Winstedt Remembered for Character, Love for Christ

Post a Comment » Written on August 13th, 2008     
Filed under: News
TURLOCK, CA (August 13, 2008) – Clarence Winstedt’s strength of character and love for Jesus were instrumental in advancing the ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), former colleagues say.

Winstedt died Monday at the age of 86. A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday in the chapel at Covenant Village of Turlock. To read more detail, please see Memorial Service.

Winstedt“Clarence was a longtime pastor and leader in the Covenant Church, a man of integrity and grace,” recalls ECC President Glenn Palmberg. “He was respected as a superintendent and loved as a pastor and a friend. For many of us Clarence was a major influence. He was a faithful encourager, often telling us how he prayed regularly for the Covenant’s leadership. He loved Christ and he loved the Covenant Church, and all of us who were touched by his life will miss him greatly.”

Those qualities were determinative in helping the Pacific Southwest Conference recover from near financial insolvency, says Jim Engwall, former associate superintendent of the conference. “The conference owed much more that it owned, and would easily qualify to declare Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy” when Winstedt became interim superintendent that year, he notes.

Winstedt was adamant that the conference would not seek bankruptcy protection. “Doing that would alienate vendors and tarnish the integrity and reputation of the conference and the Covenant,” Engwall says. “So, Clarence – using his reputation and integrity – embarked on a plan to ask every conference church for a substantial additional gift to the conference, not for just that year, but for each of the next three years.”

Winstedt asked not only for the additional gift, but also for a specific dollar amount from each church, Engwall recalls. “It was an incredibly successful effort and literally saved the conference from the brink of bankruptcy.”

Evelyn Johnson, the current superintendent, observes, “Clarence’s absolute consistency of purpose to further Christ’s mission, his welcoming presence, and ‘can do’ attitude have forever left an imprint.”

Winstedt’s passion to expand the Covenant’s ministry was vital to the current explosive growth in the conference, she adds. “Long before the aggressive church planting movement of the last 15-plus years in the conference, Clarence, through his roles as director of church development and interim superintendent, was preparing the soil in the mid-1980s.”

“Clarence so loved the Covenant and its ministry that he was out to convince everyone who would listen of the value and effectiveness of the Covenant approach in its ministry for Jesus,” Engwall says.

Even in his 80s, Winstedt continued to teach in the local congregation and serve as the conference care pastor to other ministers.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog