George Reader, 109, passed away November 5. At the time of his death, he was believed to be the oldest living ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene.
Reader pastored, taught, and evangelized throughout the U.S. Midwest until his retirement in 1976. He served as a senior pastor in the Illinois cities of Shelbyville, Rantoul, Marseilles, Freeport, Tuscola, Ridge Farm, Georgetown, Taylorville, Granite City, and Monticello.
In 2012, the Illinois District celebrated the 80th anniversary of Reader’s ordination, performed in 1932 by then General Superintendent J. B. Chapman.
Reader was also Olivet Nazarene University's oldest living alumnus. He served on the university's Board of Trustees for 21 years.
“George Reader was an inspiration to us all, not only because at the time of his death he was the oldest Nazarene elder in the United States, but because he fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith,” said Jerry D. Porter, Church of the Nazarene general superintendent.
Reader prayed at the USA/Canada Region's Mission 2015 Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, earlier this year through a video.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Gertrude (Mills) Reader, and two sons, Paul and James. He is survived by two sons: John W. (Lois) Reader and Daniel L. (Verna) Reader; two daughters-in-law: Deloris Reader (wife of Paul) and Mary Lou Reader (wife of James); six grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.
A funeral service was held Wednesday at the Chrisman, Illinois, Church of the Nazarene.