Rev. Dr. Weldon Frederick (Fred) Wooden became a candidate because he still is ‘a boy scout’ at heart. After forty years of doing his duty to God, he wants to do his duty to his country, putting his wisdom and experience to work for the wider community.
Fred came to West Michigan in 2005 to serve Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids. Under his leadership, they grew their social justice ministries by over 400%, giving over $500,000 to: scholarships for GRCC students, after-school sports, new mother programs, hunger and homelessness relief, and dozens more local, national, and international organizations. He led them to partner with the GRCC Diversity Center to host their famous lectures, as well as the Hauenstein Center, Martin Luther King Day community celebrations, Family Promise, God’s Kitchen, and many more. He has personally stood up for marital equality, racial justice, worker rights, and immigrant rights.
Fred has served on the West Michigan ACLU Advisory Board, the Interfaith Dialogue Association, Opera Grand Rapids, as a member of the MLive Religion and Ethics Panel, and as host of “Faith & Reason” on WPRR. He is most proud of being a member of the Grand Rapids Urban League board for ten years, serving as its chair from 2009-2013.
Fred was born and reared in Maryland, went to college in Missouri, and seminary in Chicago. He served churches in Massachusetts, Texas, and Brooklyn, N.Y. before coming to West Michigan. He and his wife Wendy of forty-one years have two grown sons.