Reverend Fix-It

Itinerant minister Charles Wilkerson promised to restore two ailing Christian schools to financial health. So why did the patients take a turn for the worse?

"The school is not going to fail. The school is about to pull itself out," he says. "It's not in great health, but we'll make it. We know how we're going to pay the bills."

Despite what he describes at times as his limited role, Wilkerson says he accepts blame for the school's problems today.

"We've had a rough time. I take full blame for here. I mean Eastlake is mine. I mean I have messed up royal. I'm the one that told everybody to let Liberty come," he says. "Eastlake would have been closed if I didn't come in and keep it open."

This building, where Eastlake Christian School and Daycare operates, will be sold and the 20-year-old school moved in an effort to pay big debts, says Charles Wilkerson, school pastor.
Mark Graham
This building, where Eastlake Christian School and Daycare operates, will be sold and the 20-year-old school moved in an effort to pay big debts, says Charles Wilkerson, school pastor.
Charles Wilkerson said Louisiana Christian University would be a big financial boost for the little town of Sunset, Louisiana. He said he left no debts, but others said the school was more than $600,000 in the hole by the time he moved on.
Charles Wilkerson said Louisiana Christian University would be a big financial boost for the little town of Sunset, Louisiana. He said he left no debts, but others said the school was more than $600,000 in the hole by the time he moved on.

His only failing at Eastlake and at other places, he says, has been that he tried to help the underdog and his heart got in the way of smart business. He's done all he can for everyone at Eastlake, and despite huge obstacles, he would do it again. He says he's been nothing but a help to the school and gained nothing financially, and now he's been blamed for the problems that Liberty caused him.

"See, I was a hero as long as I had money. When it ran out, then everyone was unhappy," he says. "I just tried to help a school that was here. And I'm still doing everything I can to help the school."

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