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Daniel Wilson found his calling when he was 6-years-old.
“I was saved at an young age,” he said. “I just knew at that moment I was going to be a pastor.”
Wilson, 30, has been the minister at Dry Ridge Baptist Church for four months, after serving in the evangelism office of the Alabama Baptist State Convention (ABSC). He has been a Southern Baptist pastor for 10 years and has preached at churches in Alabama and Kentucky. He replaced Joseph Kitchens, who moved to preach in Alabama.
His calling to worship at 6-years-old really struck Wilson and wanting to surrender his life to Jesus Christ.
“I remember coming home from church on a Sunday night and not being able to sleep,” Wilson said. “I just had this overwhelming sense of conviction that I had sin in my life, but Jesus loved me enough to die on the cross for my sins. I felt that since Jesus did that for me, I should give him my life.”
Wilson said he talked to his parents that night about not getting any peace. His parents took him to their pastor to get more answers and that was when he gave his life to Jesus Christ.
At the age of 11, Wilson went to his church to let his pastor know what he wanted to do with his life.
“God began opening doors for me to speak at churches and began the process of becoming a pastor,” Wilson said.
Not only has Wilson preached in a Baptist church, but also in a United Methodist Church in Gravel Switch.
“We had 11 people there my first Sunday,” Wilson said.
Wilson is a graduate of Campbellsville University, Luther Rice Seminary, Covington Theological Seminary and the Southern Baptist School for Biblical Studies in Jacksonville, Fla.
After graduating from college, Wilson moved to Alabama to continue his pastorate.
“I was excited about joining their church, because it was in an urban setting and it had seen better days,” Wilson said. “My wife and I spent four years with the congregation and began to see it turn around, seeing younger families coming back and baptizing their children in the church.”
After being a pastor at the church, he was asked by the ABSC to join them as an evangelical.
Going around from church to church, Wilson sees the hardship it can bring to a congregation when they have to bid farewell to a pastor and welcome in a new one. Most Baptist pastors leave their church on average every three years.
“It’s emotionally difficult to leave a congregation, because pastors deal with people in their most emotional time,” Wilson said. “You walk with people in their most emotional time, whether it is a funeral, a wedding, or the birth of a child. So, it is hard to leave a place, but it is exciting to start anew.”
Wilson said he came here not from another church, but from the ABSC, which made it an easier transition, than for a pastor going from one church to another.
“I felt that the Lord opened up the opportunity for me to continue my pastorate here at Dry Ridge Baptist Church,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he wanted to get back with just one congregation and not travel around a state.
“I was eager to get back into the pastorate, because I was eager to be with a congregation and develop those personal relationships again,” Wilson said.
Coming to Dry Ridge Baptist Church around Christmas time, helped Wilson because of attending parties with members of the church.
“The church immediately opened their hearts to us and made us feel like family,” Wilson said. “These are easy people to love and minister to.”
Wilson and his wife, Elisa, have one son, Samuel.