Johnnie and Lahoma Loar, MSC Missionaries with the North American Mission Board celebrated 60 years of marriage on February 27. They are natives of Texas and have been serving on the Staff or the Green Mountain Baptist Association since 2001.
Their interest in Vermont began in 1984 on their first vacation trip to the Green Mountains. Between 1984 and 2001 they continued to serve in their home church, Wedgwood Baptist in Fort Worth although they returned year after year to vacation in Vermont as their hearts were drawn to Vermont’s people and the beauty of the state. As they left after each vacation, they would comment to each other, “wouldn’t it be great after we retire, that God would allow us to come up here to do some kind of ministry.” They retired from their secular jobs in 1996 and 1999. After Johnnie’s bout with cancer in 2000, the Lord gave them the desire of their hearts and He called then to serve as Mission Mobilization Coordinators with the GMBA.
The Loars have two grown children; a daughter, Cyndi who lives with her husband, Walen in Buckeye, AZ. He is the Associate Pastor and Church Administrator of First Southern Baptist Church in Buckeye. They have three children; two of which have families and have given Papa John and Gram, as they are known, seven great grandchildren. Cyndi and Walen’s third son is a college student in Arizona. The Loar’s son Scott is the Associate Pastor and Music and Student Minister at Central Baptist Church in Evadale, TX. He and his wife Jill have two sons, both in the military.
Since coming to Vermont Johnnie and Lahoma have worked with the pastors and their congregations to help them make contacts with churches around the country to provide needed resources for outreach, construction and other needs. Visiting and encouraging pastors is another part of their assignment they love to do. “What a wonderful gift God has given us, not only to be a part of the wonderful Christian community in Vermont but the great, long time friendships God has allowed us to have over the years with the churches in other parts of the country,” Johnnie said. Lahoma comments, “We continue to be excited about what God is doing in and through His faithful servants in the Green Mountain Baptist Association and are blessed to be a part of them.”