Obituary: Luverne Sands

SAN DIEGO, CA (March 10, 2015) – Retired Pacific Southwest Conference Superintendent Luverne Sands, 88, died Monday. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Clairemont Covenant Church.

Luverne was born March 7, 1927, in Willmar, Minnesota. He earned a bachelor of arts degree at Bethel College and graduated from North Park Theological Seminary.

He married Mary Ruth Ahlfeld on June 24, 1948. She survives.

Luverne served as pastor of Mission Covenant Church in Anoka, Minnesota; Elim (Minnesota) Covenant Church; Modesto (California) 0310 luverne sandsCovenant Church; Clairemont Covenant Church in San Diego, California; Champions Evangelical Covenant Church (now Hope Community ECC) in Houston, Texas, and as superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference.

He officially retired in 1992, but he served continuously in interim pastorates at Zion Covenant in Jamestown, New York; Kerman (California) Covenant Church; Newport Covenant Church in Bellevue, Washington; Bethany Covenant Church in Lyndhurst, Ohio; Redeemer Covenant Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Turlock (California) Covenant Church.

In 1999 he became pastor of DeAnza Community Church, an interdenominational recreational park ministry on Mission Bay in San Diego. He ended a five-year ministry there in 2004, and subsequently served as care and visitation coordinator at Clairemont Covenant, and then as stewardship manager at Mount Miguel Retirement Community, where he also lived. He continued to serve in that position, which raised awareness of benevolent needs of Mount Miguel residents, until he died.

In addition to Mary Ruth, survivors include four children; daughters Betty Beuving (Lauren) of Redwood Valley, California, and Karen Cook (Rocky) of Plantation, Florida; and sons Paul Sands (Cathie) of Santee, California, and Bryan Sands (Penny) of Pasadena, California.

Memorials are to the Mount Miguel Covenant Village Benevolence Fund.


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  1. Pastor Sands encouraged me greatly in my walk with Jesus and was one of the first people to make Jesus real for me! He encouraged me to go into missions and then championed me when my ability to serve the Lord in Alaska came into question at a missions board meeting. I am grateful and humbled by pastor Sands’ long dedicated service for the Lord Jesus and his loving example of faithfulness and sacrifice to God, family, and country.

  2. Pastor Luverne Sands was the pastor under whom I entered the Covenant in 1958 at Elim Covenant Church in St. Paul. We were blessed under his ministry and missed the Sands family when they went out to Modesto. May our Lord comfort Mary Ruth and the family.

  3. Quite simply one of the finest pastors I have had the privilege of knowing! He was a mentor and friend… always smiling and ready with an encouraging word. He was the “youngest” octogenarian in our church. He will be missed dearly. May God bless Mary Ruth and the entire Sands family.

  4. We shared a humorous story at the dinner table just moments before he left for glory. We attended Bethel together and had many interesting times there. He was a blessing to me at many points in my life, mostly in humor.
    chuck anderson

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