My First 100 Years: Counting My Blessings, by Frances Etta Wilson. N.p.: the author, 2008.
When Frances Eastes Wilson was in her 80s, she felt inspired to write a short biography to acquaint her children and grandchildren with her family history. The writing was slow and tedious at times. But eventually she took her scattered notes, organized them, and came up with a book.
She grew up on a farm near Wylie, Texas. In 1921, her father, George Eastes, attended a revival conducted by Aimee Semple McPherson at Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas. At that meeting, he went forward for prayer and was saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and healed of an arthritic back condition. Because of his new-found Pentecostal faith, he was excommunicated from the Christian Church he had faithfully attended.
For awhile the Eastes family attended a church that was the beginning of First Assembly of God in Dallas. Later Frances’ father helped to establish a church in Sachse, Texas, near where they lived. Frances was converted in 1938 and started attending Gospel Tabernacle (later First Assembly) in Dallas. There she met Evangelist Vernon Wilson who was known as “the Baptist preacher who received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.”
Vernon Wilson and Frances were married in 1939, and went forward in ministry. Vernon evangelized in Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and other places. He also pastored Assemblies of God churches in Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida. They had three children. Vernon passed away with a heart attack in 1965. Their daughter, Mary, was only 15 at the time of Vernon’s death. Frances worked as a secretary to make ends meet, and the Lord provided.
Interspersed with personal memories of her own life and of extended family members, Frances Wilson shares testimony after testimony of answered prayer within her family and people she has known through the years. She is the mother of Dr. Tom Wilson, longtime pastor of The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, Texas.
Rev. Scott Wilson was elected as senior pastor of The Oaks Fellowship in 2003, and Dr. Tom Wilson has continued ministry in The Oaks Fellowship as Senior Pastor of Development. He founded Life School, a public Charter School housed in The Oaks Fellowship facilities, in 1998. The enrollment has grown to over 3000 students in the 2008-2009 school year.
Her son Eddie is also an Assemblies of God minister. Her daughter, Mary Wilson Keener, is a soloist and a prayer minister. Frances Wilson is still very active, having made several trips to the Holy Land, Europe, and other places. She recently went on a bus trip to Branson and Springfield, Missouri. This volume is informative and inspirational, and a real testimony for all to read.
Reviewed by Glenn W. Gohr
Softcover, 221 pages. $20.00. Order from Mrs. Frances Wilson, Apt. 2200, 1020 Pecan Crossing Dr., De Soto, TX 75115