By Cheryl Brown –
His first son in the ministry, Rev. Percy Harper, Pastor of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church and President of the Tri County Baptist Conference eulogized Rev. Dr. Jerry Louder at a service that was four hours long and attended by close to 1000 people who shared with family, church family and friends at the Grove Church in Riverside.
Louder succumbed after a long battle with cancer. The family expressed their love for their husband, father, grandfather and brother as they sang, danced and spoke of his wonderful life.
Although they were saddened by his passing they were rejoicing in his homegoing because the Bible teaches to be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord.
Rev. Harper said his task would be easy because the speakers who spoke about Louder already gave the eulogy.
But Harper also gave his personal experience with his father in the ministry. He spoke of his very full life, but that he always had time to mentor him.
The grandchildren dressed in tiaras, beautiful dresses, and white suits said they were dressed that way because Rev. Louder always referred to them as kings, queens, princes and princesses.
One grandchild relayed the story of how he always sucked her forehead and told her she was so sweet she had candy in her head. At the age of five, one day when she went to school, she told her friend about her grandfather and she didn't believe it. So she challenged him to show her friend and after a little hesitation he did.
"He sucked my forehead so hard I couldn't believe it and out came a sucker. I didn't have to tell anyone else about it because the friend told all of the other kids what she had seen.”
At one point, towards the end of the service, there was not a dry eye in the church when a staff resting on Louder's casket was passed to his eldest son Jerdall P. Louder, the new pastor.
Changing from eldest son sitting with the family to taking his father's place in the pulpit of New Jerusalem Christian Church (New J) was a beautiful ceremony.
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