Obituary: Glen Wiberg

NEW BRIGHTON, MN (March 24, 2017) — Retired Covenant pastor Glen Wiberg, 91, who has been described as “a pastor’s pastor, a preacher’s preacher,” died Thursday, March 23.

Glen was born on May 1, 1925, in Kansas City, Missouri.

He earned an associate’s degree from North Park College, a bachelor’s degree from William Jewel College, graduated from North Park Seminary, and earned an MDiv from Yale Divinity School.

Glen married Jane Mabes on June 10, 1949.

He served as pastor of Mission Covenant Church in Princeton, Illinois; First Covenant Church in Youngstown, Ohio; Haddam Neck Covenant Church in Hampton, Connecticut; North Park Covenant Church in Chicago; and Salem Covenant Church in New Brighton, Minnesota.

In addition, Glen served as chairman of the Covenant Hymnal Commission and helped produce multiple music and educational resources. He wrote books that included Singing the Story: Sightings in Christian Music and Housing the Sacred: What I Have Learned and Still Am Learning about Preaching.

Jay Phelan, senior professor of theological studies at North Park Theological Seminary, recalled Glen as “a towering giant among Covenant pastors of any generation.”

“Pastor Wiberg loved the church,” said longtime friend John Weborg, seminary professor emeritus of theology. “He served it with deep joy, a deeply informed mind, and a pastoral practice formed by the Bible and tradition, which he knew well. People knew him as a great preacher and rightly so, but equally compelling was his presence as a worship leader. Pastor Wiberg went about making church and the gospel means of grace home for whoever needed the good news.”

A collection of his writing for The Pietisten is available online.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters, Kathie Wiberg Frank and Sarah Betz. He was preceded in death by a son, Carl Wiberg.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, at Salem Covenant Church. Visitation will also be at 10 a.m. Friday prior to the funeral service which will be held at 11 a.m. A committal service will follow a luncheon.


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  1. My husband and I were the last wedding Pastor Wiberg performed before retiring 25 years ago. We live in Leesburg, Virginia, now and had not seen him in years. But we have fond memories. I know he will be missed, but it’s nice that he is home with the Lord. Prayers for comfort to his loved ones.

  2. I came to Chicago 1974, on an exchange program, 19 years old. Friends back in Sweden had recommended me to look up Glen and Jane. From the first time I worshiped at North Park Church I was invited to their home and welcomed into the family. I was there quite a few times during my exchange year. It meant a lot. Since then our paths wave crossed occasionally in Sweden and in the US. Some years ago Glen and I exchanged books and email. I will always remember Glen’s and Jane´s warmth and generosity, and I will always remember interesting conversations, with a mix of depth and humor, together with Glen. He was a true friend. And I thank God for him. My warm thoughts go to Jane, Kathie, Sarah and their families. Thomas Ericson, Sweden

  3. When I heard of Glen’s passing, I couldn’t help but think of the hymn he translated in our hymnal, “O How Blest to Be a Pilgrim (#758). In addition to being an excellent preacher and a caring pastor, few have done more for the worshipping life of the Covenant Church. May he even now hear those “songs of victory.”

    O how blest to be a pilgrim,
    Guided by the Father’s hand;
    Free at last from ev’ry burden
    We shall enter Canaan’s land.

    Songs of vict’ry there shall greet us,
    Like the thund’ring of a mighty flood,
    Endless praises be to Jesus,
    Who redeemed us by his blood!

    On this side of Jordan’s river,
    Sighs too deep for words are known,
    But we look for bright tomorrows
    In Jerusalem our home.

    There no clouds of darkness gather,
    Neither sorrow, tears, nor woe,
    Nothing harmful e’er shall enter,
    Sin and pain we will not know.

    Here from loved ones we are parted,
    Earthly sorrows never cease,
    But within that glorious city
    We shall meet again in peace.

    O may none give up the journey,
    Left in darkness on the shore,
    May we all at last be gathered
    When our pilgrimage is o’er.

  4. I only heard pastor Wiberg once, at a single event over 20 years ago, but I still remember some of his comments to this day.

  5. Glen Wiberg left his imprint on all who had the privilege of working with him. He was passionate about the Lord and worshiping Him in community. Thank you, friend, for your influence and perspective leading the hymnal commission!

  6. While in Youngstown at my church being First Covenant…… as a youth growing up I can still in my mind picture him walking over to the piano and beautifully playing….
    then pounding out ‘Marchimg to Zion’! It brought chills to everyone in the church! It was as if the good Lord was coming right then …..and Pastor Wiberg was leading us Home! Simply wonderful image! Blessing on him and his family! Sincerely in Christian love.

  7. The gracious activity of God through Glen was transformational. One can be told about, “when preaching becomes an event” … where time fades and the soul is caught up in the Presence and glory of God. Then one can enter and experience this wonderful mystery. Under Glen’s preaching “I entered and experienced.” I’m forever grateful.

  8. Glen is singing “Oh Let Your Soul Now Be Filled With Gladness” with the Angel Choir! Peace be to his memory!

  9. We have lost an extraordinary Covenant leader and advocate for the gospel. Few, if any, of Glen Wiberg’s generation represented the Lutheran-Pietist character of our church so well as this preacher. Over the years, he winsomely conjoined liturgical sensitivity with joyful spontaneity and warmth, and nowhere was that union more in evidence than in his pulpit ministry. His life and work personified the gladness that is the gospel.

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