UPDATED 10:30 a.m. ET, July 28, 2023
After a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, Fred Kinsey passed away on Monday, July 17, 2023, in Walnut Creek, California, where he has lived most of his life. He was 71.
Kinsey was a remarkable individual with a long career in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He dedicated his life to connecting others to an abundant life in Jesus Christ.
He served as an ordained minister, starting his career as a pastor in Ohio; he then joined the Northern California Conference as the communication director. He was also a public relations professor at Pacific Union College and later served as communication department chair. During the final years of his career, Kinsey became the assistant to the president for communication for the North American Division and, when Lonnie Melashenko retired, served as the speaker and director of the Voice of Prophecy.
“During my time at the General Conference, I had the distinct pleasure of getting to know Fred Kinsey when he served at the NAD,” recalls Kimberly Luste Maran, North American Division communication director. “I appreciated his innovative thinking, sharp intellect, communication prowess, and his desire to share Jesus through media. What I learned from him has helped me as I now serve in a similar role.”
According to Ray Tetz, director of communication and community engagement for the Pacific Union Conference, “Fred and I were friends and colleagues for more than 50 years, and he was a giant in the field of Adventist communication.”
Alicia Adams, director of marketing for the Pacific Press, stated, “Fred inspired so many of us with his passion for teaching and leading. He was a communicator and relished supporting the people and projects he believed in. Fred’s legacy in the Adventist church will be felt for generations.”
One of Kinsey’s former students at PUC wrote, “I enjoyed my time with Fred back in my PUC days and then in the following years. Such a sharp wit, a keen observer, and loads of wisdom. So many great lessons I carry with me in life and in my career.”
Stephanie Leal, Fred’s daughter, posted this message, “At this time, our family is reeling from the loss. We are sorry we cannot reply to the many emails and texts as quickly as we’d like, especially my mother; please know that each one means so much. Many have shared what his sermons, college classes, and friendship have meant. We hope that his life — one dedicated to ministry — will be his legacy and live on.”
Kinsey is survived by his wife Lynette, his two children, Stephanie and Jeffrey, and four grandchildren. He loved and deeply supported Adventist education and felt that any child who wanted to go to an Adventist school should be able to attend. The Kinsey family has set up a scholarship fund in his honor through the Northern California Conference. Click here to learn more.
— Laurie Trujillo is the Northern California Conference communication director; the original article appeared in "Northern Lights" on the NCC website.