Services Pending for James R. Hawkinson

WHITE BEAR LAKE, MN (May 24, 2011) – Services are pending for James R. Hawkinson who died this morning from complications following surgery.

While Hawkinson served a number of Evangelical Covenant Church pastorates and served on numerous Covenant boards and commissions, he is perhaps best known for his 28 years serving as executive secretary of the former Covenant Publications department and as editor of The Covenant Companion.

More information will be published as it becomes available.




  • Our first memory of Jim was of him sitting on a log at Mission Springs, lovingly counselling a young junior seeking God. That viosion affected our early ministry and lifetime of service. Jim was a humble giant, full of wisdom and delightful stories. His contributions to the hymnal commission were many and so valued! We miss him already. Peace to his memory! Sending our love and comfort to Alyce and the family. Jonna and Phil

  • Before I was a part of the Covenant Church I would call on Jim as a Sales Rep for our Publishing Company.  He was a unique client, always had time for me and was genuinely interested in my presentation.  When I became a part of the Covenant family he made me feel like that I was one of his best friends.  His affirmation of me and my ministry spoke to me big time.  Jim you will be missed.

    Rod Toews

  • Jim’s passing leaves a large hole in our Covenant legacy and identity. He embodied Covenant Pietism at its best. What a joyful privilege it was for me to work with Jim on three Covenant Hymnal Commissions (Red 1973, Song Goes On 1990, Blue, 1996) because of his intimate knowledge of our church, his authentic spirituality and passion for Christ, and not least, his legendary story-telling abilities. He enriched and animated our hymnal-making process in countless ways. Through Jim’s life and work, and even in his passing, “the Song Goes On.”

  • As a former member of North Park Covenant Church, Jim and Alyce reached out to us and made us feel welcome. He said to us, when we were taking a walk around the neighborhood, “I am so glad you are a part of this church.” And he meant it. I was ready to look elsewhere for a church, and his comment is what kept me there as a member. I was a seminary student from 1984 to 1990 and wrote a paper about Jim and his family. I had a chance to interview Jim, his mother and his brother, as well as Paul and Peter. (I believe I turned this into the archives, but if not, I will certainly send it to them. There are taped recordings of the conversations I had with them.) The name of my paper was, “Love Them Into the Kingdom.” Jim also encouraged me to reprint an article I had written about my healing from mental illness. I had titled it “The Lady Who Slew a Thousand Dragons.” The title was changed to “When Love Slew My Fears,” and appeared in the early 80’s. My son, John, and Paul were friends in grade school, and had many mischievous escapes as children. I cannot say enough good things about this man and his family. My condolences to all, especially Alyce, Paul and Peter, whom I know the best. Love, Melinda Hunter

  • My heart is heavy as I read the Covenant News Service report of Jim’s passing. I am pained deeply for the human loss of loosing a dear friend, but also rejoice that Jim is with his heavenly “Abba” and Savior, whom he served so passionately all his life. Cheryl and I send our love to Alyce and the wonderful family who grieve Jim’s loss. Over the years, Cheryl and I have had significant contact with Erik, Mary, and Peter. Judy and Paul are not as familiar but are equally in our thoughts.

    Jim and I have shared many laughs and jokes and it was always a delight when I would see Jim because I knew I could speak Swedish with him. The number of Covenanters that can speak the “heliga sprok” (heavenly language) are fast becoming extinct! As Cheryl and I continue in ministry beyond our “retirement” age, I will always heed Jim’s beloved mantra to “Keep telling the Story” of what Jesus has done in my life and how He can bless others…with equal reflection on bringing God’s story out from other lives as well.

    Gud velsigna alla familia, Paul & Cheryl Bengtson

  • We were saddened by the news of Jim’s death yet we rejoice in wonderful memories of his warm and deep friendship with us and heartened by the sure hope of the resurrection. Jim loved World Mission and gave Mexico a lasting and beautiful gift. It was his visit and encouragement that moved Mexican Covenant leader Miguel Ortega to create and publish a daily devotional entitled Hoy Con Dios that was modeled on the Covenant Home Altar. This publication has been widely used in Mexico, among Spanish speaking Covenanters in the US and throughout Latin America for many years. Even more, everyone among us remember Jim’s unfailing kindness and generous encouragement. We, indeed, have strong peace in our memory of him. May the Peace of Christ comfort the family at this time.

