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Local Pastor Hopes to Share His Inspirational Message Across WNY | Community Spirit

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Local Pastor Hopes to Share His Inspirational Message Across WNY
Local Pastor Hopes to Share His Inspirational Message Across WNY


“Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can.”

It’s a simple, yet powerful message. It’s also a message that Reverend Christopher Wylie has learned firsthand through a lifetime of overcoming a multitude of serious health issues and other seemingly insurmountable obstacles. And, it’s a message that he now hopes to share both in his churches and in the broader community as an inspirational speaker.

Born several weeks prematurely in Buffalo 45 years ago and given up for adoption by his birth parents, Wylie was diagnosed with cerebral palsy that has left the left side of his body in a severely weakened state. Growing up a fan of ice hockey, he would become an active participant in SABAH (Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped). 

Complications from cerebral palsy would eventually lead to multiple back surgeries and knee issues that have caused him to rely heavily on the use of a wheelchair to get around town. Yet through it all, he never lost hope or his desire to be a productive member of society. His life is an incredible story of resilience and transformation.

Despite his physical limitations, Wylie’s work ethic and employment history are impressive, having worked for both HSBC Bank and The Buffalo News before finally, and reluctantly, accepting Social Security Disability due to his deteriorating health. It was around this same time that he put his future into the hands of God, enrolling in the United Theological Seminary at the Buffalo campus of Houghton College. So severe were his ailments at times that a couch had to be brought into the classroom so that Wylie could lie down during his classes. It was often the only way he could physically get through the lengthy sessions. 

Eventually, Wylie would work his way off Social Security Disability and become ordained in the United Methodist Church. His first assignment after ordination was at Pavilion United Methodist Church in Genesee County and Wyoming United Methodist Church in Wyoming County. He now serves at the Millville and Knowlesville United Methodist Churches in the Medina area. As minister, he is responsible for everything from day-to-day management and preparing sermons to performing Sunday services, weddings and funerals. 

“It’s not always easy to get around,” said Wylie, who is grateful for the support of his loving wife, Jennelle. “Do I look like everyone else getting around? No. Can it be difficult? Yes, no question. But that’s the message I want to get across to people — Each of us can overcome our obstacles to be our very best and become the most we can be.”

“Why do we look past people we perceive as being different than us?” Wylie asks. “Aren’t we all God’s children? Weren’t we all adopted into the family of God?”

Church Services are held each Sunday morning at 9:30 and 11 a.m. for Knowlesville and Millville United Methodist Churches, respectively. There are also special Christmas Eve services planned including Christmas music, video and an inspiring message titled, “God Comes Home for Christmas.” Worship for Christmas Eve begins at 5 p.m. for Knowlesville and 7 p.m. for Millville. 

To find out more about services, to contact Rev. Wylie or to schedule a speaking engagement for your company, church or organization, please call him at (585) 735-6685 or email cwylie98@aol.com.


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