GLOVERSVILLE — State Sen. Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, recently honored the Rev. Rich Wilkinson, lead pastor of the Free Methodist Church in Gloversville, with a 49th Senate District COVID-19 Acts of Kindness Heroes Award.
In addition to his pastoral duties, Wilkinson oversees the church’s food pantry, which feeds about up to 200 homes a week, and once a month hosts a mass food pick-up that feeds 400-plus homes in one day, a news release said.
Wilkinson also has been working with a group of philanthropists to open a Code Blue Homeless Shelter for the winter months that is housed in the church’s building. This past winter, they housed 20 people in the shelter and were able to connect a few with permanent housing and others with addiction help, the release said.
During the pandemic, church services have been filmed from the Wilkinson’s home with the Rev. Wilkinson and his wife Stephanie’s children helping with music. The Rev. Wilkinson types his sermon each week to send to those in the church who don’t have access to the internet and Facebook so they can still feel a part of Sunday worship, the release said.
“Running a food pantry is a tireless job and on top of being a pastor, Rev. Wilkinson has seen just how essential these ministries have proven to be during this pandemic. We are so thankful for the spiritual guidance, shelter, food, and hope Rev. Wilkinson has given to so many people in Fulton County and in the 49th Senate District. Rev. Wilkinson has truly been a bright ray of light in this dark time,” Tedisco said in the release.
People who know someone deserving of the award can email [email protected] with the individual’s name, address, telephone number, a brief description of their activities and their photo.