By Rev. Adrien Wilsonne
My name is Adrien Wilsonne, and I am the Associate Pastor at Fort Erie First Baptist Church. In September 2007, my family and I came to Canada from Haiti. My wife, Marie Sicka Benoit and I have seven children, two grandchildren, and another one soon to be born. I asked my son Jean Pierre what I could say about myself, and he replied, “You are selfless, patient, you understand people, and you empathise with them. You are as much a devoted father as you are a devoted pastor. God is always at the center of every decision you make.” Above all, I love people.
My life has been influenced by many people, but three men stand out: Rev. Gary Page, Jim McNair, and Mark Haines. First, Rev. Gary Page has had a great influence on me. He is a pastor who cares deeply about his flock and desires nothing but their well-being. He is a loving and loyal pastor who will rescue his sheep wherever they may be. From Jim McNair, I have learned how to inspire newcomers and give them hope as they begin their life journey in Canada. He taught me how to be available for people. I can hear his voice saying, “You see Adrien, serving these people, meeting their physical and spiritual needs, being there for them when they need you the most are the best ways to evangelize.” I call this a practical sermon. I have also learned from Jim how to listen to other people and to make them feel that their opinion matters. From Mark Haines, I have learned that leadership is about taking the risk of giving to someone else the opportunity to lead, while mentoring them until they can fly by themselves. I am so grateful for how these men have invested in my life so I can, in turn, invest in the lives of others.