Jarvis R. Wilson was born in Atlanta on July
14, 1961. He is the youngest of three children
born to the late Clarence and Gladys Wilson. When he was
four years old, his mother noticed his aptitude and keen
interest in music. He began music lessons under her tutelage
and continued to perfect his gift under the guidance of Ms.
Harriet Few, Mrs. Leila Alexander and Mr. James Jones.
Jarvis also received training from the late Mrs. Alberta
Williams King (mother of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) at the
Ebenezer Baptist Church and also from renowned concert organist, Mr. David Stills.
A true lover of gospel music, Jarvis began playing the organ in church at age
10. Accompanying his mother, Jarvis brought the spirit alive at Troy Street Baptist Church
in Atlanta. At the same time, he was a student at D. H. Stanton Elementary School. The
band director, Mr. James Camp, took note of Jarvis’s music abilities and recruited him
for the school band, training him to play the trombone. After only three months, Jarvis
mastered that instrument as well. Since then, as predestined by God, he has been glorifying
and magnifying the Lord through music and song.
In 1975, Jarvis was hired to play the organ at Atlanta’s Macedonia Baptist Church
(Joyland). He was 14 years old and enrolled at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.
Jarvis helped organize a singing group at King Middle School called O.S.Y.C. (Operation,
Salvation, Youth Crusade). Through their interpretations of gospel music, the group
targeted young people and introduced them to Christ. The group served under the direction
of Mrs. Dorothy Collier. Jarvis was the pianist/organist and was elected president of the
group. O.S.Y.C. traveled throughout the state of Georgia appearing on various radio and
From 1982 until 1997, Jarvis served in many capacities at Ben Hill United Methodist
Church in Atlanta. During this period, he was director of the Male Chorus, Women’s
Ensemble, Youth choir and the Young Adult Choir. He also served as the full-time, assistant
director of music and interim director of music for two years. Currently, he serves as
Minister of Music at the Israel Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta — Rev. William Smith
Pastor; Director of the Madison Association Youth Choir, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Gospel Choir, the Blend of Men and the QLS Seniors Chorus.