Steven Charles Wintermantel

On Tuesday evening June 13,2023, Steven Charles Wintermantel left his earthly body to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The cause of death was cardiac arrest, while under the care of Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.

He was born March 9, 1961, in Lawrence, Kansas to Charles and Louise (Anderson) Wintermantel. (His mom exclaimed to the three surviving siblings that he was the most beautiful, perfect babe ever.) Steve graduated from Baldwin High School in 1979 and proceeded to Kansas State University (EMAW!) for a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, graduating in 1983. He then completed coursework for a Master’s in Education at the University of Kansas in 1989. During his time in the KU mission field, Steve heard the call of the Lord to serve in full time ministry, and he received his Master of Divinity Pastoral degree in 1994 from the International School of Theology (ISOT) in San Bernardino, California.

While attending ISOT Steve served as a pastoral intern at Wesley Community Church in San Bernardino, as well as working at a group home for young men. After graduation from ISOT, Steve returned to Baldwin City in 1995 and serving under the Evangelical Free Church of America, he planted Golden Valley Community Church while also working at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home. He served GVCC until 1999.

On August 11,2001, after years of searching, Steve married the answer to his prayers, Gina Lynne LaRocca in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Their marriage was blessed by their Heavenly Father but had been set-up by Steven’s earthly father. Steve served at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin from 2001-2011 as Associate Pastor for Group Life and Single Life. In 2012, he was called to the role of Pastor of Discipleship at Buffalo Covenant Church in Buffalo, Minnesota. He served in that role until 2018. Then Steve, Gina, Hazel, Abraham, Josiah, and Cyrus joined Christian Veterinary Mission and Africa Inland Mission and moved to Torit, South Sudan to make disciples who will make disciples (through Kingdom Builders School) as commissioned by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:18-20.

Survivors include his wife, Gina, and children Hazel, Abraham, Josiah, and Cyrus. His mother, Louise, sisters’ Amy and Ellen (Steve Peterson), brother Michael (Kelly). Also, nephews and nieces: Clayton, Carter & Caden Wintermantel, Anjali & Jaiya Peterson, and Mitchell and Chloe LaRocca.

Steve was a loving father, husband, brother, and son. His children were a true joy to him. He enjoyed working on the farm as a young man, gardening, identifying plants and trees, hiking through God’s amazing creation, and drinking coffee on any porch. He could do each of these things while singing at full throttle. His heart’s desire was to be a man after God’s own heart, and he pursued this desire by drawing close to God through studying the Bible, praying without ceasing, and listening for guidance from the Holy Spirit. Steve valued relational discipleship-making throughout his life and counted himself blessed to have the opportunity this last 5 years to help prepare South Sudanese believers to go and make disciples in the under-reached villages of South Sudan.

Memorials can be sent to the nonprofit Steve and Gina started to prepare and equip Kingdom Builders in South Sudan.

Checks can be sent directly to:

Kingdom Builders Ministry Africa

1700 Hawk Trail

Buffalo, MN 55313

Or you can write a check to Worden Cornerstone Church, with KBMA in the memo line.

The visitation will be held on Friday June 23rd from 5 to 7 pm at Worden Cornerstone Church. The service will be on Saturday June 24th at 10 am, with lunch to follow.

The service will be live streamed on the Worden Cornerstone Church Facebook page: Later, the recording of the service will be available on