People from around the world.. including family and friends, and members of the Church Of God in Christ gathered together Wednesday to remember and celebrate the life of the renowned Bishop Roy L.H. Winbush.
Winbush served the Lafayette and Acadiana areas for more than 65 years.
His service transformed church leadership like Presiding Bishop J. Drew Sheard and First Lady Karen Clark Sheard.
“Bishop Roy Winbush was one of the brightest minds of our church," Sheard said. “I’m personally thankful because he invested in my life and tutored me, and we’re thankful for his awesome leadership,” he added.
National leaders from all over the country came to honor the late Bishop for the Episcopal Memorial Celebration.
“It’s so important for us to be here because Bishop Winbush probably impacted or had some input on every person's life that is a part of leadership,” Sheard said.
“Absolutely a brilliant mind…I think he should mostly be remembered for his love for God, his family, definitely his love for the faith community and really the impact he made here in the community of Lafayette,” COGIC Sunday School Department Assistant International Field Representative, Waynell Henson said.
“In a relatively obscure area such as Opelousas, Lafayette, Crowely, Louisiana came a world changer and organizational genius,” Bishop L. F. Thuston said.
“I think his uniqueness was the fact that he was a man who could really go into any space and he was brilliant wherever he showed up,” Henson said.
In 1988, Winbush was appointed nationally to the general board of God in Christ, responsible for the governance of the church and was consecrated prelate of the first jurisdiction of Louisiana for 35 years and held a number of esteemed national titles. He served on the General Board from 1988-2018, and granted emeritus status thereafter.
He also served as a representative to the Congress of National Black churches. He would later become its chairman.
His casket, covered with red purple and a blue purple cloth symbolizing his service.
Survived by his wife of 65 years and two daughters,the late Winbush received his high school diploma from Crowley Industrial High School and bachelors degree from Southern University A & M.
In 1979, Winbush, along with his wife, established the Gethsemane Christian Academy and Lapetite Early Childhood Development Center here in Lafayette.
Winbush served as a pastor for 65 years in churches in Opelousas, Lafayette, and Crowley.
He is also a recipient of an American Legion Award and Korean War Veteran.
“Watch this man who was not only a pastor but had a radio station, a funeral home, an insurance company, and a daycare. Nobody did that, I mean nobody and pastored three churches,” Thuston said. “There will never be another Roy L.H. Winbush."
Those who knew him say he was a tremendous leader who invested in people and the next generation.
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