Wiltrout retires after two-decade ministry

Published Feb 01, 2016

FRESNO — Rod Wiltrout is not the kind of guy you can easily forget. Larger than life in his love for the Lord, Rod served California Southern Baptists faithfully for more than 20 years.

He retired at the end of December as California Southern Baptist
Convention’s church finance specialist and GuideStone state
representative.

“For more than two decades California Baptists have been blessed to
have Rod Wiltrout serve as our stewardship specialist,” said Mike
McCullough, CSBC associate executive director and Wiltrout’s supervisor.
“Beyond Rod’s expertise in helping churches with financial matters is
his love for pastors and staff and their needs.

“Rod was always willing to sacrifice in order to help a pastor in need.”

Wiltrout came to the Convention from church ministry in 1995, to
direct the then-office of stewardship. He had been PACT (Project:
Assisting Churches in Transition) consultant for eight Southern Baptist
associations in Central California. He previously was minister of
education at Berkeley Avenue Baptist Church in Turlock, and also served
as pastor of churches in Oregon, Texas and California.

As leader of financial ministries for the Convention, Wiltrout’s
job changed throughout the years to become much more about helping
churches get in compliance with government regulations. His titles have
included director of the stewardship office; stewardship and Annuity
specialist under the healthy church group; church finance specialist
with the HCG; C(ooperative) P(rogram) ministries and church finance
specialist under the missions advancement group; and the title he
retired with, SENT specialist, church finance and GuideStone state
representative under the missions discipleship group.

“Rod was willing to learn new skills in order to address the
ever-changing needs of churches,” McCullough noted. “In his last five
years on our staff Rod learned how to help congregations meet the
emerging governmental regulations required of non-profit congregations.

“Rod served hundreds of our churches with this need,” McCullough said.

As church finance specialist Wiltrout’s primary responsibilities
were church consultations, CP promotion, stewardship and retirement
planning for pastors and church staff.

As the GuideStone Financial Resources representative for the state,
he helped pastors with their retirement needs and churches take proper
care of their pastors and staff.

The Wyoming native is a graduate of California State University,
Stanislaus in Turlock and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in
Fort Worth.

McCullough added that he “will miss Rod as a CSBC team member. I pray God will bless Rod in his new beginnings.”

Jacque Mendez, who was Wiltrout’s assistant when he retired, said
he “wasn’t just a good boss, but the best kind of teacher and mentor.”

“Rod was the kind of boss that made you want to be the best
employee possible. He made it clear to you, and everyone else, that he
had full faith in your abilities and wanted you to do well.”