By KATE JOHNSON
On Jan. 23, 2018, Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr., of Vous Church in Miami, and his wife, DawnCheré Wilkerson, welcomed their first child, Wyatt Wesley Wilkerson.
“Of course, we’re not getting much sleep, but we’re enjoying every single moment . . . . We laugh about it, and we’re having fun every step of the way. Our home is just so full of life and we’re loving every second of it,” Wilkerson told the Christian Post.
The Wilkersons call their son Wyatt a “miracle baby” because they struggled with getting pregnant for eight years. The couple credits the Lord for the incredible blessing it was to be able to conceive Wyatt and bring him into the world.
“We waited eight years for him, and today he’s six weeks. God is so faithful and loving and merciful,” said Wilkerson.
The couple has been very open about their struggle with infertility. Wilkerson frequently references their journey in his sermons and the couple starred in a reality show about their lives and ministry called “Rich in Faith.”
“The cool thing about that show was, my wife and I were so open about our journey, that a lot of people walked through it with us,” Wilkerson told the Christian Post. “When a miracle did show up, people around the world were able to rejoice with us.”
Wilkerson said that he would never take back those difficult years of struggling with infertility. “We learned so much about Jesus during that time . . . . We learned that we are complete with or without a child. I’m just grateful that God decided to grant us this blessing.”
Vous Church is one of the biggest churches in Miami. Thousands of young Florida residents attend the services every Sunday, which have to be held in the auditorium of a middle school in order to seat the mass amounts of people.
Rich Wilkerson shot to fame in 2014 after he officiated the celebrity wedding of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. The Wilkersons together have more than 600,000 followers on social media.
The celebrity value of the Wilkersons led the story of the birth of their son to be picked up across multiple media outlets, both religious and secular, such as People magazine.
The People magazine story does not mention God once. Instead, the focus is on the struggle with infertility and the strains it took on the couple.
“I was told on my 25th birthday by my doctor that we would have trouble conceiving,” DawnCheré told People. “I honestly thought the doctor was wrong. I never dreamed it would take eight years before we heard the words, ‘You’re pregnant.’”
The article in People is considerably shorter than all articles in religious publications. The interview and coverage of the Wilkersons in People is very generic. The quotes taken from the couple do not mention faith at all.
“I’ve talked to everyone about becoming a dad. It’s a big step to become parents, and we know that! Everyone’s got advice,” Wilkerson told People.
Given that the couple are both very prominent Christians, minsters of a megachurch and have dedicated their entire lives to faith, I am highly skeptical that they would not mention God in their interview with People magazine. This strikes me as very unlikely after frequenting Vous Church and reading the Wilkersons’ quotes from other interviews.
Therefore, I am led to believe that People magazine chose to cut out any quotes about God or Christianity in the article covering their interview with the Wilkersons and the birth of their “miracle baby.”
The question arises: Does not mentioning the Lord, leaving out such an important fact about the Wilkersons’ life story and their response to the birth of their son, make the People magazine story more than inauthentic – but inaccurate? In my personal opinion, the answer is yes.