Wilfred Graves Jr. is the only child of Wilfred and Glendolyn K. Graves. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 17, 1972 and lived in the small town of Bogalusa, Louisiana until his family moved to Columbus, Georgia in 1982. Wilfred was an honor student throughout his early academic career and began to demonstrate a high aptitude for math and science during his middle school years at Dimon Elementary School (1982-84) and Rothschild Junior High School (1984-86).
Wilfred attended Columbus High School, a place first integrated in the 1960s by his mother Glendolyn and five other African-American students. Glendolyn graduated from Columbus High School in 1967. Wilfred would become the first African-American valedictorian in the school’s 100-year history in 1990.
Wilfred received a full scholarship to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was ranked among the top ten mathematics students (1994). After graduating from MIT, he went on to receive a Master of Science in Statistics from Stanford University (1996), a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary (1999), and a Ph.D. in Historical Theology, also from Fuller Seminary (2007). Wilfred is the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from this prestigious institution. His doctoral dissertation is entitled “Popular and Elite Understandings of Miracles in Enlightened England.”
Wilfred worked for five years (1997-2002) as an aerospace engineer for Northrop Grumman (formerly Aerojet) in Azusa, California. There he supported various engineering efforts with his statistical expertise. Today he uses his mathematical skills for personal and professional research projects and the educational enrichment of the community. Wilfred is a strong advocate for the continual creation and expansion of educational opportunities for young people. Wilfred Graves Ministries has awarded several educational stipends to college and graduate students since its founding in 2016.
Wilfred made a commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ during early childhood and acknowledged the call to ministry in his mid-teens. He has been involved in public ministry for nearly thirty years and was ordained in 1999. He joined West Angeles Church of God in Christ in 1997 and became a member of the executive leadership team in 2003. He now serves as Associate Minister, Ministerial Staff Coordinator, and Special Assistant to the Senior Pastor (Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr.). He is the former executive director of the West Angeles Church Education and Enrichment Program. He also is Chairman of the West Angeles Ministerial Alliance, a collection of the licensed and ordained clergy of the church. He has been a member of the faculty of West Angeles Bible College since 2000. In 2012, he became an adjunct professor of Historical Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. In 2018, he joined the adjunct faculty of Talbot School of Theology (Biola University).
Dr. Graves believes that the love, power, and grace of God can transform broken lives. He welcomes the operation of spiritual gifts in his ministry. The Lord often uses him to bring physical and emotional healing to the suffering. He has written an important book entitled In Pursuit of Wholeness: Experiencing God’s Salvation for the Total Person (Destiny Image, April 2011). The book is about the availability of God’s power for every aspect of life. In Pursuit of Wholeness will be a tremendous source of encouragement to all who seek healing and restoration for their spirits, minds, and bodies.
Dr. Wilfred Graves Jr. is married to Dr. Malaika E. Graves, a pediatrician who practices in Southern California. They were married on June 24, 2017.
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