Deacon Dave Wilkinson
Minister of Visitation
Rev. Dave Wilkinson joined our staff in 1997. He came to First Church after serving for 12 years at Church of the Saviour in Cleveland, Ohio. As a second career Dave entered professional church work in 1985, was consecrated a diaconal minister in 1994 and was ordained a permanent deacon in the United Methodist Church in 2000. Dave retired from full-time ministry in 2017. In retirement Dave now serves part-time as Minister of Visitation.
Dave has a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he studied art and architecture. He did his seminary training at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Dave completed 4 units in a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Residency at Lutheran Homes in Oshkosh, which provided an opportunity to hone his pastoral care ministry. Dave is also a trained facilitator for premarital counseling through Prepare/Enrich. He works with couples in not only preparing for their wedding, but for their marriage as well.
Dave is the founder of our SOUND BITES Ministry™, a five-day-a-week inspirational e-mail ministry, which he began in 1999. You can also follow SOUND BITES as a blog. Go to SOUND BITES Ministry™ Blog. You will also find it on Facebook by clicking SOUND BITES Ministry™ on Facebook.
Dave is married to Donna, a musician, piano teacher, school music teacher, and Bible study leader. The Wilkinsons have three children. Their son, Ryan, is a certified athletic trainer and Director of the Athletic Training Program at Trinity International University. Ryan and his wife, Kate, live in Gurnee, Illinois with their two daughters. Dave and Donna's daughter, Lindsay, lives with her husband, Dan, in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area and works in residential real estate management. Their son, Dustin, passed away in 1998 at age 16 as a result of a brain tumor.
Dave and Donna founded a local chapter of The Compassionate Friends, a national self-help support group for bereaved parents. Dave serves as Chaplain for the group.
In addition, Dave is a fine art photographer and an architectural pen and ink artist. His photos can be viewed at David T Wilkinson Photography. In his photographs Dave captures his unique perspective as architect, artist and minister.