I met Pastor Wingard at a very low spot in my life. He encouraged me, loved on me, had me stay in his home for a few days. He had a practice of stopping to pray for people immediately when they made known a prayer request – that impressed me. For well over 30 years I sat to his left at all WWNTBM Executive Board meetings so I could accurately record the minutes. In the minutes of discussions, he often leaned over and shared nuggets from his many years of ministry. He became the older brother I never had. He will forever hold a prized place in my heart!
Pastor Wingard was the single greatest influence in my life and ministry from the human side of the equation. For thirty six years I leaned on his wisdom, and I miss him daily. He was practical, humble and longsuffering. He will forever be remembered in the hearts of the many lives that he touched throughout his earthly journey.
Pastor Wingard was such an encouragement to us when he came to our church to preach a revival. God was dealing with us about offering ourselves as missionaries in a helps ministry to other missionaries with building and maintenance. When we approached him with the idea, he was compassionate and wanted to help us reach the goal. He offered his help and told us to contact the mission office, When we were accepted as missionaries, he made a time for us to present the work to his church. He was a humble man seeking God’s will for his life each day. He was such a blessing to us every time we were privileged to be with him.
Brother Wingard was the quintessential Christian gentleman. You could not be in his presence even a few moments without realizing that you were far more important than he ever considered himself to be. The impression he left you with was that he was nothing, while you were everything. Such humility is rare, but it was genuine. He never wavered from his commitment to others. Perhaps the most impactful practical truth he shared with total transparency was and is the importance of spending time with family, especially with your children. He didn’t pretend to have found the secret to actually do it, but he insisted on encouraging others to pursue it unrelentingly. What a blessing this man was to our family!
I was a young Airmen, in the USAF, when Dr. Wingard preached a series of sermons,at Harvest Baptist Church, while I was stationed on Guam, USA, in 1981. He was inspiring and a real fireball back then. Harvest was a small church, and his booming voice was easily heard. A few years ago, I decided to see if he was still preaching, and I found him on the Calvary Baptist website, and regularly watched his sermons online. It was a real blessing to hear him preach again.
Around thirty years ago, Pastor Wingard welcomed me into the Mission and I have never forgotten my first impressions of him. He received me in his Pastor’s office and prayed before and after the
interview. Arlie, his wife, joined us and we went out to eat, not without praying twice when we got into and out of the car as we arrived at the restaurant. When we entered there, he thanked God for His protection and asked Him to witness to someone. The waitress came and he witnessed to her and prayed with her. Then, as she went to serve other tables, he prayed for the sown seed to bring fruit. As the meal was served, he prayed for it and the fellowship around the table. Before leaving the place, he prayed. And he prayed as we got into and out of the car again. Just before I left, he prayed one more time. Truly, I had never been before, nor after, with a Christian like him. Several years ago, the mission’s demands had grown so that he had to decide between to be a full time Pastor or a fulltime Mission’s President. I remember very well how I begged him to remain as our President, for I had learned the importance of having a Mission’s President who walked closely to the Lord. Truly, I am and shall be forever grateful to God for the privilege to finally belong to a Mission that STILL respects and follows the leading of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Wingard will be greatly missed.
Elsa Ramírez, missionary with World Wide New Testament Baptist Missions to the needy field of Tijuana, Baja California, México.
Pastor Wingard was a special blessing to me in many ways. When I was a young pastor and had only been in Kinston, NC, for two years, went to see him because I was discouraged. I explained to him how we only had twenty-four people attending church. He asked how many we started with and I told him twelve. He said, “I wish I could say that, you’ve had 100% growth in two years.” Now, having been the pastor of NTBC 34 years, Pastor Wingard and I have been friends and co-laborers in the ministry for years. Thank you Pastor Wingard for all of the prayers, encouragement, and blessings of being my friend in the ministry. I esteem you highly and treasure the times we had together!
Oh my what a great testament of a brother that was so loved and respected. I met Pastor when I was a teen. My uncle Floyd Ireland and his family were members at the church and I went to visit. Such a awesome time of learning. Then when I had my hip replacement I remember Pastor Bill coming to my home for prayer and to see if there was anything I needed. He was truly a man of God. You will truly be missed Pastor Bill. You left God’s LOVE on a many of hearts. Thank you for your amazing service. God bless the family and keep them lifted .
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.
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.