Pastor John “Wesley” Pope Sr was born February 8th 1971, to Patricia Pope (Deceased) and Pastor Leonard Cleckley, in Clairton, PA., a suburb of Pittsburgh.
At the age of two Pastor Pope lost his mother as a result of complications during oral surgery, from this point pastor and his brother Sydney were raised by their grandparents Catherine and Willie Pope. Pastor Pope has fond memories of growing up with his grandparents, and admits that his grandparents played a big role in establishing his Christian foundation. As a youth Wesley attended “Morning Star” Baptist Church of Clairton where he participated in Sunday School, Junior Church, and the church’s Youth Choir. As Wesley became a teenager and it became difficult for his grandparents to care for him because of their age, he moved in with his uncle and aunt “Benny” and Nell Webb. Moving from Clairton, a predominantly African American community, to Indiana Pa, a predominantly Caucasian community, was a culture shock for Wes, but he admits he would not trade that experience or part of his life for anything in the world. What he didn’t know was Indiana was preparing him for what was to come in life. Wesley faced many challenges in Indiana, but each challenge made him the man he is today.
After graduating high school, Wesley left Indiana and entered into the United States Army. As a Telecommunication Data Operator his career lead him to places such as Ft. Jackson, S.C., Ft. Gordon, G.A., and a tour in Germany. Wes has good memories of every military installation that he has visited, but none can match Ft. Hood T.X. Ft. Hood is where he met his current wife Shelisa. Pastor and First Lady met in March of 1996 and have been together every since. This loving couple has children that are working in the medical field, attending college, high school, and even one in Pre-K.
Throughout the years Pastor Pope has encountered many people who have impacted his life, but none have impacted his life like the team of Frances Legington and Pastor Roy L. Sephus. These two individual, together, introduced him to Christ. Pastor Pope admits that if it were not for these two individuals he’s not for sure of how his life would have turned out.
After giving his life to Christ, Pastor Pope joined New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and became very active. Not long after joining New Hope he became a Sunday School Teacher, a Deacon, and he even accepted his calling to preach while there. After some years had passed, Pastor Pope, being obedient to God left New Hope and became a charter member of God’s Way Community Baptist under Pastor Sephus. While at God’s Way Pastor Pope served as the Assistant Pastor, Youth Pastor, Sunday School Teacher, and the Sunday School Superintendant.
Again, being obedient to God, Pastor Pope left God’s Way to plant Morning Star Missionary Baptist. With the help of his wife, children, friends, family, and most of all God, on August 1st, 2010 Morning Star launched their first service and it continues to grow. As the pastor of Morning Star he finds it very important that God’s people know the Word as God intended it to be understood. Pastor Pope and his congregation eagerly pursue the deeper truths of the Bible and invite everyone out to join them.
When not working as a nurse at the local VA Hospital or attending Tyndale Theological Seminary and Bible Institute, in his spare time, which is not much anymore, Pastor enjoys playing golf, fishing, and coaching youth sports. It is his passion to give back to his community and to God’s people. Pastor Pope says it is the Word that keeps him going, and says it is his favorite Scripture, “… count it all joy” (James 1:2) that encourages him daily. He believes that there is nothing too big for God and he continues to place all his cares on Him because he knows God cares for him,