“Be Prepared.”

In his years of local work, Winkler said he never had an “office.” Rather, he had a “study.” His study was his place to prepare for the sermons, classes, and lectures he would present. To him, mounting the pulpit or entering a classroom unprepared was deplorable. He believed that time spent in study and preparation helped to insure that not only would the preacher have something to say, but that he would have something worth saying.

He often quoted Ezra 7:10 to us: “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”His preparation included more than just his notes. He believed in preparing the heart; in internalizing and implementing before instructing others. He believed in the dignity in life and in the pulpit. Even small things, like appropriate dress and decorum, were important to him. He had little tolerance for what he called “suave preachers” who tried to dress to the crowd. He understood different occasions may call for different attire but even at that he would say, “Class, be prepared.”

Charles Wendell Winkler went to be with the Lord on October 23, 2005 at the age of 74. He had spent more than 60 years preaching and training preachers. “He being dead yet speaks.” Most of would be willing to admit that often we mount a pulpit, open our mouths, and his words come out.