Elder Spotlight: London Wilson Sr., scouting and church leader
Just days ago, on May 8, London Wilson, Sr., celebrated his 98th birthday. And two days before that, the founding scout leader of Blueridge Methodist Church’s Boy Scout Troop 434 was on hand to celebrate two more of its members as they officially became Eagle Scouts. And scouting is just one area where Wilson has had an impact.
Wilson, the native Houstonian, was born in 1925, the same year civil rights icon Asa Philip Randolph established the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids, the first successful Black trade union in history.
The Fifth Ward resident graduated from Booker T. Washington High School, Houston’s first of three high schools available to the city’s Black residents (Yates, 1926; Wheatley, 1927). Wilson later graduated from Wiley College with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1949 after serving in WWII in the US Army/Water Department. He was stationed in Germany and purified the water for the soldiers.
That experience served as a precursor to Wilson’s work for Harris County where he worked in the water purifying division until this operation was transferred to the COH/Public Works Department in the 1950s.
Wilson retired from the city in 1976, but continued to work for the US Postal Service, work he did from 1950-1990.
At his long-time faith community, Blueridge Methodist Church, Wilson served on various boards and ministries. And it was at Blueridge that Wilson helped establish Troop 434 of the Boy Scouts of America in 1968. Wilson served as Troop Leader for several years from founding through the 1970s. There, Wilson also served in a myriad of capacities over the years, including singing in the Men’s Choir.
But Wilson did not contain his community service to the four walls of the church. Currently, he is the 22-year president of the Houston Wiley Alumnae Club providing annual financial support for his beloved HBCU. Moreover, he is president of his hunting club—Safe Handling of Guns (S.H.O.G.) and a member of the Nu Phi chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
And became a Lifelong Learning student at Houston Community College/Willie Gay Campus in 2020.
Wilson is the proud father of three children: Adrienne Denise (deceased), Londa Valencia (spouse – Percy Singleton, Jr.), and London Jr. He has four grandchildren three great-grandchildren. Wilson was married for 55 years to Jewell T. Wilson until her death in 2007.
Article by Londa Singleton and Aswad Walker.