Monday, April 06, 2015

Wendell Peter Fast, 68, of Bemidji, MN died Saturday, April 4, 2015 at his home, surrounded by his family. Throughout his lifetime of ministry, Wendell wore a variety of hats with the ministries of Oak Hills Fellowship and worked tirelessly for Youth For Christ, spreading the gospel to area youth and their families.

Wendell was born July 27, 1946 in Mountain Lake, MN, the son of Peter and Agatha (Quiring) Fast. He was raised and educated there, graduating from Mountain Lake High School in 1964.

He attended what was then Oak Hills Bible Institute from 1964-67, majoring in Bible. During his time as a student, Wendell was involved in several activities including a men’s vocal quartet and was class president in 1967. He developed a firm commitment to missions through his biblical education at Oak Hills.

Wendell graduated from Oak Hills in April 1967 and in September he returned as staff in the Missions Department, teaching Personal Evangelism and Discipleship classes. He was extremely involved in the community, running various AWANA clubs throughout the area.

He married Shelly Williams on August 17, 1968 in Bemidji.

Soon after, Wendell joined Camp Oak Hills staff as the Boys Camp Director and became Camp Director in 1970. He once said camping ministry was the highlight of his time at Oak Hills. In 1974 Wendell was named Chairman of the Division of Outreach at OHBI, where he was in charge of all Christian service, the camping program, ministry teams, and other forms of outreach.

Wendell’s passion was for youth ministry, particularly Native American youth. In 1981, he left Oak Hills to join the staff of Youth For Christ through their Youth Guidance Ministry, which serves “at risk” youth in the area. Through YFC, Wendell created relationships with youth and families that spanned three generations in the Bemidji area and Red Lake Nation.

Highlights of his ministry was Red Lake Camp, held at Camp Dellwater and most recently at Camp Oak Hills. Many in the community fondly remember Wendell’s peach fundraiser, where he sold fresh peaches to help fund the ministry of YFC.

Wendell’s wife, Shelly, tells us her prayer is that the legacy Wendell left will continue on through the hearts of others who share his passion to reach youth for Jesus Christ.