Gavilan Hills Church New Thought Community has existed in South
County for more than two decades. After moving among several Gilroy
locations, the congregation presently meets at 13085 Monterey Road
in San Martin.
Gavilan Hills Church New Thought Community has existed in South County for more than two decades. After moving among several Gilroy locations, the congregation presently meets at 13085 Monterey Road in San Martin.
Last month, the membership of Gavilan Hills welcomed Bill Wilson as the new permanent minister to serve the congregation. The Capitola resident, who is far from a stranger to the church, has been a guest speaker on a regular basis for the past five years.
Born near Cleveland, Ohio, he graduated from Ohio University with a degree in graphic arts. Wilson’s “quest for happiness” led him to California in 1971.
Studying yoga and teaching it to prisoners at San Quentin’s Death Row taught him what it means to be a volunteer, “experiencing happiness as the result of giving without expecting to receive anything in return.” This experience inspired Wilson to seek fulfillment by becoming a minister to share truth teachings with others.
Wilson attended the Unity School of Christianity in Unity Village, Mo. He was ordained a unity minister in 1981 and has served as senior minister at several churches for 20 years (Richmond; Eugene, Ore.; Fairfax, Va.; Chantilly, Va.; and Santa Cruz).
About six years ago, he felt led to leave the full-time ministry to take a job as an advertising sales representative. He had decided he needed some time to step back and “establish a firmer personal theological foundation, a rock of truth.”
He used this time to “clarify [his] relationship with God,” making several appearances at different churches as guest speaker for worship services. When the San Martin church’s leadership asked him to consider becoming their new minister, he declined but offered to help them in their search.
Then on Jan. 1 of this year, he felt God guiding him to be open to this offer. Finally, praying “Thy will be done,” Wilson recognized it was God’s intention for him to accept the position.
Wilson, who shuns the traditional honorific title of “Reverend” because “only God is to be revered,” speaks lovingly of his new congregation: “They are kind, forgiving, compassionate and caring people.”
He said he feels “pleased to be part of the family,” feeling it is “a privilege to be of service to them.”
Although Gavilan Hills Church is a small group of believers, they take seriously the idea of outreach to the community. Their focus is on praying with members of their own church family as well as with their neighbors in the larger community.
Bill Wilson is married to Shakti and has two sons, Seth, 25, and Shawn, 21. He enjoys staying active by bike riding, hiking and walking.
The public is invited to some upcoming workshops he will be offering. They are free, but a donation will be accepted.
– “Stop, Look, Listen, Be” teaches people prayer and meditation. It will be held at the church from 1-3 p.m. May 18. Topics addressed include listening to silence, the purpose of prayer, verbal/silent prayer, meditating and praying in different environments.
– “Make Me an Instrument” shows people how to have vision. Also held at the church, it will be held at 1-3 p.m. June 8 covering topics of defining, discovering and fulfilling one’s vision.