Inner-city children’s ministry pioneer Bill Wilson was shot March 5 while being assaulted and robbed at gunpoint–but today he credits God with saving his life. The president of Metro Ministries International was making his regular visit to the homeless on Wednesday night when two men accosted him near a Brooklyn, N.Y., waterfront.
“I thought it was just going to be another robbery,” said Wilson, who has been robbed several times in the 22 years since he started his Brooklyn-based ministry. “But one of the guys pulled out a gun and stuck it in my mouth. I thought, This is the end. He pulled the trigger. I heard the thing click, and nothing happened.
“I prayed, ‘Lord help me,'” Wilson, 54, added. “Then I just spun and went down. That’s when he fired a second time. It ripped a hole on the left side of my mouth. If I wouldn’t have spun, he would have shot my brains out because the guy had a chokehold on me.”
Wilson said the two assailants got away, robbing him of his watch and camera. He was taken to a hospital, where he underwent surgery. “I’ve been stabbed twice, had my jaw and a rib broken, and gotten three concussions,” Wilson said. “I’ve seen 21 people murdered. I’ve been through some tough ones, but this is the worst one.”
He said he will continue to lead Metro Ministries, which reaches more than 20,000 children weekly through its Sidewalk Sunday School program.
“It’s a decision to make a commitment,” he said. “I am not leaving. I have committed my life to this place. This is not going to deter me. The two hardest things in life are starting and finishing. I’m going to finish.”
Elsewhere, Melody Green, the widow of singer Keith Green, was recovering in a Thousand Oaks, Calif., hospital after suffering a stroke March 3 while visiting friends. Green, 56, is president of Last Days Ministries (LDM), which she founded with her late husband.
According to an LDM statement, the stroke “left significant weakness of her left side” but had not affected her ability to communicate. She was “alert, in stable condition and beginning the process of physical therapy.”
Green took over the leadership of LDM after her husband’s death in a 1982 plane crash. The ministry, originally based in Texas, was part of Youth With A Mission for a time. She now runs it from Kansas City, Mo. Eric Tiansay