Beloved Chicago pastor once honored by city killed with husband in hit-and-run accident

Crime Scene
Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

A Chicago pastor from a long line of clergy was killed along with her pastor husband in a hit-and-run accident in the city’s Far South Side last Monday. Police have not located the perpetrator. 

Police say Apostle Yvonne Lee-Wilson of Body of Christ Deliverance Ministries Training Center and her husband, retired Pastor Adelbert Wilson, were found in their car following a crash around 11:15 p.m. at 111th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue.

Lee-Wilson served over 25 years as senior pastor of the church.

The couple, both of whom are in their mid-60s, had been married for three decades, according to the church’s website. They leave behind their three daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that both had to be extracted from their vehicle and were rushed to two local hospitals. 

Wilson died at the University of Chicago Medical Center and Lee-Wilson died at the Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. 

Police are investigating the crash as a hit-and-run and have not released further information about the accident.

ABC 7 Chicago reports that police found a wrecked white vehicle at the scene but can’t conclusively say if the other driver was in it. Police revealed that Wilson was driving a red SUV, which had rolled over into a bus stop, ripping the roof off the vehicle and shattering the walls. 

Lee-Wilson’s sister, Geneva Davis, told the outlet that she is in “awe” of the news. 

“I don’t know how I am feeling,” she was quoted as saying. “I am broken. I am devastated, angry and frustrated.”  

City Council Alderman Carrie Austin of the 34th Ward introduced a resolution in 2013 to honor Lee-Wilson for her many years of service to the community during the 17th anniversary of her time with Body of Christ Deliverance Ministries. 

“Dr. Yvonne Lee-Wilson is an active member of her community who has gone beyond the call of duty to meet the needs of God’s people,” the resolution stated. “She is a spokesperson for the 5th District Police Department, is involved with the Roseland Community Hospital, and acts as an advisor for 34th Ward Alderman Carrie M. Austin.”

The resolution also noted that Lee-Wilson was a full-time employee with Catholic Charities seeking to help meet the needs of people in her community. She also authored the 2008 book The Rise and Fall of Women in Ministry

Lee-Wilson was a Chicago resident since birth and earned a bachelor’s degree from Chicago State University and a doctorate in divinity from St. Michael’s Institution. 

The Far South Chicago Coalition honored Lee-Wilson in a Facebook post

"Dr. Wilson was an invaluable asset to our organization," the organization shared. "She was knowledgeable, efficient, a pillar in the community, a beloved member of FSCC and a faithful woman of GOD! She will be truly missed by everyone who knew her. We are praying for her entire family!"

Local Pastor Lolita Luckett, who had known the couple for years, remembers her friends as “extremely beautiful people.”

“She was a great woman, and she left a great legacy behind,” Luckett told The Chicago Sun-Times. “She touched the lives of many, many people, too many to even count. In and out of Illinois.”

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