Pastor Ronald Wilson

by Tonya Dixon | January 14th, 2016
Pastor Ronald Wilson (Photo by Shaw Photography Group)

Pastor Ronald Wilson (Photo by Shaw Photography Group)

As a master barber, Ronald Wilson spends a great deal of time talking to people. It simply comes with the territory. It’s no secret that people often go to the barber or stylist just as much to relieve stress as they do to utilize the actual services. Some might call it cathartic just to have someone to talk to and lend a listening ear. Wilson has successfully combined his profession and his call to ministry; both of which often echo one another.

“Ministry and barbering does intertwine. I didn’t have that thought when I first got into the business, but the more I got into it I realized it’s a ministry standing behind the chair cutting hair. People tell me things that they would never tell anyone else,” Wilson said. “You often become a person’s mentor, coach, father, pastor, authority figure and whatever else that customer needs you to be. Barbering is a ministry, but a lot of people don’t really see it that way.”

Wilson certainly isn’t in the profession just for the money. As a matter of fact he’s been spending less time cutting hair and more time immersed in ministry. As a full time pastor of a growing church, Wilson understands the responsibility, necessity and weight of ministry like never before.

He, along with his wife, Rachel, pastor Kingdom Vision Life Center located in Greensboro, North Carolina. The non-denominational ministry is on a mission to take ownership of the rights and authorities of Heaven on earth. Wilson says he believes that God wants whatever is taking place in heaven to be exemplified on earth. He categorizes his church as an unashamed, radical group of young people who believe in praising God and lifting him up. “When people tell me they are coming to visit I tell them I hope they’re not nervous because we certainly believe in making a joyful noise,” Wilson said.

Like most churches, Kingdom Vision Life Center has a number of ministries catered to nearly every demographic, need and interest, but it also has an exceptional ministry focused on marriage, curiously titled Marriage on the Rocks.

While it may appear to be a questionable name, Wilson says it’s derived from a passage of scripture in the Bible. In it Jesus responds to a great revelation spoken by the disciple Peter and Jesus tells him, “upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell won’t prevail against it.” Every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. the church holds marriage ministry teaching along with singles and youth ministry.

“It’s really a principle. If you build your marriage on certain principles it will last,” Wilson says. “We are very big on marriage. In the times that we live in the enemy has afflicted us and warped our minds concerning marriage. Therefore we have decided to pour into marriages as much as we can. We have two marriage retreats each year. I wish we could have more. I really feel like the foundation of society is built on marriage and family. If we don’t coach husbands and wives and be the family that God wants us to be, then society will die off.”

As committed, dedicated and sure of the ministry that he now shepherds, Wilson admits there was a time he never envisioned his life unfolding as it has. Raised in the projects in Wilmington, North Carolina he grew up in an environment of gang banging, drug use and nearly every other ungodly experience, some of which he was a willing participant. Never one to sensationalize or romanticize the lifestyle he lived, he sums it up by stating that he simply agreed with his environment even as destructive as it was.

Nearly everything Wilson saw and did led him to believe his future would be just as caustic as the negativity he experienced on a regular basis. Obviously ministry was never on his radar, but God had other plans; however it took a near death experience for Wilson to finally see and accept it. “I was about 18 and I almost lost my life. One night I was doing drugs. I overdosed on powdered cocaine and I was having an anxiety attack as well. I saw my grandmother in the back of my mind. She would always try to tell me about the Lord. That night I saw death face to face so I said why not call on the Lord that my grandmother talked about,” Wilson said. “When I prayed that’s when my anxiety left. My chest had swollen up and my head had gone numb, but after the prayer I got feeling back in my head. That night the Lord saved my life and I’ve been walking with him ever since.”

Wilson tells his testimony whenever given the opportunity. He believes it opens the door for him to be able to witness to other men and women struggling through the same depths of despair from which God had delivered him. While ministering, he often notes the distant, nonchalant looks of young people begin to dissipate once he begins to share his story of deliverance. “The bottom line and undercurrent with ministry, I believe, is to be able to relate,” he said. I’ve used the testimony of my past and have seen lives changed because of it.”

Changing lives is chief among Wilson’s desires. Certainly ministry is his main resource, but he’s also instituting change as a barber. While perfecting and honing his craft, he often noticed a steady pattern of behavior that compelled him to write two books: “101 Things Your Barber/Stylist Hates But May Never Tell You” and “The Science Beyond the Cut.”

Although the first book is infused with humor, Wilson outlines real-life scenarios that every client and barber can identify with. “I noticed constant habits of customers and I would silently say to myself ‘I wish they would stop doing that.’” The book references the consistently late customer who conveniently forgets closing times; the non-tipper, the never satisfied customer and much more. Bottom line, Wilson wants clients to simply “cut it out.”

His second book is written in a more serious tone and deals with the etiquette and management side of the business. Wilson believes a great deal of the respectability of the profession has become diluted because a generation of barbers and stylists have arisen whose sole purpose of being in the business is to gain a fast dollar.

“It doesn’t matter how sharp you make someone’s hair cut look, if you don’t recognize there is a science beyond your ability you will always be broke. The reason is because some people don’t have etiquette or management skills,” Wilson says. Wilson’s books and message have been showcased at Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Mega Fest in Dallas, Texas where comedian Michael Colyar was able to peep inside and get a good chuckle.

No matter the message, whether sharing the Gospel or dispensing handy barber tips; Wilson understands the power of simply sharing information. For him it’s all about spreading the word to help someone else. “Jesus spoke and said we would do even greater works than he did. Jesus didn’t have social media and all the things we have. I believe if he did he would have utilized it,” he said. Accordingly, he recognizes the tools he has been given and intends on using them to reach the world.

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