I moved to New Bern couple years ago and starting getting involved with churches in the area and learned about a Pastor Bill Wingard who just past away. Everyone who mentioned him had the highest respect for him. Today September 2023 I was visiting with my Aunt Patti who lives in Scioto County Ohio and she had told me she knew a Pastor in New Bern he had been my Uncle’s College Buddy, (my uncle was Clint Arthur) He and I had been talking about the way that the Lord reveals himself. I had never meet Brother Wingard and yet he was closely involved with my family!
As a pastor/evangelist I had great fellowship with my brother Pastor Bill. Each time I would visit Calvary Baptist he would ask me to sing. I am also a Gospel singer and have made an album called “Jesus Use Me” and a CD. He always asked me to sing the same song :” I’ve Had A Glimpse of Jesus”. I must have visited Calvary just before he passed as that was about the time I visited the church. He saw me in the audience and asked me if I was still singing Gospel Concerts. I loved him greatly and will miss him but I will see him soon as I am 91 years old and still preaching and singing for the Lord.
Tim and I joined Calvary Baptist Church in fall/winter of 2004 and left for Bible College in Fall 2006 after Tim’s enlistment in the USMC was complete. This was our first congregation we joined together as a married couple and I was pregnant with our daughter (Esther). Pastor Wingard Baptized me and joked, “I don’t normally baptize babies but I’ll have to make an exception in this case.”
Our time knowing Pastor Wingard and the congregation was short but impactful in our lives. Their ministry to us was invaluable and even influenced our launch into our own ministry. I have many fond memories of Pastor Wingard and his care for and love of people and I’ll continue to look forward to meeting him again in Heaven when God’s work in my life is done and I’m called home.
I’ll continue to pray for the people of Calvary Baptist Church every time they come up in memory.
-Jami (and Tim, Esther, Savannah, and Hadassah)
I was blessed on many occasions to be in the presence of this gentle giant. Pastor Wingard visited our home in Pohnpei, Micronesia multiple times during the early years of the ministry there. We also had the privilege of visiting their home several times when our dad was on furlough. Great man of God, and a great preacher as well!
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.