John Stensether was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Rev. John and Gertie Stensether on February 28, 1944. He was “baby brother” to three older sisters – Margaret (deceased), Judith and Evelyn (deceased). He attended Minneapolis public schools and graduated from the University of Minnesota. Graduate studies were taken at Fuller Theological Seminary and California Graduate School of Theology where he earned the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree and was also awarded the Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) degree. He did additional study at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Dallas Theological Seminary.
Pastor John (as he was affectionately known) married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Erickson, R.N., on September 3, 1966. He is survived by his wife, two children – Julie Brannberg and Kevin Stensether (wife LeAnn) – and eight grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Evelyn and Margaret and an infant sister he never knew.
Ordination was through the Evangelical Free Church of America and for nearly 50 years he served as Senior Pastor in New Jersey, Indiana and California. Frequently he was the guest speaker/lecturer at various colleges and universities and as featured speaker at Christian conference centers throughout the United States. He was a past member of the Board of Regents at Trinity International University and was a Staley Distinguished Scholar.
Radio and television production was of special interest. He initiated radio programs at the churches he pastored. While serving the Crossroads Church in Turlock, California, he was involved in the establishment of the church’s 24 hour radio station. Also, he was the featured speaker on the church’s weekly TV program, “At The Crossroads”.
Above all, Pastor John loved the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. His preaching/teaching was always Christ-centered and his desire was to live in such a way as to bring honor to his Lord.
At his request, a private service was held. However, if so inspired, donations in his honor can be made to Samaritan’s Purse: Operation Heal Our Patriots, P.O. Box 3000 Boone, NC 28607.