Staff Stories: Rob Wilton

My Story

In the spring of 2008, my wife and I united with a small group of people to begin a new church in the heart of New Orleans.  That small group of people has now multiplied all over New Orleans and even around the world.  We are so thankful to be on this journey. Here is a little background to my journey.

My family is from South Africa and moved to New Orleans in 1979 to attend the Baptist Seminary.  I was born in 1981 and my childhood was filled with amazing journeys in New Orleans and around the world.  As my dad completed his degree, he preached around the world with the Billy Graham Association.  Today he has the honor of serving as Dr. Graham’s pastor.  Jesus saved me at the age of 7 as I repented of my sin and embraced Him as Lord.  Not only did Jesus save me, but at this young age he also placed a call upon my life for ministry that I only fully embraced in college.  We remained in New Orleans until my dad accepted God’s call to South Carolina as a pastor.  My high school years were spent being discipled in a local church, and Jesus called me into full time ministry as I played college basketball.  

Annabeth and I were married in 2004 and moved to New Orleans in 2005 to begin ministry training at the Baptist Seminary.  When Hurricane Katrina hit in the fall I was serving for a sports ministry and leading basketball camps around the city.  The storm placed us back in South Carolina briefly, but I soon returned to New Orleans working for an organization called MissionLab that hosts churches to love and serve the city.  At that same time, my brother and I started a worship gathering to rally young adults around Jesus.  During these years I had the privilege of preaching to thousands of people and witnessing the hand of God as we rebuilt New Orleans.  It was also during these years that Jesus called my wife and I to plant Vintage Church.

As I was serving in ministry, my wife was serving as a massage therapist in Uptown New Orleans.  It was through her job and the relationships that God brought into our lives that we found ourselves being called to plant Vintage Church.  Simply put, we fell in love with the people in Uptown and recognized a need for a new work.  Under God’s grace and power we had the privilege of leading one of her co-workers to Jesus and the rest is history.  People have been saved and baptized, our community groups have multiplied, leaders have been trained and sent out, our gatherings have grown, and God is receiving all glory and praise. 

My Role at Vintage

As the Founding and Lead Pastor of Vintage I have three main responsibilities: preaching, leadership, and vision. These are not exclusive but are a priority for our church as we serve Jesus today and in the future. My main objective in regards to carrying these out is to listen to Jesus and do what He says. Jesus is our leader and He has placed me to be a leader among equals for Him. I am humbled and honored to serve Him, my family, my staff, my church, and this world in this role.

As I have served with Vintage, Annabeth and I have welcomed four beautiful kids into this world. Bolt is 6 and has amazing creativity and heart. Mack and Birk are 4 and larger than life. Go big or go home is their game and I love it! Carolina McCall is 1 and is a mini reflection of my gorgeous wife. She’s got this daddy whooped. I love my family so much! 

When I think about my passions in life, it is hard to separate my ministry life and personal life. I certainly love playing basketball, golf, football, and tennis. I have a passion and calling to travel and preach around the world but my favorite day is a quiet day at home with my family. My perfect vacation is always at a beach somewhere reading, sitting, swimming, and eating. I love every flavor, sound, street, and person in this city that God has placed me in. I have drunk the koolaid, and I’m hooked. That is why I love our church. Yeah, this city and our church have issues, but who doesn’t? We are a real family of people who are genuinely trying to live the Gospel, love the city, and be the church. My best friends in life are on this staff and in this church and I am so thankful to serve alongside every one of you. 

Thanks for letting me share about my life!

Your Pastor and Friend,