By AT News Team, Jan. 23, 2015: The well known and widely beloved Adventist preacher, Pastor John R. Loor, Sr. passed to his rest last week. Loor stirred the hearts of crowds as large as 16,000 from the 1960s into the 1990s and was widely respected as a very spiritual leader.
Serving as pastor of a number of the largest Adventist congregations in the United States, Loor stated his ministry in 1954 and soon became pastor of the congregation in the Hyattsville, Maryland, suburb of Washington DC where his mother and grandparents were baptized as Adventists when he was a baby. In 1960 he became senior pastor at the Dallas (Texas) Central Adventist Church and over the next dozen years went on to be senior pastor at the Riverside (California) congregation and the Collegedale (Tennessee) congregation, both near Adventist colleges.
“He preached with power, cogency and appeal,” wrote Pastor F. D. Nichol, the legendary editor of the Adventist Review. “I wish I had five dollars for everyone who has come to me and said, ‘I remember the week of prayer your dad held at my academy or college,'” his son, Pastor John R. Loor, Jr., told the Adventist Review yesterday. “I don’t believe we will really know until heaven how many lives my dad touched for Jesus.”
Loor had a tangible authenticity sensed by large numbers of Adventists who heard him preach, a simple faith in God infused with a rich and sustaining spirituality. He was often invited to speak at camp meetings and convocations, many times as a stand-by for the famous Adventist evangelist Pastor H. M. S. Richards. He wrote a small paperback on the subject of personal devotions entitled Pack Your Life With Power, now out of print.
Like many in his generation of Adventists in America, Loor was born into a Blue Collar home of limited means during the Great Depression. His mother and grandparents were converted to the Adventist faith through public evangelism and baptized into a new church plant. His pastor encouraged church members to raise the money necessary to see that Loor attended all eight grades of church school and he was helped to get a college education at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland.
In 1973, Loor became ministerial director for the denomination’s Michigan Conference and went on to a career as a church administrator. He was elected president of the Indiana Conference in 1986 and later served as president of the Northern New England Conference which includes the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
“Loor died surrounded by family in his home in Hendersonville, North Carolina, on Jan. 13,” the Adventist Review reported yesterday. He “is survived by his wife, June; his son, John Jr. [executive secretary of the denomination’s North Pacific Union Conference], and wife, Susan; his daughter, Jane, and her husband, Jim; five grandchildren, Cindy, Jimmy, Ryan, Rob and Jeremy; and two great grandchildren, Iris and Ellison. A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Jan. 31 at the Fletcher Seventh-day Adventist Church.”