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Street sign dedication ceremony for the late pastor Peter Wilson, Sr.

A capacity crowd packed Mt. Zion Christian Baptist Church in Mount Vernon on Saturday, August 5 to honor the life and legacy of the late Rev. Peter Wilson, Sr., who died July 28, 2016 at 72. A street renaming ceremony followed the service opposite the church.

Rev. Wilson, Sr. was called as Pastor of Mt. Zion Christian Congregational Church on October 17, 1982 and installed as pastor on January 15, 1983.

  The nearly two-hour memorial service was filled with music and included many fond remembrances from family members, longtime friends and colleagues for the man at the heart of Mt. Zion Christian Baptist Church’s spiritual life for so long, and the Mount Vernon community as a whole. Also in attendance were many dignitaries including former mayor Ernie Davis and members of the City Council, the city comptroller, city officials and others. The Mistress of Ceremonies for the memorable church ceremony was Sylvia Gadson.The Mt. Zion Christian Baptist Church choir provided wonderful musical selections throughout the ceremony.

City Clerk George Brown had the distinction of introducing the many dignitaries and members of the clergy in attendance. Remarks came from both church and community members led by former mayor Ernest D. Davis. Mayor Richard Thomas was scheduled to speak first, but for unknown reasons did not attend the ceremony.

  Mayor Davis was followed by a long list of speakers. Emotions ran deep as Pastor Wilson, Sr.’s son, Peter Wilson, Jr., addressed the audience. Tears were also evident when the pastor’s daughter, Sheila Wilson-Sebro, provided a long biographic sketch of a loving father. “My father served as Worship Leader for the United Missionary Baptist Association’s parent body.

 He had served in the past as chaplain for the United Black Clergy of Westchester and as a vice president. In addition, he served as a Mentor for “The Gent’s Club” for young boys at Edward Williams Elementary School and as resident minister for boys and girls at Nelson Mandela-Dr. Hosea Zollicoffer High School, in Mount Vernon. And he continuously motivated and inspired Mt. Zion to study the Word of God,” said his daughter.

  The benediction was provided by Minister Dianne Asphalt, ending the emotional ceremony. As the large crowd gathered at the corner where the new street sign was to be unveiled, the pastor’s family, consisting of his wife, daughter, son and others watched in awe as the pastor’s son unveiled the new street sign. After a long and loud ovation, City Clerk George Brown read a proclamation stating that a portion of South Eight Avenue, between… Sanford Boulevard and Fifth Avenue, will now be known as Rev. Peter Wilson, Sr. Way. He then handed the proclamation to the family.

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