Saturday, March 14, 2009

Don Sanford, RIP

Don Sanford, pastor, teacher, historian, and friend, died last night. One of his daughters writes: Don "... finally has a sound mind and a whole, healed body. He entered glory last night at about 11pm. May write more later but for now, I am exhausted in every way possible but very grateful physical death isn't the end!" Please pray for the family.

After serving in several Seventh Day Baptist pastorates, Don came back to Milton College to work in the library. Later he taught public school history, and, finally, went to work for the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society as curator and historian. He authored several books including the most recent comprehensive history of the denomination, A Choosing People: The History of Seventh Day Baptists, now out of print but soon to be republished. Don had a regular column in the Sabbath Recorder. He had a retentive memory, was curious, knowledgeable, and always willing to share what he had discovered. He joined the ranks of those few who have made a genuine contribution to recording the history of Seventh Day Baptists.

Don was a good and supportive friend. He was always willing to encourage, to talk and to listen and, sometimes, to correct. When I recently worked on reorganizing the Historical Society Museum, Don was appreciative and helpful with suggestions and especially with locating exhibits. He was a good guy and I will miss him.

Update, 3/15: Nick Kersten of the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society posted the following at SDB Exec:
Rev. Don A. Sanford, former pastor and long-time Historian for the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society passed from this life late Friday after a brief illness. He was 83. Rev. Sanford studied at Milton College, Alfred School of Theology and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, earning degrees from each. He served Seventh Day Baptist churches at Independence and Andover, NY (1950-1954), at New Auburn, WI (1954-1959), and at White Cloud, MI (1959-1967) along with serving as interim pastor in several Baptist, Methodist and Congregational churches throughout his life. After leaving White Cloud, Rev. Sanford had a second career in education, working at public and private schools in Southern Wisconsin for nearly 20 years, including a time as A/V librarian at Milton College. After retiring from teaching in 1987, Rev. Sanford became Historian of the SDB Historical Society, a post he held until the end of 2004, when he was honored as Historian emeritus. During his life, Rev. Sanford had a prolific writing ministry, including 15 years of editing the Helping Hand, a bible study and devotional book published quarterly for SDB’s, a monthly column in the Sabbath Recorder called “Pearls from the Past,” and several books including: A Choosing People, Conscience Taken Captive, A Free People In Search of a Free Land, Greater Than Its Parts, and the Newport Seventh Day Baptist Trilogy. In addition to this substantial body of work, Rev. Sanford also contributed to several Baptist anthologies and presented research frequently in the larger Baptist history community. After a long and fruitful life, Pastor Don has joined the “great cloud of witnesses” he spent so many years teaching us about. Services in honor of his life are planned for this coming week in his home church in Milton, WI.
SDB Exec: Rev. Don A. Sanford Goes Home to be with the Lord

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jim,
    I'd like to include the portrait of Don Sanford at in Goodreads . Do you know who's permission I woudl need to use the picture please?
    Thanks - Leon J Lyell


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