Jerry Kester passes away

Jerry Kester passes away

by
Nazarene News Staff
| 02 Nov 2023
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Jerry Kester.jpg

Jerry Kester, 69, of Olympia, Washington, passed away on 13 October 2023. He led the Washington Pacific District as superintendent since 2011. He also served as a minister in Washington, Idaho, and Kansas.
Jerry Ray Kester was born to Kenneth and Vera Kester on 27 May 1954 in McMinnville, Oregon. He graduated from Borah High School in 1973, being voted “Mr. Friendly” his senior year.

Jerry attended Bethany Nazarene College (now Southern Nazarene University) in Bethany, Oklahoma, graduating in 1977 and immediately began a Master of Religion degree. He attended Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. 

He had recently completed all the coursework for a Doctor of Ministry degree also through Nazarene Theological Seminary, but his declining health prevented him from completing the dissertation.

Jerry served as a youth pastor for 20 years in Bethany, Oklahoma; Kent, Washington; and Nampa, Idaho, before accepting a lead pastor position in Twin Falls, Idaho, where he would serve for 17 years. 

He was then elected superintendent for the Washington Pacific District and served there until his passing. He was on multiple committees throughout the denomination, also serving as the vice chair for the Board of Trustees for Northwest Nazarene University.

In 1987, Jerry and Sharon had the privilege of becoming the legal guardians for Sarah (Leis) Thompson. She and her brother, Henry, along with their spouses, children, and a recent grandson, have been part of their family and always will be. 

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Vera Kester; stepfather, George Evans; brother, David Kester; and grandson, Micah Kester.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sharon; sons Greg and Brad Kester; two grandchildren; sister, Millie Watkins; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A Celebration of Life service for Jerry will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, 4 November 2023, at the Nampa First Church of the Nazarene, 601 16th Ave. So. in Nampa. A private family burial will take place at the Cloverdale Cemetery in Boise before the celebration service. 

An online guest book is available at nampafuneralhome.com. 

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