Pastor Wingard was a dear friend from the first day we met. Each time we saw were together he was just as he was the first day we met – having that servant’s heart as only he could have and being an encouragement to us just as he was that first day we met in New Bern, NC at the old WW office. He would call us or send a card in the mail, or just send us a text at just the right time. We would be going through some trial or sickness and he would be there in prayer. It was a wonderful privilege to have known him and to be able to serve with him spreading the Gospel to a lost world. If there is one thing that sticks in my mind about Pastor Wingard, it is that if you or someone else came up to him and asked him if he would pray for someone or some need, he would stop, no matter where he was or what he was doing and pray for that request right there. He was a true servant and will truly be missed. But I am looking forward to seeing him soon.
Nancy and I are praying for that peace and comfort that only God can give for his family and church family.
I have known Bill Wingard for nearly thirty years, and there is not enough room for me to express my thoughts and recollections of one of the greatest Christian men I have ever known. He was a godly mentor and a dear friend who always had time to talk, counsel, and encourage. When I first met Brother Wingard, I had no idea that I would eventually serve the Lord in Micronesia for twenty years. During those years, I would on occasion find myself calling him for advice and counsel, and he always took the time to help and encourage this insignificant missionary. He never seemed to be bothered and showed a genuine interest in my welfare. He was a gentleman of the highest degree, and I will never forget his bold stand on Biblical principles and his humble walk before God and man. As most folks know, he was a rather tall man, but he stood much taller in my eyes with his dedication and focus on the ministry into which God called him. He will be sorely missed. His wisdom, his counsel, his advice, his humor, and his godly testimony will never be forgotten. He was in my eyes one of the choicest servants of God to ever walk the paths of this needy world and did all he could to address those needs. Farewell, my dear brother. We will miss you, but thank God, we will see you again some day.
We appreciate and love Brother Wingard. His service to our Lord is extended through the many individuals he ministered to down through his life. His influence was tremendous and will be continued as the Lord’s people remain faithful to fulfill the Great Commission Christ gave to each member of the Family of God! Praise to God who gives us hope in the Person and work of Christ!
I first met Preacher Bill at Grace Baptist Church in Wilmington, NC. He preached a message I have never forgotten… ” Jeroboam, Rehoboam, and all the Boam Boys” at the IFFB Conference. What a great meeting that was! I was a new convert, and I think it was about 1966 or 1967. He literally ‘stood head and shoulders’ above most everyone. I was impressed with his gentle, genuine demeanor, and his kind personal interest in me and my wife Jonnie. At the time I did not know that one day he would become our pastor in New Bern for the next 46 plus years.
In the early 1970’s after meeting missionaries using aircraft, hearing of needs, I was interested in seeing someone start an Aviation Ministry in a fundamental Baptist mission, or college. I had talked with a mission board and a Bible college… they were interested but did not feel that they wanted the undertaking.
On a quiet Sunday afternoon I called Pastor Bill at home… I had heard that he had a Piper Cherokee 235 aircraft, and being a pilot and flight instructor I wanted to ask him about it, and how he was using it. We had a great time talking about the Lord and flying. As we talked I mentioned my burden about training missionary pilots… missionaries that wanted to use an aircraft in very remote parts of the world, also to be able to support them with aircraft parts, and assist them at times on the field with maintenance and flying.
He was INTERESTED! He asked if I could come to New Bern and share that burden with the men on a Tuesday in a WWNTBM Board. meeting. I readily agreed… and after meeting with them a couple of times, Pastor Wingard asked if we would pray about coming to New Bern to start an aviation ministry, and said “that the man with the burden would be the best man for the job”. I said yes I would pray… but I felt unqualified to do that myself. After much prayer and some opposition from you know who… we said yes we would do so if we passed the Board’s examination. We did so in November of 1973, moved to New Bern in September of 1974 and Mission Aeroservices was born. We have seen miracle after miracle, even amid times of testing, and God’s faithful hand of supply. If it had not been for my big brother, Pastor Bill Wingard, I might never had gone into full time service, and might have missed the LORD.
“Graciousness” is the word that rings out in our hearts as we think of Pastor Wingard. God used this saint to touch our lives in countless ways. Many were the times when, by his godly walk, this man taught us true Christian living. He was a good soldier, a caring friend, and a great example for us to follow. It was a tremendous privilege to have had the opportunity to know Pastor Bill Wingard.
My thanks to the Lord for the privilege of being a part of Calvary’s missionary family since meeting Brother Wingard in 1976. He and Arlie have a very special place in my heart , remembering our times of blessed fellowship together, both in church meetings and in their home. I learned much from him and cherish every memory, remembering especially some conversations we had in the office about reaching young people today as I was in the campus ministry. Thanks to Calvary for these many years of faithful support to this day. My sympathies and prayers are with you.
We thank God for Brother Wingard and for what he has done to glorify his Savior. (Proverb 10: 7) “The memory of the just is blessed”
I can not forgot the day when I was interviewed to be accepted as Missionary with WWNTBM. It was June 2006 when this giant of faith entered the room and challenged me with pastoral and biblical questions. I thought I am destroyed, but when I asked him a question and how he answered in humble way. I said and still saying: Lord I want to be like this man, your servant.
Through the years, when we meet in family weeks, chat on Facebook, correspondence by emails. He was inspirational leader and mentor to me. He helped me to change many things. Thank you Dr. Bill Wingard.
At the end, words cannot give him his right. He was like his master.
On September 14, 1993, Bill Wingard wrote me a letter and mailed it to my home. This was prior to meeting him in 1994 at one of the first meetings of the Craven-Pamlico Christian Coalition of which I was a founding member.
Christian leaders like Bill and the late Walter Leake had a tremendous influence on my spiritual journey. In recent years, I would see Bill in Raleigh when he was visiting legislators and praying with and for them.
In his brief letter, he thanked me for my “…support for our fishermen…” Little did he know that 27 years later, I’d still be doing it. Amazing to me is the fact that I was able to find the letter in less than two minutes.
He began his letter, “I greet you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He ended it, “Sincerely in Christ’s name,”.
A true Christian Brother and friend, he will be missed.
Jerry Schill, Chairman
God and Country Christian Alliance
formerly Craven-Pamlico Christian Coalition
My Dad, Bro. Jack Phillips and Bro. Bill Wingard were close friends. I can recall daddy saying how much of a prayer warrior Bro. Bill was. They could be at the hospital or just anywhere and if they had a need to pray they both would drop to their knees .(right then). I saw Bro. Bill in court one day and I sit beside him. I was there to talk to the judge about someone and so was Bro. Bill. We talked about his church and my church. He loved my daddy. They were both soul winners. I told him that I played the piano for my church and how happy I was to help my daddy in his ministry.
He looked at me and smiled and said , “your just like my Jan.” That day in court I was so nervous but he prayed for me and I got through it. I’m sure right now Bro. Bill Wingard and Bro. Jack Phillips are having a great time. God bless the Wingard Family and his church family and friends.