Jerry Wilson named Christmas parade Grand Marshal
The Brownsville-Haywood County Rescue Squad is pleased to announce that Jerry Wilson has been selected as this year’s Brownsville Christmas Parade Grand Marshal. Wilson will have the honor of lighting the community Christmas tree on Thursday evening, December 3, and will then lead the Christmas parade on Saturday, December 5 at 6 p.m. This year’s parade theme is “Jingle Bell Rock.”
“Mr. Jerry has contributed greatly to our community,” says Rescue Squad Captain Don Dinkins, “and we think it is only appropriate that we honor his community service during this year’s parade.”
Wilson, a native Haywood Countian, was born in the Bethel community in the northwest portion of the county. He attended Bethel Grammar School and is a member of the 1959 graduating class of Haywood High School. He married Carol Jean Baird in 1968 and they have one child and seven grandchildren before her passing in 2011.
Employment during his early years included work as an insurance salesman, American Kleer-Vu Plastics, Allied Finance Corporation and WBHT radio. He has also worked as an entertainer and remained a regular on local radio until recently.
His most drastic turn came in 1973 when he decided to enter the ministry and enrolled in college. He graduated from Lambuth University in 1976 and completed studies for this Masters in Religion at Memphis Theological Seminary in 1980.
Serving as pastor in communities across the Midsouth allowed Wilson to serve in many capacities. His activities included Bible instructor at Fort Pillow State Prison, volunteer and emcee for the Chester County Relay for Life, president of the Cooper Young Neighborhood Association in Memphis, founding member of the Cooper Young Business Association of Memphis, founding member of the Cooper Young Festival, and he also conducted morning worship services at the Mid-South Fair in Memphis for 20 years.
Back home in Brownsville, Wilson stayed busy working with the Brownsville-Haywood County Rescue Squad as a member and serving as Chaplain. He chaired the entertainment committee and emceed the Haywood County Relay for Life for 13 years, as well as serving in the same capacity for the Hatchie Fall Fest for a number of years. He was also presented the Minute Man Award by Adjunct General Gus Hargett for his services to the 1175th Transportation Company of the Tennessee Army National Guard, Brownsville.
Wilson has served on the advisory board of the Delta Heritage Center since 2009 and volunteers for the Brownsville Radio Christmas Basket Fund radiothon each year. He continues to be involved in the community through his work with Mt. Pleasant and Whiteville United Methodist Churches and writes a regular newspaper column.
The community is invited join the Rescue Squad for activities on the square Saturday, December 5, beginning at 2 p.m. with a Children’s Parade. Children are then invited to have their pictures taken with Santa and hear Christmas stories read. Community choirs will perform at 4 p.m., followed by the parade at 6. The parade will begin at Boyd and East Main Street and continue west around the square to McLemore Street.
If you would like to enter the parade, forms are available at Brownsville City Hall, the Delta Heritage Center or any Rescue Squad member. You can also follow parade happenings on facebook.com/BrownsvilleChristmasParade.