NINNEKAH — For 58 years, Southern Baptist minister Leroy Looper has been preaching God’s message of salvation through Jesus.
Looper, 82, continues to preach from the pulpit most Sundays as a fill-in at churches near his Byars home. He is the interim pastor at Ninnekah Baptist Church in Grady County.
Some people have asked him why he doesn’t retire and take it easy. Looper’s answer is simple. “The Lord isn’t finished with me yet,” he said.
It was during a revival in 1948 when Looper dedicated his life to the Lord. He’d gone to the service for a different reason: a pretty girl he was interested in attended church there. As the sermon progressed, he felt the call of Jesus, and his life changed, he said.
He’s pastored churches in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.
Looper still remembers the text that he preached his first sermon on, Isaiah 58.
During that service, Looper prayed to God to save someone in the service if the Lord wanted him to be a preacher. “And he did,” he said.
He’s ministered to thousands of people through the years. All had different problems, but their need was the same. “The world’s greatest need is to know who Jesus is, and that’s the greatest need in everyone’s life,” he said.
When looking for a church home, the most important thing is to pick a church that follows the Bible, Looper said. People need to read their Bibles and compare it to the church’s teachings, he said.