Rev. Yates King Wilkinson Jr.

Published 4:18 pm Monday, February 27, 2023

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After a courageous battle with Parkinson’s and Dementia, Rev. Yates King Wilkinson Jr. transitioned to his heavenly home on Feb. 22, 2023, hearing the words “well done thy good and faithful servant”.

Yates was born in Lincolnton, NC, on Nov. 10, 1936. Yates graduated from Wake Forest College in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts and Appalachian State University in 1964 with a Master of Arts.  After 10 years in education, he left the school system to return to a teenage call to the ministry and continued his education by completing his Master of Divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1973.

Yates was faithful to the pastoral ministry for 40 plus years serving Baptist churches in North Carolina and Virginia where he influenced countless lives while communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ. After his years of service, he and Nelda became members of First Baptist Church in King where they especially enjoyed serving and ministering with the Young at Heart Seniors.

He was active in the Baptist associations and ministerial groups serving in various positions while also active in aspects of the community.  In his retirement, he enjoyed working with King Outreach where he was able to have a part in helping others.  As a young person he received the Life Scout Rank, just one level below that of Eagle.

Yates enjoyed working in the garden, yard, and spending time with family; he was always proud to show his first tomato of the year.  He enjoyed loving on many family pets over the years especially his current cat, Missy.  He was an avid fan of Wake Forest sports, “Go Deacs!”.

He was preceded in death by: his parents, Yates and Ethel; brother-in-law, Jim Ward; and sister-in-law, Linda Wilkinson.

Surviving: his loving wife, Nelda Lawing Wilkinson, who has been his faithful helpmate in ministry and marriage for 60 years; 2 daughters Kimberly Wilkinson of King and Carol Wilkinson of Winston Salem; 2 sisters, Jane (Walter) Shrum, Kay Ward; 2 brother, Johnny and Richard; and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 5 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church of King. Visitation to follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials made be made to: King Outreach Ministry, 221 Ingram Drive, King, NC 27021; or Trellis Supportive Care, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston Salem, NC, 27103.  Special thanks to Cindi Goins, caregiver Chris, Village Care, Trellis Supportive Care, and others who offered care and support.   

Serving the family is Cox Needham of Pilot Mountain.