There are many ways to describe Alan Winter. The most consistent is friend. Alan was a friend with everyone he met. You may know Alan as one of the board members, guest instructor, or a missionary. For those who don’t know Alan Winter, he was a Youth Pastor in Atlanta for many years then started an organization to lead short-term mission trips. Alan told me that when he was a Youth Pastor he would spend years trying to help young people change. Years later he led a missions trip with his youth group. Alan told me that the transformation he saw within two weeks surpassed the changes he saw in all the years he had worked with this group before. He was so inspired by the power to transform others by serving others that he quit his job and began an organization that helped others do the same. The past sentence misses the reality Alan faced in the process. Alan quit his full-time consistent job with benefits and a steady income as his kids were about to enroll in college because of his passion for the transformational power of loving others.
Alan’s founding of Frontline Missions was a labor of love, for everyone he met. Alan loved to make everyone that he encountered feel loved. He specialized in groups of people that no one else cared enough to do anything for them. No one escaped Alan’s hugs or fatherly love.
Alan’s relationship with Grace College of Divinity was multifaceted. He was a GCD board member, he co-taught Communicating the Relevance of God’s Story and Destiny and Calling, many students worked with Alan on missions trips and others interned with Frontline missions. In addition, Alan was a close personal friend to Dr. Crowther. Much of the mission and heart of GCD is a direct influence of Alan.
Alan was on a missions trip to Cartagena, Colombia to help train pastors in a school that was started by GCD and Frontline Missions. Alan had a stroke on his way to Columbia, and was admitted to the Hospital in Cartagena. There were complications in the medical care he received in Columbia. Alan was medevacked to the United States to receive better medical care. While in the United States he underwent several surgeries that were not able to bring Alan back to good health. Alan went to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, March 1st.
Everyone is invited to a memorial service for Alan on March 15th at 11:00 am at New Hope Baptist Church (551 New Hope Rd, Fayetteville, GA 30214). His family requests donations be made to Frontline Missions in lieu of flowers. The family will be wearing Easter colors in celebration of Alan’s life and invites all to join them. GCD will endeavor to offer an online option for students, staff, and faculty to participate if they would like and are unable to attend.