Carl was born and grew up on a farm in rural Ontario, Canada on April 18, 1941. He met Jesus as his Savior as a young child during Vacation Bible School, and when he was a teenager he began to serve the Lord in the church. There he met Sherri, the love of his life, whom he wed on May 8,1965. Carl graduated from Business College and worked as an accountant in Toronto for about 5 years. Following God’s call into foreign missions, he and Sherri attended Ontario Bible College. Upon graduation in 1968 they immediately left to serve with World Radio Missionary Fellowship in Quito, Ecuador where they lived until 1980. Carl started as Business Manager, then as his management gifts grew and were mobilized, he became a hospital administrator for their two hospitals, then Director of the entire Medical Division.
In 1980 the family moved to Stone Mountain, GA after Carl was recruited to a leadership position with the Presbyterian Church in America’s Mission to the World (MTW). Over the years his leadership responsibilities grew to include providing oversight and guidance to a large number of missionaries around the globe. He was known for his ability to ask good questions, challenge others to think bigger, mediate broken relationships, develop partnerships, come alongside those who were hurting, and think about kingdom expansion. Those he challenged most seemed to love him most. He served twice as Interim Coordinator (chief administrative officer) of the mission during transitions in his 15 years with MTW.
Upon arriving in Georgia the family joined Perimeter Church where Carl served as an elder almost from the start. In 1995 Carl joined Perimeter staff as Global Outreach Director. He had a God given ability to “dream dreams” for the church and to speak in a way that many said helped them work through holy discontent as they learned to run to what God was calling them to. He cast vision for what was often big, surprising and hard, but of the Lord. He impacted many leaders at Perimeter.
Carl always modeled passing the baton to younger leaders so at age 60 he stepped down from leadership to serve in several other areas at Perimeter. He especially loved his years serving in the Shepherding Department ministering to leaders and members, until the advance of Parkinson's Disease caused him to “retire” in 2015. Even then he continued to minister to many through the Parkinson's Support Group he led, his discipleship group, mentoring, conducting weddings, marriage counseling, encouraging and praying for many.
Through all the seasons of life, he was a man of prayer and a God watcher, always looking to see what God was doing and giving Him praise for His work on earth.
Carl was preceded in death by his parents, Cecil and Viola Wilhelm, and two dear sisters, Melissa Raymer and Murlene Wilhelm. He is survived by two more dear sisters, Ada Wilhelm and Ruthi Mathewson, as well as Sherri’s eight siblings and their spouses who loved him greatly and were loved by him.
His beloved children include Heidi Harrison, Andrea Wilhelm (Peter Lake), Gregory Wilhelm (Esther), and Roger Wilhelm (Lynn). He was exceedingly proud of all his grandchildren: TC Harrison, Josiah Harrison, Aden Wilhelm, Luke Wilhelm, Benjamin Wilhelm, Clara Lake, Elsi Wilhelm, Madelyn Wilhelm and Rebekah Wilhelm.
Carl met his Lord and Savior face to face - the One He loved most and worshipped well - on May 8, 2023.
“I consider my life worth nothing to me if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” — Acts 20:24
A Note of Thanks
Our family is deeply grateful for your many wonderful acts of caring, service, and gifts. Most noteworthy may be the ministry of the “Coffee with Carl” men who spent time with Carl each week for 3 years, enriching his life when it was increasingly limited by Parkinson’s.
In Lieu of Flowers
Donations may be made to The Carl Wilhelm Memorial Fund in support of the Deacons Fund providing emergency aid for church members.
Checks should be payable to:
9500 Medlock Bridge Rd
Johns Creek, GA 30097.
Please note “Carl Wilhelm Memorial” in memo.