Pastor Michael Wilkerson – First UMC, Yuma, AZ

by | Jul 20, 2021 | West District Web Page, West District Newsletter

I recently graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Before attending Garrett, I lived in the East Valley of Phoenix working as an engineer for Intel Corporation, and before that, I served in the Navy. I have two children from a previous marriage, Thom and Mikayla, who are out in the world creating their own adventures. For fun I enjoy playing golf (in cooler weather), video games, and board games.

While living in the East Valley of Phoenix, I started attending a new church plant that came to be known as Song of Life United Methodist Church, and I gradually became more and more active. I appreciated the opportunity to ask difficult questions, not necessarily coming up with definitive answers, but being allowed to explore my faith with patience rather than judgement. Over several years I grew in my faith and volunteered to serve in many different roles which gave me a pretty good understanding of how the local church works. At one point, the pastor, Rev. Sarai Case, asked me if I ever considered a vocation in ministry. This seed took root the more I thought about it, and I eventually decided to quit my job as an engineer, move to the Chicago area for seminary education, and pursue a life of ministry once my children were comfortably on their own.

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Author: Carla Whitmire

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