Dr. William (Bill) Godwin, Founding President, Pastor of Peace Christian Fellowship church in Palm Springs. He's been an ordained American Baptist pastor of ABC churches for 48 years. Bill is married, has three sons and 9 grandchildren. He lives in Desert Hot Springs.
Bill passed away on March 14th - please see Tributes to Bill below.
Dr. Paula Trimble-Familetti, Acting President, taught in The Desert Sands Unified School District and is the author of a gold medal-winning book Prostitutes, Virgins, and Mothers: Questioning Teachings About Biblical Women. She worships at St. Clare Catholic Community in Bermuda Dunes and Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church in Big Bear. Paula grew up in Indio.
Rev. Jennifer Shaw, Vice-President, Pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Palm Desert, grew up in Ventura County and moved to the Coachella Valley 5 years ago. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from CSUN, a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Seminary, and a Certificate of Advanced Theological Studies from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.
John C. Marksbury, Secretary, a long-time civic engager; former volunteer with the Cathedral City Boys & Girls Club and the Palm Springs Art Museum; worships at Or Hamidbar in Palm Springs and First Parish Congregational Church in Truro, Massachusetts.
Michael Rosenkrantz, Treasurer, is originally from Los Angeles and has lived throughout the US and in India and Nepal. He is currently the Board President for Palms to Pines Parasports, serving Riverside County in the area of adaptive sports. Michael is a member of Self-Realization Fellowship, in which his son is a monk. Michael and his wife have lived in the Coachella Valley since October 2019.
Nicolas L. Behrmann, now retired and has had a dual career path as a Rabbi and an information technology executive. His current interests are in visual interpretation of scriptures and the search for spirituality in cyberspace. Nick is developing a blog site: www.yoursacredsmartphone.com
In Tribute to our Founding President, Bill Godwin
View the Desert Interfaith Council Memorial Service for Bill here.
A Tribute to Bill
March 15th, 2021: From John Marksbury, Desert Interfaith Council Secretary
Bill passed away last night at Desert Regional Hospital where he had been recovering from abdominal surgery. This is a terrible shock. Bill was a true servant of the Lord. There is much about his personal life and family that I do not know but in the short time our lives were given to be with one another, he became a good and much loved friend. I am deeply grateful for the many personal interactions in the work we shared building the Desert Interfaith Council over the past year and the guidance on myriad issues and details, large and small, that he provided with a gentle but firm touch. From crafting new bylaws and putting together a leadership team to personally recruiting many new members, putting Words of Faith on a regular and reliable footing to produce exceptional weekly spiritual insights from our members and presiding over stimulating monthly meetings he got the Desert Interfaith Council off to a strong start. He is just the kind of person who inspired you to do your best.
I know Caren and their sons would be comforted by any wishes and prayers you send their way.
I hope that Bill’s memory and devotion to our cause will inspire each one of us to double-down on realizing the Council’s commitment to “a world where all faiths come together to further the spiritual well-being of humankind and to exercise our power to achieve a more loving and just society.” There is no better way to honor Bill than to bring success to what he so strongly believed in.
Remembering Bill Godwin
Among our numbers at Desert Interfaith Council there are many good people, yet Bill stood out even among the many people of good will. Bill's mission was to seek out leaders, men and women of faith in God, and of spiritual practices, to bring them together through cooperation and mutual understanding as a consortium, "to serve as a conduit to the community for education, service, and celebration." He wanted Desert Interfaith Council to be a guiding light for change in the community.
Last year Barack Obama empowered high school graduates with these words, "Leave behind all the old ways of thinking that divide us – sexism, racial prejudice, status, greed - and set the world on a different path." Bill was setting the world, our world here in the three valleys we serve, on a different path by inspiring people of different faiths and religious practices to leave behind that which divides, and instead unite in that which we have in common to lead the people of the desert communities in a new way of thinking and acting; motivated by love and care for all the people who reside in our sphere of influence and by respecting their personal dignity.
How did Bill gather together such a diverse and wonderful group of people? From my perspective, it was his welcoming spirit, his caring heart, and his loving pastoral way. I was only just getting to know Bill when he died; I miss him. I miss his guidance and support. I miss Rev. Bill's calm, confident voice. It is my hope to emulate Bill's ways as a member of the Interfaith Council. I believe I am a better person for having known William "Bill" Godwin.
May God bless us all. Amen
Susan T. Skora