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Joseph P. Lombardi

Lombardi Joe

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)

11 Comments on “Joseph P. Lombardi

  1. Win (and sons)-Brent and I were sorry to hear about Joe. He was quite the youth leader and pastor; with much humor, a smile and open to being helpful whenever the need arose. Our heartfelt sympathy.
    We’ll remember Joe with fondness and may the happy memories help you through your grieving.
    ~ Belle & Brent Peterson

  2. Joe was a fabulous Pastor at Lake Center in Portage and Win a terrific church secretary. One of the hi lights of my life was helping the Lombardi family move (along with Brad Thoms) from California to Portage, Michigan. I was very disappointed when and how they relocated. But their service to the Lord never wavered. I pray God will protect them until the final reunion when they once again can be together.

  3. We just found out today of Joe’s passing. We are so sorry for your loss. As we think on the past we can’t help but smile at the many youth activities we enjoyed with Joe at the helm. We were lucky to have learned from Joe as he shared Christ’s love and salvation with us.
    We will keep you and your family in our prayers.
    Rich and Denise Carter

  4. Praise the Lord Jesus for Joe! The Lord brought him into my life as a huge encourager about 10 years ago. In our phone conversations he would always ask me how he could pray for me and told me that he would commit to doing that every morning. Joe Lombardi was always a wonderful blessing to every person that he came in contact with.

    Much grace to Win and the family in this trying time.

  5. What a great man of God. What a great friend.

    I never know what to say to the family. All I know is that my heart breaks for you. Your husband and father was such a great reflection of Jesus. Alzheimer’s is so terrible. My step-mother battled it and she was gone long before she died. My wife’s mother also had to face it and it is such a painful disease. I’m grateful they all think more clearly now than they ever have before.

    Any family in ministry gives along with whomever is the “visible” one. Thank you for all the time you gave sharing Joe with others. You will be honored before Jesus for that.

    May the Lord comfort and care for you all.

  6. I was in Joe’s first choir class in 1972. He not only taught me to love music but to love my Savior as well. The end of the year trips to Cedar Point we’re fantastic! Joe’s birthday and mine were on the same date and my senior year we had a joint party at my house with many of his students. His smile was infectious and his love for the Lord was so evident in everything he did. We’ll done good and faithful servant. Until we meet again. Win and family you are in my prayers

  7. Carl and I are saddened to hear of Joe’s passing. We will always remember him fondly as a teacher and friend. His participation in performing our wedding was such an honor. The opportunities you allowed us into your home, sharing meals, and sharing God’s Truths have never been forgotten.
    I remember the last time I saw Joe in Fox Valley Mall, while quickly trying to reach a long-forgotten destination; Joe was leisurely walking around the corner of the upper level as we passed each other. Stopping for the moment, we exchanged quick Hellos with well wishes for our loved ones. It was brief, always much too brief. A lifetime on earth is but a fragment of what we really look forward to experiencing, later. Joe is onto a new chapter.
    His passion for the Lord was as contagious as was his smile. He truly was and is compassionate for our Redeemer. Looking forward to meeting up with him in the future.
    Our prayers and thoughts are with you, Win, and the family. May your fond memories help stay the sadness of your loss while separated. ღ
    “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25)

  8. I just found out today that Joe went to be with the Lord last month, I always like to see him, he always made me smile, Joe was always a friend when I was in need, wow what a man!

  9. Just learned today of Joe’s passing which is listed in the Dallas Seminary Fall ’22 magazine which just arrived. I was a classmate of Joe’s in the MABS program and partnered with him on a project. He was a superb student and a great friend. We all went our separate ways after graduation, but I have rich memories of friendships with classmates. I was truly blessed to call Joe my friend and am saddened by this news. My heartfelt sympathies to his wife and family.

  10. Mr. L. Surely had a calling on him as I found him to be such a faithful and loving imitator of Jesus. As a student at Southfield Christian I remember the sadness that swept over so many of us under his tutelage. That feeling that things would never be the same… and I remember his assurances, and compassion on us. I was so happy for him when only two years later he met Win (I know that this fulfilled a deep longing of his and I remember thinking… God had a plan when he led him away from us. Just as God had and has a plan for all of us. Not our plan… for man makes his plans… but the Lord guides his steps (paraphrased.) Make a joyful noise with your trumpet to the Lord Mr L! See you soon.

  11. I feel as if my above comments on Mr. Lombardi may need a slight clarification. We students of Southfield Christian Highschool “under his tutelage” were so sad when it came time for him to leave us. We KNEW things would “never be the same.” Sadly our family also moved away that same year. Today, Michael W. Smith’s song “Friends” came on… I hadn’t heard it in years…and I found myself sobbing uncontrollably. It was the song we used (Joe Lombardi approved) to soothe our selves… (frequently) in our great loss. You never forget those kinds of highschool experiences…and the emotions are just as innocent and sincere and painful… as they were then. Love to you Win. Thank you so very much for completing his happiness here on earth. I hope you are comforted by our great God. I can’t imagine spending 42 years with (now this is a highschool student speaking) “the great Joe Lombardi” and then having to surrender him and make a life here without him. You are always in our prayers and we know that He (God) has special tenderness towards all those who are widowed, or orphaned, or oppressed… and that He is near to the broken-hearted.💕 Thank you for your ministry as a pastor’s wife. And thanks be to our great God for His love to all of us that came through you and Joe.

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