Obituary: Norman Swensen

CROMWELL, CT (March 4, 2016) — Norman Swensen, longtime pastor of Trinity Covenant Church in Manchester, Connecticut, died peacefully in his sleep February 22 at Covenant Village of Cromwell, where he was a resident. He was 87.

Norman SwensonA memorial service will be held March 19 at Trinity Covenant Church.

He was born November 24, 1928, in Rockford, Illinois, to Bjarne and Elsie (Monsen) Svensen, and came to faith as a teenager through the ministries of Broadway Covenant Chapel, an outreach of First Covenant Church in Rockford.

In high school Swensen had planned on a career in aviation or aeronautics, but following his conversion he felt a call to ministry. He attended North Park Junior College, Beloit College, and North Park Theological Seminary, and was ordained in 1954. During his senior year at Beloit, he was called to serve as pastor of Evergreen Covenant Chapel, another outreach of First Covenant in Rockford. He was pastor there until he graduated from seminary in 1953.

Swenson served First Covenant Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1953-1958); Community Covenant Church in Calumet Park, Illinois (1958-1967); before beginning his pastorate at Trinity Covenant (1967-1993). After twenty-six years there, he was named pastor emeritus. In retirement he served as interim pastor at churches in Woodstock, Pomfret, and Hebron, Connecticut.

“Pastor Norm,” as he was called by many, was known for his compassion for others, and his commitment to evangelism and discipleship. Even after a paralyzing stroke, he counseled and prayed with visitors and staff from his bed.

He married Gloria Fast on June 18, 1949. She preceded him in death in 2010, after sixty-one years of marriage.

He is survived by sons Charles (Rhonda) of Manchester, Connecticut, Scott of Broad Brook, Connecticut, Curtis (Kim) of Taunton, Massachusetts, and good family friend (“fourth son”) Frank Farina; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.


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  • Our prayers and condolences to the entire Swenson family from the Fairbanks family. Pastor Swenson was very influential in the initial and formative years of our church in Calumet Park, Illinois. He was very well liked and popular in the community as well. Rest in peace, Pastor Swenson.

  • Pastor Norm mentored me out of seminary and gave me incredible latitude and opportunity. As I think back, I marvel at his patience with me. A quintessential evangelist and pastor. He has gone home. He worked served well here on earth and anticipated well going home to be with the Lord. Blessing on all his family and friends – remember this servant well in praise to the Lord.

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