David van Wingerden, a beloved member of The Master’s University and Seminary board of directors, entered the presence of the Lord on Monday, January 15, 2024.
For the past 19 months, David battled acute myeloid leukemia. As his body slowly succumbed to the disease, David took every opportunity to champion the cause of Christ, constantly laboring to encourage, serve, and sacrifice for others and always expressing gratitude for the Lord’s provision. During treatment, David continued to attend TMUS board meetings. Afterwards, he would take students out to meals and spend time encouraging other board members. He was tireless in pouring himself out for others.
Three weeks before David’s homegoing, his wife, Keri, emailed these words to his fellow board members and leaders at TMUS:
“When David was first diagnosed he committed to fighting his cancer with everything he had. Not only has he done that, he’s done it with dignity, integrity, a focus on others and almost no complaints. It appears his fight is almost over. He can say like Paul, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim 4:6-8).
Oh, what a precious gift eternal life is. David was speaking with a friend about approaching the end and how it is hard to depart because we were created for good works and to share the hope of the Gospel, and he doesn’t feel he’s done. Each conversation he’s had that I’ve been either a part of or a silent listener to he’s demonstrated a genuine care for all he encounters. His heart’s desire is that others may know his Savior and the joy that comes from following Him.”
David first came to The Master’s University (that was then The Master’s College) as a student in the early 90s. He studied business and biblical counseling. He met Keri at TMU. They both graduated in 1995.
Shortly after graduation, David and Keri married and moved to Ethiopia for 16 months. David was able to use his knowledge of soil and farming to help local farmers grow food more productively.
After their time in Ethiopia, David and Keri returned to Ohio, not far from where he was born and raised in Oberlin. He began working in the family business — Express Seed Company — and would eventually become the company’s chief operating officer. In Ohio, he and his wife raised five children: TJ, Makannen, Chatham, Jack, and Kaytence. Three of his children have attended TMU. David was a long-time member and deacon of Grace Church of North Olmsted, and he has faithfully served on the TMUS board since 2021.
When asked about David’s character and the legacy he leaves behind, Abner Chou, president of The Master’s University and Seminary, said, “David embodies everything we want a TMU grad to be. He captured all things to the Lordship of Christ and we are thankful for his leadership on the board. When we spoke with him the day before he went to hospice, he charged all of us at TMUS to never stop battling for absolute fidelity to the Lord Jesus Christ and his Word. He lived out that commitment, that is the legacy he left to us, and we must continue to uphold the truth which David so cherished.”
TMU is setting up a scholarship in David’s honor. You can learn more at masters.edu/vanwingerden.
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