Rev. Wheeler’s tireless dedication to leading soles to Christ and helping families as they struggle to improve their lives has made the name Vermont Avenue Baptist Church synonymous with “Missions”. In addition, to the “firsts” in Foreign Missions, and our standard setting Family Life Center, Rev. Wheeler’s vision led us to the establishment and implementation of the city’s first “Shoe Fund”. Children all over this city have been provided appropriate shoes empowering them to attend school without the embarrassment and physical peril of worn and tattered shoes. The Higher Education Fund, another accomplishment under Rev. Wheeler, provides assistance to college students in the purchase of books and supplies. These programs, in addition to the monetary gifts supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Baptist Seminaries, have assisted thousands in their quest for a more abundant life.
Our dedication to missions has been just a part of the ongoing ministry of our church. Most importantly, Rev. Wheeler has continued in the legacy of those pastors before him in preaching the Word of God. We have remained a church wholly dependent on god as our source and provider of every good and perfect gift. It is through the hearing of the Word that we have benefited most. Rev. Wheeler’s distinctive sermonic lessons have brought us all to a higher, more intense appreciation for the truth in the Word that makes us free. Mindful of his failing health, Rev. John R. Wheeler recommended and the church voted, Rev. Cornelius R. Wheeler as our Co-Pastor in 2002.