Forum for Theological Exploration FTE Leaders

Starsky Wilson, Vice Chair

Starsky D. Wilson is an activist, pastor, philanthropist and president & CEO of Deaconess Foundation, a faith-based grant-making organization devoted to making child well-being a civic priority in the St. Louis region.

While in this role with the foundation, Rev. Wilson served at Saint John’s Church (The Beloved Community) for 10 years where he led activism on several issues, including youth violence prevention, Medicaid expansion, public school accreditation, voter mobilization, and raising the minimum wage, while quadrupling worship attendance and annual giving. In addition, he established The Beloved Community Conference and Sojourner’s Truth: Celebration of Preaching Women. In 2014, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon appointed Rev. Wilson to lead the Ferguson Commission. The following year, they released the ground-breaking Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity Report, calling for sweeping changes in policing, the courts, child well-being, and economic mobility.

Rev. Wilson is currently the board chair for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). He also serves on boards for Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Chicago Theological Seminary, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference and Saint Louis Children’s Hospital. In addition, he is an advisor to the Democracy Fund, Let America Vote and the National Voter Protection Action Fund.

A member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Rev. Wilson earned a bachelor of arts in political science from


University of Louisiana and a master of divinity from Eden Theological Seminary. He is currently completing his doctoral thesis, titled The Truth of Reconciliation: Leadership for American Apartheid, at Duke Divinity School.

Rev. Wilson and his wife Dr. LaToya Smith Wilson reside in St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising four children.

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