Joseph P. Lombardi
November 15, 1950 – July 21, 2022
Joe was the first-born child to Pat and Lydia Lombardi who resided in Raritan, NJ. As Pat and Lydia’s family grew, they moved several times finally settling in North Plainfield, NJ. At the age of seven, Joe placed his faith in his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He dedicated living his life for the glory of God and never wavered in his faith.
At a very early age, Joe’s uncle taught him to play the trumpet. Due to his natural ability, Joe was encouraged to pursue a career in music. Upon graduating from North Plainfield High School in 1968, he attended the Wheaton Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College in Illinois and graduated in 1972. He then began his career at Southfield Christian School, Southfield, Michigan, where he started the school’s band and choir programs. From 1972-1977, he was known to his students as “Mr. L.” Under his leadership these programs grew, and his students were challenged to grow in their relationships with the Lord and use their talents for HIS glory. Through all of the success of the band and choir, Joe gave tribute and praise to his Savior. He ended every choir concert with Andraé Crouch’s song “My Tribute” to publicly praise the Lord.
During the summer months, Joe attended Dallas Theological Seminary. There he earned a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, graduating with highest honors in 1978.
In the fall of 1978 Joe moved to Aurora, IL to begin a band and choir program at Aurora Christian School. There he met Win Watkins, who became his wife in 1979.
In 1978 Joe became the youth pastor at Claim Street Baptist Church in Aurora, where he was later ordained.
Following his deep desire to preach God’s word he became a senior pastor and served in this capacity in six churches across the country. They were: First Baptist of Villa Park, Villa Park, IL, Evangel Baptist Church, Springfield, NJ, Grace Church, Desert Hot Springs, CA, Lake Center Bible Church, Portage, MI, North Salem Baptist Church, Salem, OR, and New Hope Bible Church, Wahoo, NE. Joe’s message was always clear – salvation is a free gift from God, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone and never by anything we have done.
Joe and Win returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2015 and finally relocated to southwest Arizona. Joe continually sought opportunities to preach God’s Word and was willing to serve in any way he could. Retirement was never his goal.
On Thursday morning, July 21, 2022, Joe saw his Savior face to face for the first time. After years of fighting the Alzheimer’s disease, Joe made one final move to heaven where he is whole again.
Joe is survived by his wife of 43 years, Win, their sons, James and TJ and his siblings: Phyllis Rohrmayer, Ray Lombardi and Becky Gardner.
A celebration of life for Joe is being planned. The family asks that any gifts in his memory be sent to Southfield Christian School and designated for the music program. (Southfield Christian School / 28650 Lahser Road / Southfield, MI 48034)