Calvary pastor laid to rest

Published 10:11 pm Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The leader of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church until his death last week will be missed the most for his way of encouraging everyone he met, his daughter said Tuesday.

Pastor Linwood E. Stanworth, 72, was healthy up until the end came last Tuesday. That was the way he would have wanted it, daughter Lindsay Pitts said.

Stanworth (Photo by Kristen Livingston)

Stanworth (Photo by Kristen Livingston)

“He didn’t display any type of fatigue,” she said. “He was just at it 100 percent until the very end.”

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Stanworth worked as a car salesman for a number of years before feeling called to go into the ministry. He finished seminary in 1983 and continued selling cars until he found his first church.

He planted several churches in Isle of Wight County and then became the pastor at Maranatha Baptist Church in Windsor. He spent several years doing revivals, as well, before landing at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church on Turlington Road about 10 years ago.

His quiet demeanor couldn’t hide his passion for the Gospel, Pitts said. He had a good grasp of the Bible’s original languages, “so he could dive into a particular word and Scripture,” she said. “He was very expository and very detailed.”

Both as a pastor and a father, he constantly encouraged everyone, Pitts said.

“He loved encouraging people,” she said. “That was one of the main parts of his ministry that drew people to him. He wanted everybody to do their best and feel like somebody was rooting for them.”

Pastor Stanworth was extremely proud to officiate at the wedding of his son last October, Pitts added.

In addition to being a husband, father and pastor, Stanworth never lost his passion for cars. He loved fixing up antique cars, Pitts said.

“He would never buy a nice car,” she said. “He always liked to buy an old car in pieces. As soon as he got it perfect, he would sell it, and then he’d start again.”

Stanworth was just finishing up building a garage at his new house to support his car habit when he died, Pitts said. The family has heard from many people they didn’t even know about how Pastor Stanworth encouraged them, she added.

“Dad always had a kind word, and that was really important to a lot of people,” she said. “He’s going to be greatly missed.”