MMHMF Honoree

2013 Education Service Award Recipient

A native of Chesterfield County, Virginia, Ernestine Gregory Wilson is the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Arthur S. Gregory, Sr.  Ernestine is a proud graduate of the Class of 1964 at G. W. Carver High and of Virginia State University where she received a B.S. Degree in Business Education and a M.S. Ed. Degree in Guidance and Counseling.

Ernestine taught business subjects and served as the sponsor of the Student Council Association, the National Honor Society and the school’s first Gospel Chorale at Matoaca High School.  She served as a counselor at Matoaca Middle School and Midlothian, Thomas Dale and Meadowbrook High Schools.  Following retirement in June 2009, Ernestine worked at Petersburg and Hopewell High Schools for two years with GRASP (Greater Richmond Area Scholarship Program).  There she counseled students and their parents on making positive decisions for life after high school.  She was instrumental in providing several students with scholarships. 

In June 2005, Sister Wilson was elected President of the Division of Women (now Ministry of Women) of the Virginia Baptist General Convention (BGC).  She sought to lead women of BGC to ensure that they were ready, individually and collectively, to respond effectively to boldly meet the challenges and issues of our communities, state and world.

Ernestine has been a member of the Gillfield Baptist Church, Petersburg for 39 years, and a member of the Diaconate Ministry of the church since 1989.  She is a member of the Gospel Choir, the Women’s Fellowship and the Missionary Ministry.  She also serves as Chair of the Ministry of Christian Education and oversees the following programs for young people: Cub Scouts; Girl and Boy Scouts; Youth Fellowship; Children’s Ministry; and Sunday school.   She has served as the Director of Vacation Bible School for the past three years.  Ernestine shared that one of her greatest joys is that church programs are “designed to have students of every age grow spiritually and educationally in their individual walks with Christ”.

A lover of good books and inspirational materials, one of Ernestine’s favorite scriptures is Philippians 3:13-14 - “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  She is committed to the constructive development of women – particularly young African American women.

Ernestine is an active member of the Chesterfield Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; the Women’s Committee for the Petersburg Symphony Orchestra; and President of the Petersburg Chapter, The Links, Inc.  She is a part of the Delta’s Debutante Program for high school seniors, designed to promote service, scholarship and values.  Under her leadership, The Links enrichment program for a select group of students in Petersburg Public Schools served 19 young people from Vernon Johns Junior High last year.  The program is designed to: refine basic skills (SOL competencies, especially in science, technology, engineering and math); provide exposure to culturally-enriching activities; present positive role models; and promote healthy self-images and positive life choices/habits.

Earnestine was named “Teacher of the Year” at Matoaca High in 1999, and was a finalist for Teacher of the Year at Meadowbrook High in 2007.  She has received the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award; the Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority President’s Award; and several awards from the Alpha Eta Chapter (VSU) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.  She truly treasures the award from her former Cooperative Office Education students at Matoaca High who recognized her for her dedication to them.  Ernestine wrote: “Each young lady has gone on to become a productive member of our community, our country and our world.  This is the reason I entered the educational arena.  This is what makes me most proud”.

Ernestine and her husband of almost 45 years, Fred, reside in Petersburg.  They are the parents of three adult children, Fred, Corey and Crystal, and grandparents of three handsome, smart and very talented young men, Fred Benjamin, Avery and Myles, a step-granddaughter, Jasmine, and last but certainly not least, Granny and G-Pop’s beautiful princess, Ryann Elyse.  Ernestine Gregory Wilson is a blessed child of God and offers all honor, glory and praise to Him who is truly the head of her life.

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