In Memoriam: John Calvin Wingard (September 30, 1926 – May 22, 2019)

By Charlie Wingard · May 25, 2019 · 6 Comments
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  Retirement was not in the vocabulary of my uncle, John Calvin Wingard. Since ‘retiring’ from a lifetime of ministry at age 70, he pastored two churches, one for nineteen years and a second for the remaining three years of his life. Two weeks ago he was out making pastoral visits to his small flock at First Presbyterian Church in Ripley, Tennessee. On Mother’s Day, he drove fifteen miles to do what he did most Sundays for the past 68 years, proclaim God’s word. The next day, one of his sons drove him to Tupelo, Mississippi to visit his oncologist. He was informed that treatments would yield no further benefits. He walked into a hospital without assistance. By the end…

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Thoughts on Mentoring

By Charlie Wingard · May 23, 2019 · 0 Comments
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I serve as Director of Field Education at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson. Part of my work involves talking to students about their relationship with their pastoral mentors. Since 1987, I have mentored men preparing for ordination. While serving on Boston’s North Shore, I served as a mentor for many men in the Gordon-Conwell field education program. Before coming to RTS, I employed men pursuing ordination. Mentoring has been a major part of my pastoral ministry. What follows are my thoughts on what makes a good mentor. I am acutely aware of my own weaknesses as a mentor. Much of what follows I learned from my own mentors and have sought to put into practice, however imperfectly. One of the…

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Booknote: “The Faithful Preacher” by Thabiti M. Anyabwile

By Charlie Wingard · May 10, 2019 · 0 Comments
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  One of my goals at RTS Jackson is to introduce students to the “neglected voices” of the evangelical church. I am not the best qualified to remedy this neglect, but have made it my habit to assign readings that will help. One such book is Thabiti Anyabwile’s The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors. The book presents biographical sketches of Lemuel Haynes, Daniel Payne, and Francis Grimké, along with selected writings. First, Lemuel Haynes. Born in 1753, he was abandoned by his parents when only a few months old. He became an indentured servant to a Connecticut family who treated him as their own child, and where he was to receive the blessings of family…

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Booknote: “The Missionary Fellowship of William Carey” by Michael A.G. Haykin

By Charlie Wingard · May 9, 2019 · 0 Comments
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  Michael A.G. Haykin gives a concise and inspirational account of the life and work of William Carey, English missionary to India and often called “The Father of Modern Missions.” Reformed theology was the solid foundation of Carey’s ministry. Haykin explains: In his theology, Carey married a deep-seated conviction regarding God’s sovereignty in salvation to an equally profound belief that in converting sinners God uses means.… Without understanding Carey’s consistent delight in Calvinism throughout his life, we cannot understand the man, his motivation, or eventually the shape of his mission. (43–44) One example of Carey’s firm grasp of the doctrines of grace appears when he writes that one “may well expect to see fire and water agree, as persons with…

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Preach Every Sermon as If It Were Your Last

By Charlie Wingard · May 8, 2019 · 0 Comments
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The minister must approach preaching with appropriate solemnity because “he views eternity as just before him, and a congregation on the frontiers of it. . . . He will study and preach with reference to a judgment to come and will deliver every sermon in some respects as if it were his last, not knowing when his Lord will call him or his hearers to account.” – Lemuel Haynes in Thabiti M. Anyabwile, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2007), 33.

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Evidences of a Call to Ministry

By Charlie Wingard · April 30, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Every Christian denomination would do well to heed the prudent advice of AME  bishop Daniel Payne (1811-1893):   “Whenever a young man comes forward, and tells us that he is called to the ministry, let us examine him rigidly, according to our excellent discipline and the requisitions of God’s word. It is not enough that he tells us God has called him; let him show the evidences of his call.” Daniel A. Payne In Thabiti M. Anyabwile, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2007), 82.

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Francis J. Grimké on Gospel Preaching

By Charlie Wingard · April 26, 2019 · 0 Comments
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“If we are not going to preach the gospel, and teach the Word of God faithfully we have no business in the ministry. And the sooner we get out of it, the better.” – Francis J. Grimké in Thabiti M. Anyabwile, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors (Crossway: 2007), 121.

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The Minister’s Best Time and Talents

By Charlie Wingard · April 25, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Charles Bridges reminds ministers that “it is indeed a ’neglect of the gift of God that is in us,’  to trifle in the study or in the pulpit. God will bless our endeavors – not our idleness. Our Master, and our people for our Master’s sake, have a just claim to our best time and talents, our most matured thoughts, and most careful study.” – Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry (1830; Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1991), 194.

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Henry Martyn (1781-1812)

By Charlie Wingard · February 18, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Today is the anniversary of the birth of pioneer missionary Henry Martyn. Reading Christian biographies is a devotional practice I find valuable, and especially ones about ministers and missionaries. One missionary who deeply impresses me is Henry Martyn. Henry Martyn was born on February 18, 1781 in Truro, England. As a young man he excelled in classical and mathematical studies. The tender concern of a believing sister, the pain of his father’s death, and the godly counsel of a Cambridge mathematic’s instructor compelled him to read the New Testament. During his personal study of the scriptures, Martyn came to a living faith in Jesus Christ and was soundly converted. While at St. John’s College in Cambridge, Martyn sat under the…

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