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Longtime Coppell Methodist minister to retire July 1
The Rev. Dennis Wilkinson, who has been senior pastor at First United Methodist Church Coppell since 2004, has announced that he will retire on July 1, after 33 years of service with North Texas Conference.
Wilkinson came to Coppell from Floral Heights United Methodist Church in Wichita Falls. While a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, he felt a call to go into the ministry. Wilkinson met his wife, Linda, while an undergraduate at Southern Methodist University. He said he is retiring so he and his wife can focus time on their children and grandchildren. He said he plans to use his gift of ministry in new ways.
“I am deeply grateful for my eight and a half years as the senior pastor for this congregation,” Wilkinson said.
Alfred White, FUMC Coppell lay leader, said, “Among the things we'll miss about Rev. Wilkinson is his brilliant translations of scripture to present day occurrences.”
He said Wilkinson’s approach to preaching always had a practical application, adding that the minister is respected throughout Coppell, even by many outside of the church.
He can be found at a local game, pancake breakfast or comforting those in need regardless of their affiliation with the church. He has helped many during the community tragedies that have occurred while he has been appointed in Coppell.
Brad Hunt, Church Council chair, said Wilkinson, while serving as a minister in Coppell, has also helped many who have been victims of tragedies in their families.
“Because of his candor and willingness to share his own experience with loss, he has helped so many in our community deal with grief and loss.” Hunt said.
Hunt said many people will miss Wilkinson’s presence in the pulpit.
“I am so excited for Linda and Dennis and what the opportunity means to them, but I am very sad to see him retire from FUMC Coppell,” Hunt said.
White added “We celebrate the close of a phenomenal career so that he can spend more quality time with his family.”