Obituary: Stan Henderson

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (March 13, 2017) — Former Northwest Conference superintendent Stan Henderson, 84, died Friday.

He was born August 16, 1932, in Yakima, Washington. He earned a bachelor of arts in English Bible and a master of arts in religious studies from Bob Jones University.

He was ordained in the Covenant in 1963. Stan married Mary Awbery on June 2, 1954, in Greenville, South Carolina.

He served Covenant churches in Turlock, Downey, and Oakland, California; and in Rockford, Illinois. He served as Northwest Conference superintendent for 14 years. Following his retirement, he also served as interim vice president for the denomination as well as interim pastor at congregations in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“Stan was unashamed of the gospel, and understood the importance of the mission,” said president Gary Walter. “He was always true to his calling—smart and spiritually minded, courageous and tender, tireless and encouraging.”

Survivors include his wife and two sons, Dan Henderson and David Henderson.

Services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, at First Covenant Church in Grand Rapids. Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. N.W., Grand Rapids, MI 49504.



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  1. I’ll always remember Stan as a ‘second miler”. One of his many over and above commitments was with the Board of Christian Education. During that 5 year term he freely gave of his time, which included leadership of CHIC. He was a great model of service to our Lord in his willingness to put Christ first. As a Conference Superintendent sought no credits, but at a retirement reception he was presented with a cassock, surplice and miter,… which a family member, an Episcopal rector, thought was more fitting for such an office. Attending Covenanters savored the moment, at Stan’s expense! He will be remembered as a great friend and servant.

  2. Stan’s smile and enthusiasm will long be remembered. He was an encourager, a listener and a wise counselor. He will be missed. Sending our heartfelt sympathy and prayerful love to his family.

  3. As a layman from the Mankato Covenant church in Minnesota, I had the privilege of working with Stan on the Northwest Conference Board. At that time our conference was challenged by some trying issues. God placed Stan in that leadership role to work through the difficult time. Our churches were blessed by Stan’s Godly leadership. My deepest sympathy to the family.

  4. Stan was superintendent the Northwest Conference and took time to supervise me as a young student and later to do my installation at HOPE. I am grateful for his ministry and care. Blessing to his family.

  5. I am saddened by the news of the passing of my dear friend and colleague, Stan Henderson. I knew he was in failing health from my last couple of visits with him but this news still took me by surprise. Stan was a pastor and and a pastor’s pastor, through and through. He was a highly gifted and faithful servant of our Lord. Both as neighboring pastors in Rockford, Illinois, and serving together on the Council of Superintendents I valued Stan’s friendship and counsel. Our prayers are especially with his dear Frankie now. Peace to his memory.

  6. Rlou and I send our deepest sympathy to Mary, Dan and David! Stan was a deeply committed servant of Christ and of the church! He gave superb leadership to the local church, the Northwest Conference, and to the Evangelical Covenant Church! Stan and I served churches in Rockford at the same time and spent many years together on the Council of Superintendents. During those years we grew to love both Stan and Mary and to have only the highest respect and admiration for both of them. May the peace of Christ be with Mary and family!

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