Bayside & The Shepherd  

United Methodist Church

About Reverend F. Wendler

​Rev. William F. Wendler was born in New York City where he attended public schools. He did his undergraduate studies at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus and the University of Salzburg, Austria. He also studied at SUNY Albany and Drew Theological Seminary later receiving his Master of Divinity Degree from New York Theological Seminary in Manhattan. The United Methodist Church ordained Rev. Wendler, in June 1969. He has served churches in the United States and Canada and taught school on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. In addition to living in Austria and Canada, his extensive travels have taken him to 105 foreign countries.

Most recently, Rev. Wendler has divided his time between two positions. The first as minister of Bayside United Methodist Church, a position he has held for almost five (5) years. The second is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Americas’ Sail Corporation, which brings tall ship events to communities in the Western Hemisphere. It is in this position that he does much of his foreign travel and has visited as many as fifteen countries a year. Working together with now Congressman Thomas R. Suozzi, they brought the America’ Sail event to Glen Cove in 1998 for which Rev. Wendler was awarded the Key to the City. He also holds Keys to the City presented by Savannah, GA, St. Petersburg, FL and Montego Bay, Jamaica.

In 2011, following a visit to Port-au-Prince, Rev. Wendler began working with Rejoice Haiti, Inc. a Haitian relief organization whose primary goal is to train qualified Haitian citizens to be first responders in rural jungle communities. While engaged in this project he met XL Abel Legenus who acted as his guide and interpreter. Later Rev. Wendler arranged for Abel to come to the United States where he now lives with the Reverend in Bayside.

In spite of his global lifestyle, Rev. Wendler has found an incredible amount of time to be a family man. Although unmarried, he has raised or boarded over forty children and young people in public and private placements for periods lasting from one month to ten years. 

​His work with children lead to his being one of the country’s most recognized experts on false allegations of child abuse. He has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and has provided expert commentary for various television and radio programs dealing with the issue as well as speaking on the subject from coast to coast. Rev. Wendler is particularly proud of his three adopted sons, Lonnie, David and Marco (a member of Bayside Church) and his three (3) grandchildren.