Pastor John and Linda Wilkerson were married in the summer of 1989, and God has blessed them with nine children: Tyler (now in Heaven), Derrick, Preston, Lydia, Drew, Coleman, Judson, Mason, and Lacey. Pastor Wilkerson grew up in Tennessee and was saved as a child. Linda (Francis) grew up in Massachusetts and was also saved as a child. Pastor Wilkerson and Linda met at Hyles-Anderson College. Pastor Wilkerson graduated from Hyles-Anderson College in 1989, and Linda graduated in 1990. After graduation Pastor Wilkerson taught at our City Baptist School for one year, before moving to California to teach high school at the First Baptist Church of Long Beach. In 1993 he assumed the position of principal of Calvary Christian School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, until returning to California to become the 18th pastor of the First Baptist Church of Long Beach in June of 2000. Church services in English, Korean, and Spanish are conducted there every week. The Sunday school program grew in attendance from 849 to over 1,700 in the 12 years that he was pastor. In August of 2008, the Wilkersons lost their 17-year-old son Tyler as the result of a car accident. The following Sunday, Pastor Wilkerson preached a sermon entitled “God Makes No Mistakes.” God has used their testimony to help many hurting families. In February of 2013 Pastor Wilkerson became the pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana.