Homegoing of Retired Missionary

Rev. David K. Volstad, who had served as a missionary to Chile, Latin America regional director, and pastor, entered the Lord’s presence on Sunday, August 9, 2009, after a battle with cancer. He was 75.

David Keith Volstad was born in Lyle, Minnesota, on November 10, 1933, to Alliance missionaries Rev. Carl and Mrs. Pelma Volstad while they were on home assignment.  Most of David’s boyhood was spent in South America, first in Peru and then in Chile when illness necessitated that his parents move to a more temperate climate. He graduated from high school in Temuco, Chile, in 1951.

David’s conversion to Christ occurred when he was 11 years old. At the age of 14, he settled the question of his future and agreed to return to Chile as a witness to Christ’s saving gospel. The years that followed were spent in preparation for that commitment. David graduated from St. Paul Bible College in 1952 with a diploma in theology. From there he enrolled in Seattle Pacific College to earn a degree in Spanish and an education certificate from Washington State.

David met Florence Lois Yearsley, from Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, at St. Paul Bible College. They married on July 12, 1958, after David’s graduation from Seattle Pacific and Florence’s graduation from St. Paul. Together they went on to White Sulphur Springs, Montana, for two years of pre-appointment pastoral ministry.

The Volstads and their son Bruce left for Costa Rica in 1960 for Spanish language study before heading to Chile. They served two terms during which David was a teacher and administrator of the Bible Institute at Temuco and director of the field’s summer camping program. He ministered widely in Chilean churches and assisted in gospel radio broadcasts and in the editorial work at the Spanish Alliance Press. In addition, he helped establish an orphanage in Loncoche.

In January 1972, David was appointed successor to Rev. George S. Constance, retiring area secretary for South America. He served in that capacity for 27 years before retiring in 1998. As regional director for Latin America, David spent much of his time on the road visiting missionaries and national church leaders, listening to their struggles and challenges, and offering encouragement and hope. A highlight of David’s years at the National Office was a one-month trip to Chile he and Lois took prior to retirement. 

David and Lois moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where David became the associate pastor for the Allegheny Center C&MA Church. Lois was thrilled that they could both be actively involved in ministry. David retired for the second time on July 1, 2009, with 10 years of fruitful and productive ministry where he was loved and appreciated.

David was known as a disciplined man, an excellent teacher and preacher, and one who worked well with both Chileans and his fellow missionaries. He had a fine sense of humor and deep spiritual resources. David was an example of integrity and faithfulness.  He maintained zeal, resolve, and a love for Christ and gave sacrificially for the advancement of God’s Kingdom in Latin America. David has fought the good fight, finished his race victoriously, and kept the faith. He truly demonstrated in the most gracious way faithfulness to God, to fellow believers, to his family, and to the work. As a second-generation C&MA missionary, he has left a spiritual legacy with his children; three are active workers stateside and overseas.

David is survived by his wife, Lois, his sisters Barbara and Ruth  (retired C&MA missionaries), five children: David Bruce (Amy); Mark (Barbara), former C&MA missionary to Chile and currently C&MA pastor at Iglesia Cristo Salva in Chico, California; Judy (Charles) Hardy; Steven (Christina), C&MA missionary to Russia; and Robert (Julie); and 14 grandchildren.

The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, August 12, 2009, at the Allegheny Center C&MA Church, 250 East Ohio Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212. Rev. Robert Fetherlin will represent International Ministries. Cards can be sent to Mrs. Lois Volstad, 148 Marwood Road, #1217, Cabot, Pennsylvania 16023. International Ministries is receiving donations on behalf of the family for their use. If you would like to participate in this love gift, please contact Esther Hsu.

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