Don Wilson (pastor)
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February 25, 1949
Alta Vista, Kansas
Donald Wilson (born 1949, Alta Vista, Kansas) is the founder and senior pastor of Christ's Church of the Valley in Peoria, Arizona, one of the largest churches in the United States, with an average attendance of nearly 25,000 a week. Wilson also helped begin four other Valley-wide churches: Christ's Church of the Crossroads, The Refinery Christian Church, Journey Christian Church, and Praxis Church of Scottsdale. On January 28th, 2017, Wilson announced his retirement, effective October 29th, 2017.
Wilson and CCV
Don is the founder of Christ’s Church of the Valley, which has been in existence since 1982; he began services in a rented movie theatre. Since that time, Christ’s Church of the Valley has held services in an elementary school, a strip mall, and a building known as ‘The Castle’. In 1996, Christ’s Church of the Valley raised over $1 million in one day, purchased 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land in the northwest area of Phoenix for a permanent home. In 2006, CCV raised over $8 million on one weekend for the Ripple Effect campaign. This campaign is built two new buildings for Children and Youth ministries. These buildings opened fall 2008.
For the first four years on the new property, Christ’s Church of the Valley held services in a ‘sprung’ structure with seating for 1,100. After holding six identical services each weekend, in January 2004, Christ’s Church of the Valley moved into their new 3,000 seat multi-use structure on the 100-acre (0.40 km2) campus. Christ’s Church of the Valley has over 22,000 in attendance each weekend at multiple services.
In the 30+ years that Christ’s Church of the Valley has been in existence, they have assisted in starting fourteen new churches, four of which were started in 2004. In 2006, CCV started their first church plant in Prescott, Arizona. In late 2007, two additional plants opened; one in Goodyear, Arizona and the other in Scottsdale, Arizona. Of these church plants, only the Goodyear location is still in operation. In 2011, CCV opened a new multisite in Surprise, Arizona called CCV Surprise. In a continuous effort in trying push their vision of "One church with many locations", they opened their third campus in Scottsdale, Arizona in the Fall of 2012 as CCV Scottsdale. Continuing with their efforts to "Reach the valley for Christ" CCV has since opened other campuses surrounding the Phoenix metro area: CCV Anthem (2014), CCV East Valley (2013), Avondale (2015) and mid town (2016).
Wilson also mentors new pastors and their churches through the Leadership Institute, a ministry of CCV that is a degree completion program for undergraduate students. They also accept students to audit the program and have a deal with Johnson University to offer a Graduate degree to those who have already completed a Bachelors and are accepted through Johnson. This Residency program offers on-the-job training for future leaders in the church.
Don served as the President of the North American Christian Convention (NACC) in 2000. He has formerly served on the Board of Trustees at Manhattan Christian College and is a past president of the Arizona Christian Convention. Don is now serving on the Executive Committee for North American Christian Convention (NACC) developed plans for the 2009 NACC in Louisville, Kentucky. He was a teaching associate for John Maxwell’s EQUIP Million Leader Mandate.
Family and personal life
Wilson married his wife, Susan on August 9, 1968, and has three grown children, Paul, Kelli and Kristi, all of whom are involved in full-time ministry. Don also has eleven grandchildren, Madison, Russell, Riley, Marlee, Jacob, Garrett, Jenna, Suzanna, Mia, Whitney and Abigail.
Don and Sue currently live in Peoria, Arizona.