John Wilkinson became Third Church's Pastor in April 2001, and is grateful for the call to serve in this lively, engaged community of faith. He previously served as Executive Associate Pastor at Fourth Presbyterian Church and as Pastor of St. James Presbyterian Church , both in Chicago. He received his BA from the College of Wooster, his MDiv from McCormick Theological Seminary and his PhD from Northwestern University, focusing on Twentieth Century American Religious History.
John has been active denominationally through service on the Theological Task Force on the Peace, Unity and Purity for the Church (2001-2006) and now on the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly, which he moderated for two years. He served on the board of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School for nine years (including three years as board chair) and now serves on the board of McCormick Theological Seminary. He was involved in the establishment of both the Covenant Network of Presbyterians and Next Church. He is also moderator of the Presbytery of Genesee Valley and is an active participant in Urban Presbyterians Together in Rochester.
John believes that the church is the best place for people, believers and searchers, to gather to ask the deepest, most profound questions of faith and life. He is committed to urban ministry, the great hymns of the church and Presbyterian theology, as well as baseball, Bruce Springsteen and late night TV! John's goal is for the church to instill in its own members a vision for hope and justice made real by the ministry of Jesus, with the members in turn serving as ministers in their daily spheres.
A child of a Presbyterian manse, John is married to Bonny Claxton who is the C.F.O. for the Rochester Presbyterian Home. They have two terrific children, Kenneth and Ann.
Our Pastor’s Blog
Learn more about the commitments of this congregation and of our Pastor, the Rev. John Wilkinson from his blog “Urgency & Hope”