“After living a rich life in the ministry of the gospel, as your Dad, Opi (ed.note ‘Grandpa’), brother, cousin and friend, I have fallen asleep in the Lord in firm confidence in the resurrection.”
With these words, Pierre Winandy bids farewell to all those of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist family who had the opportunity to meet and know him. Amazingly, yet with the serenity of a strong believer in God as his Saviour, he had chosen to write his own obituary.
Pierre Winandy was born in Angers (France) on June 18, 1932. His pastoral journey started in 1958 as evangelist in Paris, after having completed his studies in theology at the Adventist Seminar at Collonges-sous-Salève (France). From 1967 on, together with Gisela Willy, his beloved wife, Dr. Winandy enjoyed a long and fruitful pastoral, academic, and administrative career.
The couple travelled and served in many parts of the world, sharing their expertise and passion for the gospel ministry and for music, which they saw as a mission, too.
In France, Dr. Winandy served as pastor and as theology teacher at the Adventist Seminar in Collonges; he also served at the Adventist University of Central Africa (Rwanda), as Field president in the Israel Mission, as teacher and director at the Adventist University “Villa Aurora” (Italy), and as director of the E. G. White Center in Newbold College (England).
During his long academic experience, Pierre Winandy obtained a M.A. in Archaeology and History of Antiquity, a B.D. in Old Testament-Hebrew, a B.D. in Practical Theology and a Doctorate ès Lettres Philologie Hébraïque (Hebrew Philology).
He loved music and was a talented organist. With his wife Gisela, a proficient musician and choir director, they organised hundreds of concerts of sacred music also with the purpose of preaching the Gospel. Dr. Winandy retired in 1994, and the couple spent the last part of their still-active life in Krattigen (Switzerland). He survived his wife, Gisela, who passed away in early 2015.
His former student and current president of the Inter-European region of Seventh-day Adventists, Mario Brito, declares: “We have lost someone who loved God, who loved the Mission and his students. His passion for preaching the Gospel will remain a strong example for those who have met him.”
Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the memorial service will not take place before the beginning of 2021, as soon as it will be possible again to have public meetings; information will follow in due time.
And here, Pierre Winandy’s last words of the obituary, which he addressed to all of us: “I would like to thank each of you for the beautiful encounters and the many unforgettable moments that we have shared during my lifetime. You have made my life rich! For the future, I wish you all the best and that God's hand will continue to lead and guide you until we meet again!”
And, like Pierre Winandy, we, too, are looking forward to meeting him again at the Second Coming of Jesus.