Rev. James H. Wilkes, Jr.
Born in Gastonia, North Carolina to Mr. James H. Wilkes, Sr. and the late Deborah Wright Wilkes, Rev. James H. Wilkes, Jr., served as the assistant to the pastor of The Genesis Church in Gastonia, North Carolina under the leadership of Pastor Johnny D. Brown, III. Prior to serving The Genesis Church, Wilkes served at his church of childhood, the Historic Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Gastonia, North Carolina under the leadership of Pastor James Burris. During his tenure at Mount Calvary, he also served as the President of the Youth Missionary Department, member of the Evangelistic Ministry and Youth Adviser. He is the Founder of Youth Connected 4 Christ ministries. In July 2007, he was licensed to preach the Gospel while at Mount Calvary. He was ordained in 2011.
On Monday, July 25, 2016, Rev. Wilkes was voted unanimously as Senior Pastor of Elon First Baptist Church in Elon, NC. On Sunday, October 16, 2016 Rev. Wilkes was officially installed as the eighth pastor of Elon First Baptist Church in Elon, NC.
Wilkes was formally educated in the Gaston County School System. Rev. Wilkes is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Management. Also, Wilkes served as a ministerial staff member at Union Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, NC under the direction of Dr. Sir Walter L. Mack II. Rev. Wilkes is a recent graduate of Wake Forest University where he received his Masters of Divinity Degree.
Rev. Wilkes was joined in holy matrimony to Melia Olivia Burris, a native of Gastonia, North Carolina on September 23, 2017 in their hometown. She is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
Most importantly, Wilkes loves the Lord. His favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans that I have for you saith the Lord, plans to prosper you and give you an expected future.”