in spiritual, numerical, and financial growth. More than 100 young people went to Bible colleges and are serving in full-time ministries. Seven new congregations were established in the Springfield area and other locations. The church had three major building programs at their first location on 311 West High Street. One of the major emphases of the church was their missionary ooutreach. They have supported missions in many countries and given millions in financial support. Brother Wilson was well known and loved in Springfield, as he was always available to call on the sick and to comfort hundreds of families in times of death. He officiated at over 1,500 weddings, marrying not only the young couples, but later their children and even their grandchildren. He truly was a pastor to all who called upon him. In addition to his busy ministry, Brother Wilson served as professor of Personal Evangelism, Missions, and Christian Life classes at The Cincinnati Bible Seminary for 36 years. He was also a trustee of the college for 32 years, giving sound counsel and encouragement to the school. The college, now known as Cincinnati Christian University, conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in May 1975. The University also established The John A. Wilson Center for Urban and Global Outreach. He was recognized as God's Honored Servant in 1987 by the North American Christian Convention and was inaugurated into the Senior Adult Hall of Fame in 2002 by the Christian Benevolent Association. He has been honored by the Exchange Club in Springfield. Throughout his ministry, Mr. Wilson preached scores of revivals and taught seminars and classes on evangelism, missions, and marriage. He was instrumental in helping to start Butler Springs Christian Camp and Retreat Center in Hillsboro, Ohio. Preceding Mr. Wilson in death were his first wife, Leta (Wolverton) Wilson; two daughters, Kathleen Kay Wilson and Joanne (Wilson) Trude; and a great-grandson, Jason Trude, his parents, Charles and Lois Wilson; four sisters, Pauline Trumbo, Louise Trumbo, Dora Mae Wilson, and Catherine Barker; and a brother, Seth Wilson. Survivors include: his wife, Jane (Shaffer) Wilson, whom he married in 1978; son and daughter-in-law, David and Debbie Wilson of Lancaster, Ohio; two daughters and sons-in-law: Marcia and Tom Pembleton of Bedford, Texas; and Cheryl and Don Stites of Corpus Christi, Texas; and son-in-law, Bruce Trude, Springfield. Other survivors are 12 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, 10 great-great-grandchildren, and two great-great-great-grandchildren. Throughout his lifelong ministry, John Wilson invested in the lives of people and "laid up treasure where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." He took seriously the words of Jesus, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." A gathering of family and friends will be held on Monday, November 12, 2012 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. in the First Christian Church, 3638 Middle Urbana Road, Springfield. A celebration of life and ministry will be held on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in the church. Friends may also call one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Ferncliff Cemetery. We thank God that so many of us were taught and blessed by this servant of God. A book of his life, entitled A Vessel Molded and Used by the Potter, described the focus and purpose of his life. "Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." Isaiah 64:8 TO GOD BE THE GLORY! Memorial gifts may be given to First Christian Church Missions, 3638 Middle Urbana Road, Springfield, Ohio 45502, or The John A. Wilson Center for Urban and Global Outreach, Cincinnati Christian University, 2700 Glenway Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45204. You may express condolences at


Published in Springfield News-Sun from Nov. 9 to Nov. 11, 2012