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Santa Barbara News-Press : THE REV. LEO LEANDER WILKES

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THE REV. LEO LEANDER WILKES


December 2, 2005 1:00 AM

THE REV. LEO LEANDER WILKES: 1924-2005



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  • The Rev. Wilkes
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  • The Rev. Leo Leander Wilkes, former pastor at the Second Baptist Church of Santa Barbara and a UCSB lecturer in the Department of Black Studies, has died. He was 81.
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  • "He was loved by many," his son, Leo Wilkes, said Thursday afternoon during a post-funeral reception at the East Mason Street church, which dates to 1910 and was formerly located downtown on Gutierrez Street. The Rev. Wilkes was its sixth pastor.
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  • "He was unselfish, and was about serving others," Leo Wilkes said.
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  • In a 1993 News-Press story, the Rev. Wilkes described Second Baptist as "the oldest church in Santa Barbara which was founded by those of African-American descent."
    Dec 2, 2005
  • Lincoln Russell, a deacon at Second Baptist, said Thursday that the Rev. Wilkes often told the faithful to "never reach for the lower end of things when you can reach for the higher end."
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  • In May 1997, at the request of Rep. Walter Capps, the Rev. Wilkes stood before the 105th Congress and delivered the opening prayer on the 46th annual National Day of Prayer.
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  • Denise Juan, a 20-year member of the congregation, said the Rev. Wilkes stressed that everyone matters, regardless of his or her background or ethnicity.
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