We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Rev. Starsky D. Wilson as our guest preacher this morning. Rev. Wilson is a pastor, philanthropist and activist pursuing God’s vision of community marked by justice, peace and love. He is currently president and CEO of Deaconess Foundation and board chair for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP).

Deaconess is a faith-based grant making organization devoted to advancing child well-being in St. Louis through racial equity and public policy change.

Since 1998, Deaconess has invested more than $85 million to advance its mission. With Rev. Wilson’s leadership, the Foundation is building a movement for child well-being through philanthropy, advocacy and organizing. In 2018, Deaconess opened the 21,000 square-foot Deaconess Center for Child Well-being, a community action tank. With the Children’s Defense Fund, the Foundation sponsors a network of Freedom Schools hosted by local United Church of Christ congregations.

From 2008 through 2018, Rev. Wilson led Saint John’s Church (The Beloved Community), an inter-racial, inner-city congregation. There he led activism on myriad issues, including youth violence prevention, Medicaid expansion, public school accreditation, voter mobilization, capping payday lending and raising the minimum wage.

During the Ferguson uprising in 2014 after the police killing of Michael Brown, Jr., Missouri’s governor appointed Wilson to lead the Ferguson Commission. In 2015, they released the ground-breaking ‘Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity’ Report, calling for sweeping changes in policing, the courts, child well-being and economic mobility. We are blessed to have Rev. Wilson with us this morning. For those who want to have a chance to speak with and hear more from Rev. Wilson, there will be a soup luncheon following the second service.

Rev. Steve Savides

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