Wilson, Mike & Mary Jo

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Bio: Mike & Mary Jo Wilson


Background Info:

Michael and Mary Jo met in Southern California shortly after each had returned from short-term mission trips in Asia. They were married in Mary Jo’s home church in Evansville, Indiana. Stacia was born in Los Angeles and Brandon in Evansville—further deepening family roots in those two widely separated cities. The Wilson family first arrived in Japan in June of 1994 when Brandon was just five months old and Stacia was three.

As a family they served seven years in Tokyo in partnership with Nerima Grace Chapel to plant a new cell church, Kiyose Grace Chapel. The children attended Japanese preschool and then switched to an international school from first grade. After a one-year home assignment in the States they moved to Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, where they provided leadership for Church Multiplication Networks over seven years. Their passion is to see healthy, reproducing disciples and churches throughout Japan, believing personal transformation in Christ and developing leaders are two keys to accomplishing this task. After 15 years in Japan they returned to the States to encourage their young adult children in preparing for their futures. Now from their home base in Los Angeles Mike and Mary Jo continue to be involved in leadership in Japan and other parts of Asia.

Mike has a MA in Intercultural Studies and DMiss with an emphasis in church multiplication from Biola University. Mary Jo has a MA in Global Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Before meeting, Mike worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratories for 12 years and served with ELIC teaching English in China. Mary Jo learned of Asian Access at an Urbana missions conference during college and went on their summer program, Scrum Dendo, in 1979. After graduating she began a three-year term in 1983 that has yet to end.


Meaningful aspects of ministry:

In response to local needs in the Tokyo area we developed a ministry called “Couple Time” where six couples met monthly for a themed talk and prayer together and then as couples were sent out for deeper discussion over dinner. We saw this simple approach bring dramatic change to these couples, some of whom had never gone out without kids since marriage and several who were in a very difficult season.

In Okinawa we were introduced to the ten-week ALPHA Course, which we ran three times in our home. The course was ideal for training new leaders and provided an open and fun format for Japanese friends to come together and explore the Christian faith. At one ALPHA party our little apartment was jammed with 29 new people! By the end of the third course, many had found faith in Christ and six were baptized and a new church was started.


Ministry Assignments:


Mary Jo Wilson

Mary Jo served as Vice President for Japan from March of 2011, just days before the triple disaster that devastated Northeastern Japan, until May of 2015 when her title was changed to VP for Missional Engagement. This change in title reflects a broader engagement in Asia while Mary Jo’s key focus remains overseeing missionary staff in Japan, the Asian Access strategic partnership with SIM, and nurturing missional partnerships between leaders and expat missionaries in Japan. She also serves on the Asian Access Japan board of Directors. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the team during this season of Japan’s history and feel privileged to work with so many outstanding leaders across Japan and other countries of Asia and the U.S.”

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Michael L. Wilson

Mike is a Church Multiplication Catalyst– “After serving nearly 20 years in Japan to multiply leaders and churches, the Lord has broadened my territory to include working for church renewal and multiplication in Japan, Cambodia, and a number in the United States. “New wineskin churches are needed for the new wine of the current generation. While the gospel never changes, gospel delivery systems must change as must the methods of developing fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ who multiply themselves through evangelism.”

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More Information


Related Articles


A2 Advent Devotional • December 19, 2010

by Mary Jo Wilson

The image of the young Mary being interrupted in the course of her day by a heavenly invitation to bear God’s son is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas story. I am always amazed to consider how this young girl so completely trusted God and seemingly gave little thought to her personal future and planned engagement. She seemed so ready to say "yes" without hesitation to God and to this amazing proposition.

Mary stands in stark contrast to the first woman, Eve, who, through the serpent's deception, took the first step of human disobedience. In my mind these two women stand as bookends, one representing human fallenness, the other reflecting God's grace in allowing us to participate in his divine plan of redemption. Though I experience my fallenness as a daughter of Eve on a daily basis, I am also challenged by Mary's heart of sincere devotion. I likewise desire to quickly respond to God's call with a heartfelt "yes!"


Amazingly, God continues to invite us to participate in his divine plan of redemption. It has been my privilege to offer his redemption to my Japanese neighbors who have questions about eternity, or my friend whose mother-in-law gave her permission to consider the Christian God. The Holy Spirit has been preparing them and continues to draw them, but along the way he lets me take part in the process. I sense Mary’s joy when she sang, "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant . . . for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name" (Luke 1:46).

Mary's heart is full of gratitude that God chose her to bring the Savior into the world. I am also deeply grateful for the privilege he has given me to bring Jesus to Chikako and Tamiko and others. So the Christmas story not only speaks to me of the young Mary’s role in God's grand plan of salvation, but my part as well. I pray I can especially be ready to notice the divine opportunities he brings into my day and respond promptly, “I am the Lord’s servant.” It is in these moments that we experience the miracle of Christmas and are filled with joy for the privilege it is.

Mary Jo Wilson

Mary Jo Wilson
Church Multiplication Missionary for Japan
Monrovia, CA 

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