Before seminary, you owned your own business? Yes, I was the owner and tradesman for Wilde Custom Building and Design in South Bend, Ind.
Who’s in your family? My wife is Janice. We’ll be married 30 years on Sept. 6. Our children are Elin, who’s going to Covenant College, and Daniel, who’s working in Indiana. Elin was homeschooled in high school. Both attended private Christian school before high school.
How did you get the call to ministry? God had been calling me since I was about 10, but I had my eyes firmly fixed on being a veterinarian. People would tell me they thought I should be ordained, but I blew it off: “Yeah, that’s ridiculous.” My parish priest in South Bend also thought I was called. He told me that as he prayed through the names of people in the congregation, he had a vision of me in ministry. I laughed him off at first, but then I went through the discernment process.
When did you start? In 2002. I dragged it out to see how it felt. In the spring of 2007 I became a postulant for Holy Orders and went to Sewanee (The University of the South) that fall. I was raised Lutheran and some felt there was an issue of being reconfirmed. I balked at first but decided to be obedient.
Who was your priest? David Ottsen. His wife is Deborah. We are very close friends. Now they’re in Brenham, Tex.
You started here at Trinity this summer. Any surprises about the ministry so far? It’s a good parish to start in. It has all the components a church should have. They’re a good group of people and we’re planning on expanding some things again.
Such as? The adult and youth education programs for one thing. We may also reinstate a contemporary service.
How did you find this job? I was doing some hunting but there are not a lot of jobs out there. The possibility eventually came through the grapevine. Rich (Martindale) found out about me and contacted me.
Do you have animals? Right now we have one dog. He’s a long-legged terrier named Jack. We had labs since 1983, but my wife’s allergies from them got worse and worse.
What’s your doctorate in? I studied and now teach Worship Studies. The Robert E. Webber School for Worship Studies is based in Orange Park, Fla. I teach two times a year. It’s also an online school. Classes meet for eight days. With eating, workshops and services we are together 12 hours a day.
Who’s the program for? People who are already church music ministers, and some pastors. It’s for all Protestant denominations. There are about 100-120 people on campus each session.
When did you go to Wheaton College? In the late ’70s. My family lived there for nine years then moved to South Bend in 1990 and we lived there 17 years. My family is pretty musical. My son is a pianist and a drummer and my daughter plays piano, violin and guitar. My wife teaches voice, piano, guitar and violin; and we all sing.
Where did you do your field education work in seminary? At Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham.
How about your Clinical Pastoral Education training? That was in Naples, Fla., at two hospitals and one in-house hospice. The first weekend, a friend from Sewanee was on call and watched a guy bleed out from a knife fight. I didn’t think I’d like CPE but I did.
What do you like most about ministry? I love to preach and write and teach, but my first love has always been liturgy and celebrating the sacraments.
What do you do in your spare time? I’m hoping to start fishing again. I do read a lot, and write, and play music. I love the outdoors — hiking, canoeing, hunting and camping.
What were your first impressions of Columbus? We were very impressed on our first visit. Columbus has a small-town feel but offers a lot of advantages of a larger area. It’s the best of both worlds. I like the river. I like to have water nearby.
Wilde was ordained an Episcopal priest Friday night at Trinity. The Rt. Rev. Edward Stuart Little II of Northern Indiana officiated.