Elder Sheila Ann Wilson, affectionately known as “Mama Sheila,” transitioned from earth to paradise on Wednesday, November 10, 2022. As a three-time cancer survivor, who lived beyond her disease took her rest at age 65.
Sheila was born May 25, 1957, in Danville, IL. Her father, Tommy Davis Sr., was a quartet singer who grew up with B.B. King in the early music scene of the Mississippi delta. Her mother, Clair Bell Davis, was also a singer. Sheila would often recall fond memories of growing up in a household full of music and strong faith.
Sheila was the eighth child of nine brothers and sisters, Bertha Wright; Saginaw, MI, Johnny Davis; Tomah, Wisconsin, Tommy (Felicia) Davis; Detroit, MI, Brillia Jean Steele (preceded), Donnie Davis (Stephanie); Danville, IL, Sammie Davis; Fort worth, TX, Claretha Atkinson (Preceded), and Richard Davis (Jennifer); Danville, IL.
Sheila began singing at the tender age of 3. Her first start and introduction to the music industry was over the airwaves. Sheila would perform alongside her siblings and father Tommy Davis, a lead singer in the gospel group “The Gospelaires” and sing live every Sunday morning on the radio. Although she aspired to become a schoolteacher, music was Sheila’s early calling. In her teens, she began directing church choirs, primarily the Youth and Young Adult Mass Choir of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. In the 1980s she became a singer with the R&B band, W.Q.B.C. They toured throughout the decade and released one LP, “Wanna Quit But Can’t,” for Thunderbay Records in 1985. It featured the radio single, “Love Me Anyway,” that reached the Top Ten on various R&B radio playlists throughout the south.
In 1994, Sheila retired from the band to devote more time to her family. When Wilson’s ten-year-old son Bryan Wilson secured a record deal with Malaco Records in the 1990s and scored radio hits such as “His Eye is on the Sparrow” (with the Mississippi Children’s Choir), she managed his career. Under her auspices and business acumen, Bryan received Stellar and Dove nominations.
In addition to her career as a musical artist and manager, Sheila worked at Commercial News in the classified department, Stuart Plus and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Sheila was a jack of all trades. During her time at Commercial news, she played right field for the company’s baseball team and was known as a slugger.
Sheila was a graduate of Danville High School. Thereafter, she matriculated to Danville Area Community College receiving an associate degree in general studies. In 2000, she relocated to Toledo, OH, and attended Davis college, where she received a B.A in early childhood education. She concluded her educational pursuits at Spring Arbour University, Spring Arbour, MI, and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A in Social Work. This feat was special to her because she had the opportunity to do it alongside her son Christopher Wilson, whom also graduated.
On June 14, 2009, Sheila answered the call to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was licensed as an ordained minister under the leadership of the late, Apostle Leroy Coleman and his wife Apostle Terry Coleman of Dominion Christian Center, Toledo, OH.
Under their leadership, Minister Sheila worked diligently as a head of the Music Department, Worship Leader, a minister of the Prophetic Team of Ministers, a devoted member of the Intercessor and Prayer Warrior Team and often functioned in ministry of helps.
In April 2019, Sheila was ordained an Elder and national mother of Freedom International under the leadership of Apostle Bryan Andrew Wilson. There she continued her ministry of intercession, she was the head of Children’s Bible Study and an active member of the Music and Arts Ministry.
One of Sheila’s last and most esteemed moments in her life was being able to pay tribute to her father, Tommy Davis Sr. and the Gospelaires, under the leadership and musical direction of her oldest son, Aaron Wilson, at the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL) November 2021.
Sheila’s hobbies included baseball, traveling, drawing, dry media coloring, interior decorating, creating recipes, doing yard work, singing, promoting her business She Gems Inc., and watching her grandchildren while enjoying her retirement
Sheila will always be known for her witty sense of humor, gregarious laugh, stern rebukes, outspokenness, soulful voice, and her uncanny ability to encourage all whom she met while showing the love of Jesus Christ in the nature of a true Mother.
She leaves to cherish her son, Aaron Wilson, Urbana, IL, son Bryan Andrew Wilson and wife Tiffany, Atlanta, GA, son Christopher Wilson and fiancé Amy, Atlanta, GA, 4 grandchildren, Ale’ana Wilson, Christopher Thomas, Nayla Wilson, and Christopher Wilson Jr., and a host of nieces and nephews, including Kelly Steele who was her live in companion until time of death. Sheila was blessed with many spiritual sons and daughters who provided care for her during her most challenging times before transitioning, Christopher Scottie Lewis II, Atlanta, GA, Dion Hairston, Atlanta, GA, Anthony Wall, Atlanta, GA, Naycola Tompkins, Toledo, OH, and Lolita Newman, Dacula, GA.
A Homegoing Celebration will commence at 3:00 pm Saturday November 19, 2022 at New Life Church of Faith 1419 N. Bowman Ave. A visitation will begin at 2:00 pm until the time of the service.