The Rev. Dr. Bernard Wilson, senior minister at Norfield Congregational Church in Weston, has been named chairman of the new national United Church of Christ Board. The board will oversee and govern all of the denomination’s ministries worldwide.
Dr. Wilson, who has served as Weston’s pastor since September 2004 and is a Weston police chaplain and a member of the Weston Veterans Affairs Committee, was chairman of the United Governance Working Group that spent the last two years creating the revised governing structure for the United Church of Christ (UCC).
“What a tremendous honor for Rev. Wilson to serve in this capacity and what a voice for Norfield to have our senior minister serve the wider church at the national level,” said Woody Bliss, moderator at Norfield Church.
According to a report on ctucc.org on the appointment of Dr. Wilson as chairman, the UCC board will continue to focus on current bold inspirational goals (BIGs): “A bold public voice, reachable and welcoming congregations, engaged discipleship among the members, and excellent diverse leadership.”
Dr. Wilson, who is on sabbatical from Norfield until July 23, said in the ctucc.org report that the board will need to “carefully allocate resources to accomplish [the goals], but he does not want to work from an assumption of scarcity. ‘I want the church to operate out of an abundance of wealth,’ he said. ‘We have what it takes to make our vision tangible.’”
Before coming to Weston, Dr. Wilson served as executive minister at the Riverside Church in New York City, and as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy. As a Navy chaplain, he was the assistant chaplain of the Marine Corps, the Northeast regional director of religious ministries, and chaplain corps assignment officer.
He has also been an adjunct preaching professor at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary and at Howard University School of Divinity for Continuing Education.
Dr. Wilson earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, a master’s of divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center, a master’s of sacred theology from Union Theological Seminary, an MBA from Salve Regina University, and his doctor of ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Dr. Wilson, who is married to Nereida Torres Wilson and has two grown sons and a granddaughter, is the author of Meditations for Tough and Testing Times, a book of messages that provide spiritual strength in times of adversity.
The responsibility of serving on the national stage will undoubtedly take a lot of Dr. Wilson’s time and put additional demands on the Rev. Kelly Hough Rogers, Norfield’s associate minister of children, youth and families.
“I am asking Norfield to surround Rev. Wilson and our Associate Minister Rev. Kelly Rogers with prayers, as they support each other during Rev. Wilson’s two-year term on the UCCB and as its chair,” Mr. Bliss said in a statement made to the congregation.