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Mike Wilkins
1954 dash 2018

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On Sunday, June 10th, we lost a dear friend. Mike Wilkins Mike was diagnosed with cancer in April, 2013 and “fell asleep in Christ” on June 10th, 2018.

Mike was a pillar of strength to so many, and I was blessed to know him, albeit for just six years. In 2012 Mike was ending his time as editor of Christian Life in London. This was just one of his many, many volunteer activities but the one through which I met Mike.

The decision had been made, which he fully supported to transition Christian Life in London from a newspaper to e-publication, Christian Life in London Online which you are reading now. For months leading up to the first edition and for years after, Mike provided me tremendous guidance and inspiration. He always made himself available and, during some of his darker days, he was still positive, smiling and ready with a story.

When a few weeks would pass without me calling Mike, he would give me a call with s a story lead or just to praise the work we were doing. What a great man.

The following is part of Mike’s “dash” between 1954 and 2018. Also included is this video of the wonderful “Celebration of Life” held on Friday, June 15th at West London Alliance Church. If you were unable to attend this service, please take the time to watch the video, you will be glad you did.

Mike Wilkins - Funeral (June 15, 2018) from Ray Majoran on Vimeo.

Michael Grainger Wilkins was born on September 21, 1954 in Kingston, Ontario to Ross and Doreen (née Grainger) Wilkins. When Mike was very young, his father’s work as a chemical engineer moved the Wilkins family 50 miles down the St. Lawrence River to Brockville. There, Ross and Doreen and (eventually) their five children, Jane, Michael, Marnie, David and Peter lived for 14 years. In 1971, a second company transfer returned them to Kingston, where Mike completed “Grade 13.” In November of that same year, he came to an understanding of his need for a Savior, and he committed himself to the Lord Jesus Christ. And so his life was permanently changed.

In September of 1972, Mike began his university studies with the ill-fated idea of becoming a veterinarian. After two years as a University of Guelph science student, he moved back to Kingston (once again) to study English Literature at Queen’s University. In those years, he wrote and had published several children’s books.

May 1977 was a big month for Mike. In the space of four weeks, he graduated from Queen’s, married his girlfriend Debbie Street, and began working full-time in Richmond Hill in the editorial department of his publisher, Scholastic Canada.

Two and a half years later, Mike and Deb entered full-time Youth Ministry, moving to and working at Caledon Teen Ranch. There, Mike had the time and opportunity to inductively study some of the New Testament. He chose Romans and Ephesians, and thus began to work out his theology.

About a year later, in January 1981, Mike was appointed “Minister of Discipleship” at Bayview Glen (Alliance) Church in Toronto. He was ordained by the Christian & Missionary Alliance in 1983 and, in September of 1984, became the solo pastor of West London Alliance Church. With this fourth move in seven years, Mike and Deb were beginning to feel like gypsies, but it was in fact the end of their transient ways and the beginning of Mike’s 31-year pastoral ministry at “West London.” For those mostly happy years, Mike remained under the influence of the thinking, writing, character and vision of his "Five (and then Nine, and then Five once again) Dead Men": especially C.S. Lewis, Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Jonathan Edwards.

His ministry directed at first by the slogan: “Worshipping, Discipling, Caring,” and then: “Making Known the Greatness of God,” Mike devoted himself to “preaching the Word,”“shepherding the flock,” and “entrusting to faithful men” (and women) what he had learned “that they might be able teach others also.”

Mike’s passion for writing resulted in three published novels. His last “Four Forty-Four” was published just days before his passing “Four-Forty-Four” is a compendium of thoughts and understandings and opinions about life as a Christian, and church as a functional, loving force for good in the community.

Over the course of this “long run,” Mike and Deb raised three children, all now adults. Jessica teaches high school English Literature in Toronto. Ben is a musician, living and working in Los Angeles. Joanna works as a nurse at Victoria Hospital, and lives here in London with her husband Andre Vanderlaan.

Along with child-raising, Mike’s hobbies were reading (and re-reading) old books, long-distance running, canoe-tripping, and writing and directing stage plays and musicals for West London.

Mike was diagnosed with cancer in April, 2013 and “fell asleep in Christ” on June 10th, 2018.

Michael Grainger Wilkins
Deb’s husband
Jess, Ben & Jo’s father
West London Alliance Church’s pastor (1984-2015)
And a grateful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