  • Jim was my first “real” boss at the Covenant Companion office in the early 1970s in the pre-digital era. I have to give him credit for keeping up with the advances in technology; last year he emailed me a letter with his scanned signature in place, acknowledging my dad’s passing. It was letter-perfect, per usual. I was always impressed with Jim–we were all sure he could do ANYthing. He was an inspiration to stay interested, active, and informed. He was a man of wisdom, deep faith, and loyalty to the cause of Christ and his church. May you as family who will miss him most know that we grieve with you.

  • With a voice that is once again resonant and powerful, I imagine Jim presenting his gift of song with the Heavenly Host! Though we will most certainly miss the infectious smile in his eyes and the warm “Great to see you!” greeting, I know we are able to look forward to meeting Jim again. Our prayers continue for you, Alyce, and the rest of the Hawkinson family. May God give you His peace as you continue through Jim’s homegoing. Blessings to all, Mark & Karin Youngberg

  • I echo the comments already made…but when I think of Jim my lasting imression will always be that of Jesus to Peter at breakfast by the lake. Jim was like that with me, giving me hope and affirminmg a new calliing to the ministry of Christ’s Church. Jim was loved by many because he loved one-at-a-time. May the comfort of Christ rest upon his family. Peace to his memory.

  • What a special man of God! I am so blessed to have known him. He and Alyce have blessed our family so many times over the years and I am so thankful for the heritage of faith they have lived out for not just their own special family, but for the Covenant family at large. With love and prayers for Alyce, Judy, Hawk, Mary, Peter, Paul and their families!

    “Someday Soon” dear friend. Karen

  • On behalf of the Covenant Ministerium as a whole, I offer praises to God for Jim’s life and for his faithful service to everyone in the Covenant Church through his ministry with Covenant Publications. Like so many of us, I was blessed by Jim’s personal encouragement. He is a shining example of a true pietist. May our Lord send peace and comfort to Jim’s family and may the Lord help us together to remember and practice the kind of gracious service Jim modeled.

  • Just heard the news of Jim’s heavenly home-coming celebration! It is hard to absorb that he is no longer with us. It leaves a void. Jim had a special place for all of us who were “adopted” into the ECC family, whose roots were not Scandinavian and who came out of other Christian traditions – our Notehelfer family being among them. His embrace was genuine; his appreciation of what others brought to the table always so appreciative and affirmative. Our love to Alyse. John and Miriam.

  • We will miss Jim greatly. An affirming friend and wonderful example. It’s interesting that at this time we are reading together an article each day from GLAD HEARTS which he edited a few years back. He kept us connected, and will continue to do so. God’s peace to Alyce and all of the family.

  • The host of Jim’s friends will miss the gifts freely given to the Covenant Church in his ministry for the Lord. In our collective memories he will be recognized together with those he often recalled as “contributors to the Faith”. God’s peace to Alyce and the family.

  • The prayers of all of us at Hilmar Covenant go out to Alyce, Jim’s “kids,” and all of their families in the passing of this wonderful man who has meant so much to all of us in the Covenant family.  His knowledge and wisdom about Covenant things will be greatly missed.  It was Jim who first alerted  me to a full time music ministry possibility in the little town of Hilmar California, back when I was at North Park in 1980.  I came, I candidated – and I’m still here, 31 years later!   Hilmar always held a special place in Jim’s heart, and we at Hilmar Covenant are deeply saddened by his death – even as we rejoice in his heavenly homecoming.  Thank you, God, for Jim Hawkinson. 

  • To all in our covenant family: I can speak on behalf of our entire family when I say that we are so grateful for your love, support and prayer. Together we all are the family that my grandfather lived his life in service of and we are grateful to God for him and for you as well. We are, after all, in this together and our God is faithful and good.

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