Homecall of Fritz Pawelzik (1927 – 2015)

Date: 13 February 2015

Picture by Eckard M. Geisler:
Fritz Pawelzik (right) in his Düsseldorf home, together with Samuel Anim, the former National General Secretary of the Ghana YMCA

We celebrate the life of Fritz Pawelzik (1927 – 2015), a passionate long-time leader within the YMCA movement. Fritz was known for being a great friend of Africa, a wonderful teacher of the Good News from Scripture, and a loving father and husband.

We are thankful for this obituary, written by Eckard Geisler:

A Life with Christ, a Life with the YMCA
Homecall of Fritz Pawelzik (1927 – 2015)

An exciting and fulfilling life has ended. And Fritz Pawelzik left marks of blessings in the worldwide YMCA and in the lives of many people. Was it his original and down-to-earth way of preaching and witnessing Christ? Was it his skill of story telling and book writing? Being a young soldier during WW II, a POW, a Missionary to Miners in the Ruhr District, a Fraternal Secretary to the Ghana YMCA and working for the World Alliance of YMCAs in East Africa, all this was the background of his narrations and sermons.

He got his education at the YMCA Secretary Training College in Kassel. And over all the years his various assignments within the worldwide YMCA were financially supported by the Western Federation of YMCAs, Germany (CVJM-Westbund). The final ten years on the job he worked again with CVJM-Westbund as Secretary for World Service. Through this he got reconnected with the Ghana YMCA, where in 1959 he went as a Fraternal Secretary for seven years. During this time he established a large Vocational Training Centre with a workshop, classrooms, Hostel and accommodation for staff. Having returned to CVJM-Westbund after all these many years he initiated numerous partnerships between local Ghanaian and Sierra Leonean YMCAs and local CVJMs in Germany, which until today are a strong base of the relationship between these movements.

His love for Ghana and his achievements for this intensive relationship were honored by the traditional ruler of the Ghanaian town of Konongo in the Ashanti Region, the Konongo Hene, by appointing him as Chief for Development. Through this he became a lifetime Member of the house of the traditional leaders of this town. And in this office he has helped in expanding the local hospital.

But after his retirement with 65 his life with the YMCA continued. Until his final days he was a popular preacher and story teller at children programmes, services, festivals and schools. He was popular and was listened to by young and old and with excitement he continued to tell everybody about his “Chief”. Finally he called him home on the 29th January 2015.

Eckard M. Geisler, YMCA Bundessekretär für Weltdienst und internationale Beziehungen  (Secretary for World Service and International Relations) – Germany