Rev. Dr. Robert Melvin Wilson was born on December 14, 1947, to the late Willie James Wilson and Nina Moore Wilson. He departed this life on February 18, 2021. He was preceded in death by one brother, Joseph Lee.
Robert, as he was affectionately known, was a 1966 graduate of E.E. Smith High School in Kenansville, NC. He later attended North Carolina College of Theology, where he obtained a Doctorate of Theology.
Robert married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Elvenia Farrior Wilson, on April 29, 1967. From this union, three children were born, Montrena Denise Wilson, Robert Dion Wilson and Brian Vichon Wilson. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather, and always provided for his family.
In April 1999, Robert preached his trial sermon at the St. James African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Magnolia, NC. Following the Discipline of the AME Zion Church, he was recommended to the Cape Fear Annual Conference by Presiding Elder A. D. Brown, where he received his ordinations. He was called to serve as pastor of the following churches: Willard Chapel, Martin Chapel, and Trinity AME Zion Church. After serving faithfully on the Goldsboro District, he was transferred to the Wilson District under the leadership of Presiding Elder Franklin Rush and the current Presiding Elder, Rev. Dr. Michael S. Bell. On the Wilson District, he served as pastor of St. Matthew's A.M. E. Zion Church and his current church, Miller’s Chapel AME Zion Church, Goldsboro, NC.
Having a love for his home town of Magnolia, NC, Robert became the first black fire chief and first black police officer for the town. He recently held the position of town commissioner until his passing. His love for law enforcement led him to serve as a police officer; deputy; and magistrate for Duplin County. He completed his tenure in law enforcement as a transportation officer with the NC Department of Corrections in Clinton, NC, where he retired in January 2010. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of Wilson & Associates’ Funeral Service, Richmond, VA in September 2008, where he held the position as Chairman of the Board.
Robert is survived by his devoted wife of 53 years, Rev. Dr. Elvenia Raye Wilson; three children, Montrena Wilson Hadley (Michael) of Mebane NC, Robert Dion Wilson of Raleigh, NC and Brian Vichon Wilson of Richmond, VA; four grandchildren, Michael A. Hadley of Burlington, NC, Nina Simone Hadley of Mebane, NC, Robert Keshawn “DJ” Wilson, and Quenten Deshawn Wilson of Winston Salem, NC; one great- grandson, Lucis Hadley; one great grand-daughter, Laila Dixon, of Burlington, NC; four sisters, Mary Boney ( Curnel) of Rose Hill, NC, Ethel Southerland (Jackie), Reverend Janice Wilson, and Rev. Dr. Pamela Faison (Melvin) of Magnolia, NC.; three sisters-in-law, Emma Allen, of Fayetteville, NC; Gwendolyn Dixon, of Philadelphia, PA; and Denise Ward of Landover, MD; brother-in-law, Harry Farrior (Linda); two special cousins, Jacqueline Glaspie and Kimberley Smith; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A viewing will be held 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at J. B. Rhodes Funeral Chapel, 195 Kenansville Hwy., Warsaw, NC, with the family receiving friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
A Homegoing Celebration will be held 1 p.m. Thursday, February 25, 2021 at J.B. Rhodes Funeral Chapel, 195 Kenansville Hwy., Warsaw, NC.
Entombment will follow at Devotional Gardens, 1260 NC 24 and 50 Hwy., Warsaw, NC.
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