uncle, Grady Wilson
, was also an evangelist.Wilson left Dothan in about the tenth grade, and after serving at First Baptist in Orlando, was pastor at three churches before starting the Jim Wilson Evangelistic Association. He
has traveled to 28 countries, often on medical missions, proclaiming a message of hope and life through a personal relationship with God.His
experience working with runaway youth in Florida, besides being the father of four daughters and grandfather of eight, helps Wilson
relate to young people in terms they understand. At a huge crusade in South Carolina, for example, he
ministered to a crowd of 1,800 young people who came to hear live music ... and eat free pizza.The Rev. Matthew Wright, pastor of Post Oak Baptist Church, believes Wright is a "man of God" who can reach young people in the Wiregrass as they struggle to cope with the many pressures they face.Wright said today's churches have lost an entire generation by too often trying to force religion on people.He
sees Wilson's positive message of hope as the best way to ensure churches will survive in the future.He
hopes other churches and the public will join in the crusade's spirit of fellowship."I believe God will bless this crusade by bringing the community closer together," Wright said.Although evangelists have been tainted by scandal in recent years, Wilson
follows the advice of Rev. Billy Graham, who told him, "Jim, evangelist is a good New Testament word."
There is a great need for compassion in religion, Wilson
talks about such current issues as family, acceptance, security, loneliness and moral issues.Yet he
emphasizes that whatever good comes from the crusade will not be the result of his
words, but rather, it will be the Holy Spirit working deep inside those who come to listen.He
will return to the Wiregrass for a crusade in Daleville Sept. 16-19.