Missions work has taken Wintford Haynes, 82, and his wife, Martha, 79, to 41 states. They are chaplains with the North American Mission Board and Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief. For their work with Campers on Mission, the Cullman couple received the lifetime achievement award and were recognized for 45-plus years of membership.
Wintford was a pastor for 15 years and a bivocational music minister for 21 years. He brings his Christian humor and music to people through his “Laugh with Wintford” ministry.
Wintford retired from Liberty National Life Insurance Company after 31 years. Martha has taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for 35 years. Martha has been involved in Woman’s Missionary Union at the local, associational and state levels.
Ministry: Full-time volunteers and active church members
Church name: Friendship Baptist Church, Cullman, in East Cullman Baptist Association
Wintford’s Life verse: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31)
Martha’s Life verse: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13)
Q: Describe the focus of your ministry efforts:
A: The couple organized the Alabama chapter of Campers on Mission in 1972 and served 12 years as national Campers on Mission coordinators for NAMB. Wintford helped to organize the East Cullman Baptist Association Disaster Relief team and served on the Alabama Disaster Relief Task Force. He is also law enforcement chaplain for Cullman Police Department and Cullman County Sheriff’s Department.
Q: Who was or is one of the most influential people in your faith life? Why?
A: Wintford: Mrs. Gray, who led me to Christ at age 12. My pastors and teachers through the years. As a young pastor, director of missions Jack Joyner, who took me under his arms and encouraged me.
Martha: Pastor Jack Collins. He was a true friend to me when I needed one.
Q: Tell about a “turning point” in your life and how God was involved.
A: Wintford: A message preached from Ezekiel 3:17: “I have appointed you as a watchman. Warn the people, and if you do not warn them, I will require their blood at your hand, but if you will warn them you have delivered yourself.” God spoke to me through that message and the next day, I witnessed to one of my friends and he accepted Christ as his Savior. Several verses have spoken to me since, like Philippians 4:19, knowing God will provide, and Isaiah 40:31, waiting on God to provide, knowing He will.
Q: What has God been teaching you lately?
A: Wintford: With this COVID-19, patience to wait on Him.
Martha: To trust Him with everything, even if I can’t see it.
Q: If there were one thing you could tell your younger self about faith, what would it be?
A: Wintford: God is faithful, His love is everlasting and you can trust Him all the time.
Martha: To turn to God first of all.
Q: Have you ever read a book or heard a song that changed the way you think about God and faith? What was it and what did you learn from it?
A: Wintford: I was on the way to the hospital to see my granddaughter, who was in critical condition, and heard the song, “I Found the Lily in My Valley.” The song goes, “If you’re down and broken-hearted, and you just can’t seem to find peace of mind. You’re searching for your answers, but your problems are getting worse all the time. Just reach your hands to Jesus; He’ll take you in and break the ties that bind. He’ll be your lily in your valley, and you can watch Him bloom all the time.” God really spoke to me through that song and gave me assurance to put my faith in Him that all was going to work out because He is in control.
Q: Does your church have any special traditions that mean a lot to you? What are they?
A: Wintford: A ministering church with Sunday School, followed by morning worship service; choir practice in the evening followed by worship service; and Wednesday prayer meeting with Bible study. Our church is truly “The End of Your Search for a Friendly Church.”