Church to honor long-time member

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 16, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

James Roland Wilson, a lifetime member of Bethlehem United Christian Church on Bute St., has worked in the church ever since he was a young boy, and the church now wants to do something for him.

An appreciation in his honor will be held at the church at 4 p.m. Sunday.

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Suffolk NAACP President Charles O. Christian will be a speaker. News-Herald Staff Writer Evelyn Wall will emcee.

Members of Wilson’s 1962 graduating class at the former Booker T. Washington High School class are invited to attend and to be prepared to give Wilson a short roast if they wish, according to Ann Ruffin, who’s in charge of the event.

Wilson grew up in the Boston and Williamstown sections of Suffolk and is the son of Ella Mae Wilson and the late Richard Wilson. He is also the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Wilson.

He was valedictorian of the BTW class of 1962 and also senior class president.

After graduation he attended Elizabeth City State University and Norfolk State University.

He is a member of the Booker T. Alumni Association, serving as president from 1987-1999.

He has held the following positions in his church: Sunday School teacher and superintendent of the Sunday School, trustee, deacon and youth advisor. He was a field missionary for the Middle District UCC Sunday School Union for several years.

Wilson retired from Lipton Tea Co. in August 2002 after 19-1/2 years of service and is presently working as a self-employed carpenter. He was taught the trade by the late Ellner L. Lawrence, for whose efforts he says he frequently thanks God..

He has also worked with youth and adults in softball and football since 1961. Wilson and his wife, Yolanda, reside on Third Avenue in the Williamstown section of Suffolk.