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Crosses

Rev. Melvin Wilson

December 1, 1933 ~ June 21, 2019 (age 85)

     Melvin was born in Library, Pennsylvania (Now know as South Park). He was the third born out of twelve children to the union of Andrew Hardy  Wilson and Carrie Belle (White) Wilson.

     He attended Redstone High School and was an outstanding athlete in the fields of baseball, football, and basketball. In fact he was scouted by the Brooklyn Dodgers, but in the days of strict upbringing, he was not aloud to purse that opportunity. He later admitted that his father made the right choice in forbidding him to join the team.

     Melvin was very close with his Uncle Bishop Freeman Williams  Wilson. He served as a second father, role-model  and mentor in ministry. Melvin would travel all around with him; assisting him in baptisms, church services and would often be his driver. 

      It was through his affiliation in the Church of the Living God that he met the shy and reserved little lady, Geraldine Green. They were quite taken with each other and soon married in a double ring ceremony. Actually, Geraldine was only 17 and Melvine was 19, but her Mother Beulah loved him so much that she legally emancipated Geraldine so she could marry her Melvin. 

      Melvin was a hardworking young man of many talents who did everything in his power to take care of his wife and (eventually) 4 children. He had various jobs such as; steelworker at Clairton  Works, coal minor at Bethlehem Mine, insurance salesman, worked at the Greene County Youth Development Center, and a salesman at Mountaineer Stakes and Seafood. 

      He also had an entrepreneurial streak! He outfitted a pickup truck with freezers and would go to the famous Strip district in Pittsburgh and buy wholesale seafood and vegetables and bring them all the way back to Greene County where he would clean them, fillet and wrap the seafood in white display paper to sell to the folks of Pitt Gas and Clarksville. he also owned and operated his own shoe-shine shop and auto detail shop- both in Fredericktown, PA. He took some classes at California State College  and took construction classes at Fayette County Vo-Tech. Years later he went on to build his won home in Pitt Gas, PA.

      He and Geraldine also ran their own little salon out of their home in Pitt Gas; she as a hairdresser and he as a barber. O Saturday mornings, their home would be the place to be to get their tuned up for Sunday service. It was through that experience that Melvin would connect with many of the young men in the community and share the gospel of Jesus.

      He did the same thing as he worked in steel mine and the coal mine, which is where he introduced a number of co-workers to Christ; many of which are deacons, pastors or serve in the ministry today.

      Melvin was always in the church. As he traveled around with his uncle, Bishop Wilson throughout the Tri-state area he became a well-known gospel crooner with his anointed and distinctive silky deep voice. Many years later, he would become one of the principal lead singer of the Southwest Pennsylvania All Star Choir. They were privileged to perform a recording on the Savoy Gospel Record Label.

       Following in both his Father's and Uncle's footsteps he eventually entered the ministry and became a Pastor. Churches under his pastorship were: Bethlehem Baptist (Smithdale, PA), New Zion Baptist, (Fairchance, PA); First Baptist (Pitt Gas, PA) and St. John Baptist Church (now known as St. John Bible Center), (Lawrence, PA).... where he served as Senior Pastor for 43 years! He birthed, mentored, and ordained many a musician and pastor out of that ministry. 

        Recently, he traveled with his children back to Pitt Gas/Clarksville after learning that the municipality had named a road after him and one of his long-standing friends, Pete Angelo. The Angelo-Wilson Road stands at the sight of the former "swinging bridge" which used to be a well traveled footbridge joining the two communities. He was surprised and blessed to be honored this way!

        He is preceded in death by his parents; step-mother, Helen Wilson; brothers: Freeman, Donnell, Harold, Robert, Hosea; and sister, Trophelia Ajala.

        He is survived by his devoted wife of 65 years, Geraldine; sons: Melvin Jr. (Pamela), Calvin, Damon, daughter, Zanetta; brother, Jermone Wilson, Sr. and sister, Carrie Myers.

        He and Geraldine are richly blessed by a vast, beautiful collection of grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as cousins,nieces,nephews and devoted friends! To God be the glory for a life well-lived.

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