First Baptist Church Hammond voted to accept John Wilkerson as its new pastor Sunday evening.
Wilkerson follows Jack Schaap, who left First Baptist Hammond last year after admitting to having sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl and transporting her across state lines to have sex with her (a federal offense). Schaap is currently awaiting sentencing.
According to news reports:
Wilkerson graduated from Hyles-Anderson in 1989 and taught at the church’s City Baptist Schools for a year before moving to California to teach at a Baptist school in Long Beach.
He became principal of Calvary Christian School in Baton Rouge, La. in 1993 and returned to California in 2000 to become the pastor of First Baptist Church of Long Beach. During Wilkerson’s tenure as pastor, the Sunday school program at First Baptist Church of Long Beach has grown in attendance from 849 to more than 1,700.
The Wilkersons are parents to nine children. In August 2008, the couple’s 17-year-old son, Tyler, was killed in a car accident. The Sunday after his son’s death, Wilkerson presented a sermon entitled, “God Makes No Mistakes,” according to the First Baptist Church Web site.
Wilkerson will begin at First Baptist Hammond on February 17.
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