Joey and Robin Gilleland have been coming to Western Avenue ever since they visited one spring Sunday in 1985. The Gillelands have been married for 37 years (June 27, 1982) and are the parents of three grown children: Melissa Collins of Statesville (son-in-law Mark Collins), Amanda Ponder of Charlotte (son-in-law Chris Ponder) and Alex Gilleland of Raleigh. They have eight grandchildren – Knox, Piper, Ezra, Satchel, Oaks, Alvie, Asa and Clementine.
Joey is an Investment Advisor Representative with Client One Securities, LLC. Robin was a Special Education Teacher in the Newton Conover School System. She retired after 32 years in October of last year. She now volunteers as a reading tutor and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.
Robin became a Christian at the age of 9 while attending Hebron Baptist. Joey became a Christian attending Bible School at the age of 8. Their church background is both Baptist. Early in their marriage they attended Hebron Baptist Church. They were friends with Betty Jo McLelland and Mike & Judy Lafone. They were always super super excited about Western Avenue, so the Gillelands decided to check it out. They visited one spring Sunday in 1985. Robin remembers being visited by Sanford Sain and other members who have since moved. They’ve been coming to WABC ever since.
They decided to join because of a combination of several things. They liked Ralph Carter’s preaching, being in Steve Johnson’s Sunday School class had a positive impact on them, everyone was friendly and from day one they felt right at home. From the very beginning they could sense that the mission at WABC was about Jesus Christ and to “GO” everywhere to tell the world about Him.
Robin has served in the nursery, VBS, WMU, helped with GAs, Mission Friends, chaperoned youth trips and helped with whatever their children were involved in. She has been in the choir, participated in London Bridges in the past and continues to have an interest in serving on mission teams here in Statesville and other places around the world. Joey currently serves on the greeting team and is part of the Kairos Prison group at WABC that serves Alexander Correctional Institution.
The Gillelands appreciate the leadership at WABC and see so many opportunities at WABC to be involved in what God is going. They like that WABC is mission minded in outreach to the community and the world. They also enjoy the music ministry. All three of their children grew up at WABC with Brian Burgess and Mark Collins having a great impact on their lives. They see God using this church family in so many places and are excited about WABC’s unity toward the mission of sharing the Gospel.