Bernard Fritzke was born February 16, 1927 on the farm near Orcadia, SK. He was the 9th of 13 children of William and Martha Fritzke.
Bernard grew up in a Christian family and attended West Ebenezer Baptist Church in Yorkton, SK. He received assurance of salvation at age 13, and was baptized in the spring of Cussed Creek on the Fritzke farm on August 2, 1942 at the age of 15. He was active in the youth and sang in the choir.
Responding to God’s call to ministry, Bernard enrolled in 1946 at the North American Baptist Seminary and graduated with a Bachelor of Theology degree. While attending seminary, he sangfirst tenor in the Gospel Harmoneers Seminary quartet, touring churches in the US and Canada.
On August 1, 1951, Bernard was united in marriage to Lorraine Lillian DeBoer. In 1953 their first son, Mark, was born and then three years later, Dean was born.
Over the years, Bernard and Lorraine served the following churches: First Baptist, McLaughlin, SD, 1951-1955; Grace Baptist, West Fargo, ND, a church plant, 1955-1961; Cedarloo Baptist, Cedar Falls, IA, a church plant, 1961-1967; Bethany Baptist, Portland, OR, 1967-1977; Riviera Baptist, Salem, OR, 1977-1984.
For the next two years Bernard served as Supervisor of Church Planting for North American Baptists in Florida. From there he was called to the international office of North American Baptists in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, where he served for 7 years as Associate Director of Church planting for both the US and Canada. He served on various Boards and Committees in the Conference and had the privilege of serving as evangelist in 49 churches.
Bernard and Lorraine retired in 1993, in Beaverton, Oregon, and were active members of Bethany Baptist Church of Portland, where Bernard was honored with the title of Pastor Emeritus.
His hobbies were woodworking, gardening and raising fruit trees. Bernie graduated to his heavenly home on June 15, 2016 of a heart attack in Miles City, MT, on a trip with his wife, Lorraine, to Milbank, SD to visit relatives and attend a Memorial service for a cousin of Lorraine’s.