Long-time Alliance Pastors Dies
February 3, 2006
Rev. R. Rogers Irwin passed into the presence of his Lord and Savior on January 18, 2006, in Stanwood, Washington.
Irwin was called to the ministry after high school and enrolled for training at Simpson Bible Institute in Seattle, Washington. He met and married Esther Marian Van Patter, who was an active Christian worker in the Olympia Alliance Tabernacle. They were married December 7, 1938, and proceeded to their first pastorate after their honeymoon. They had three children, Robert Jr., Paul, and Eunice.
Irwin served in the Pacific Northwest District (now Alliance Northwest District) for more than six decades. He was pastor of several established churches: Silverton Alliance Church, Talbot Community Church, Bellingham Alliance Church, and North Seattle Alliance Church. He also served for a short time in the Central Pacific District at Petaluma, California.
Rogers enjoyed pioneering new churches and encouraging other ministers to do the same. He and Esther pioneered the Sauvie Island Community Church, Kelso Alliance Church, and Richland Alliance. He was extension director of the district for many years. Later, he served as district superintendent from January 1, 1971 until December 31, 1979.
Rogers and Esther retired from ministry in 1991 but continued serving churches in associate and interim roles: Ellensburg Alliance Church, Smokey Point Alliance Church and Alderwood Community Church.
Irwin also served on the Board of Trustees of Simpson University and on the national committees of the Division of Church Ministries of the C&MA.
He is survived by his wife, Esther, and their three children, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
A graveside service was held Monday, January 23, 2006, at the Aurora Community Cemetery in Aurora, Oregon. A memorial service was held Tuesday, January 24, 2006, at the North Seattle Alliance Church, 2150 N. 122nd Street Seattle, WA 98103.