As the fourth Native pastor to be installed by the Lutheran Indian Ministries, Winston Wilson (Cowlitz) encompasses the ideal of being God’s hands on earth and portrays the definition of empathy. “[My wife, Connie, and I] have gone through our hard times in life," explains Winston. "We’ve gone through family situations that were very painful, and when you see others going through that you just want to reach out with God’s love and grace and mercy."
While this is only the first Christmas as an officially ordained pastor of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Winston has been serving Makah Lutheran Church since 2009. At that time, he and Connie, both trained musicians, served as worship leaders. Winston then took on the role as acting pastor when the previous pastor, David Sternbeck, also LIM staff, moved his ministry to Fairbanks, Alaska.
“Because I had already been serving Makah Lutheran for the last five years, the official installation [on November 22nd] was a little tongue-in-cheek. There was some good hearted joking, but I also think everyone appreciated the importance of the service and the ceremony,” Winston shares. Surrounded by family and friends, local and retired pastors, and his congregation, he says he began to understand how amazing it is to be a part of a healthy and thriving church and said it felt good to be carrying on the legacy of the pastors before him.
Hear Winston talk about how he identifies with many of the struggles his Native brothers and sisters face and how he uses music to share the Gospel with them. Watch our short video, Sing Praises to Him - Winston Wilson's Story.