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Veteran of the Month: Karl A. Wilkinson

Karl A. Wilkinson was born on October 17, 1959 in Philadelphia. His family moved to Boston, Massachusetts when he was 11 where he attended elementary, middle and high school (Thayer Academy and Copely Square High). They moved back to Philly 1979.


Karl Wilkinson today

Karl enlisted in U.S. Navy in January of 1979 and upon completion of basic training at Great Lakes IL, was assigned to his permanent duty station at Norfolk, Virginia.

Karl was stationed on a guided missile destroyer named the USS Barney. His responsibilities consisted of the ship’s readiness, steering and Radar tracking. Karl’s four years of naval service gave him the opportunity to travel to Asia, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Europe, the Caribbean and West Indies.

Karl received many awards and medals such as the Navy Expeditionary medal, the Sea Service ribbon, the Sea Service star and Battle “E” award.

Karl was given name “Silk” because of his calm demeanor in the “pilot house” (the ship’s brain) and how he handled engine controls and his steering abilities (the helm). This was demonstrated while traveling through the Suez Canal as well as rough seas during ship’s operations. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in March 1983.

Karl, like a lot of young men who served in the military, became misguided and made some bad decisions. He became a victim of such a life that wasn’t going anywhere but down.

He realized the need for a more meaningful change; God’s way was his only answer.   He found this while living in Yonkers, NY working as a community activist providing support for youth community centers and a great organization called R.O.P.I.N.G. (Reaching Out to People in Neighborhood Growth) who offered academic and athletic support for youth in the community.

This organization received many awards such as the “Initiative Award” for the first successful citywide job fair and also “City of Yonkers Mayor’s Award” for voter’s registration drive, “Humanitarian Award” through Yonkers police department for providing security for city events.

Karl Wilkinson in his Navy days

Karl Wilkinson in his Navy days

Karl received the “Completion and Practician” award for assisting clients with their rights and providing for their proper benefits. Karl’s faith in God grew stronger through each challenge and kept him on the right track and refreshed him spiritually.

In March of 2006 Karl accepted the calling to preach the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” at Star of Hope Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Dr. Hubert B. Barnes where he was licensed. Karl furthered his education and was ordained in 2011 and received his “Honorary Doctrine” in Divinity and was called to a new place of worship “The Heart of Worship Restoration Center” under the leadership of Pastor Kevin M. Aiken. Karl also became active in the Prison Ministry, Street Ministry and teaching the bible to various Christian based houses.

He is now a police chaplain of the 35th police district providing faithful care and spiritual support for these public servants who face life and death situations. Karl is also part of the “City Wide Prayer Network” which is in partnership with various “Worship Tabernacles” (churches) and faith based organizations city and state wide.

Rev. Karl A. Wilkinson, U.S. Navy veteran would like to thank all who have prayed for him.

Now hear this: Rev. Wilkinson, I know your mom is very proud of you and your accomplishments. She is probably up there in heaven wearing out ears talking about her “baby Karl“. (smile)