Longtime Oklahoma Baptist pastor and denominational leader Larry Adams, 91, passed away Feb. 5. Funeral services will be Friday, Feb. 9, at 10 a.m. at Oklahoma City, Putnam City.
His death was noted by Oklahoma Baptists’ Executive Director-Treasurer Todd Fisher, who commented, “Larry Adams, a giant in Oklahoma Baptist life and history, has passed away. Larry was the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee for much of the 1970s,” Fisher said. “Under his leadership, the Lord grew the church exponentially. When I went to be the pastor of Immanuel in 2003, I lost count of the number of members there who told me Larry was the one who led them to the Lord. He was a constant encourager to me the 19 years I pastored Immanuel.
“Larry served Oklahoma Baptists in various capacities, and at the national level of the Southern Baptist Convention as well. He was a larger-than-life personality who made a huge impact. I am grateful for Kingdom men such as Larry, on whose shoulders I, and many others, stand.”
Adams served as pastor at numerous Oklahoma churches, including Eufaula, First; Shawnee, Immanuel and Piedmont, First. He also faithfully served Baptist Village Communities (BVC) for many years as campus director at Baptist Village of Oklahoma City and as BVC’s vice-president—development. As a talented and experienced fundraiser, he led a capital campaign that far exceeded BVC’s goals.
He also planned and organized an annual fund effort, which is now carried out on a yearly basis. He was instrumental in developing numerous friends of the BVC ministry. For his and Edwine’s influence and efforts, the Larry and Edwine Adams Assistance Fund was established by BVC in their honor.
In 2012, Larry and Edwine were presented the Will and Nora Baskett Legacy of Love Award—the highest recognition given by BVC—during the Feb. 12 BVC board meeting. The award is named after Will and Nora Baskett, pioneers in the aging services profession. The Adamses were only the third recipients of the prestigious honor. They joined previous recipients Robert and Faye Griffin and Bud and Joyce Evans.
Upon learning of Adams’ passing, BVC President Bill Pierce said, “Larry Adams was our longtime co-laborer and friend for many, many years. He lived at the village in Oklahoma City and shared Christ with many, taught God’s word and led worship over many years. Everyone loved Dr. Adams.
“Larry and Edwine were such gentle, loving and kind friends. They were always looking for needs to meet in Christian love. We were so happy to begin the Larry and Edwine Adams Resident Assistance Fund in their honor. They had been helping residents who experienced financial challenges on the campuses for many years.
“Larry leaves a powerful legacy in BVC. Many members of our friends team currently serving have been wonderfully blessed by his leadership and ministry. He had a special ministry to those of us who serve in BVC. He prayed for us and knew the names of our children and asked about them.
“I think about the residents and team members who will spend eternity in Heaven because Larry shared Christ with them.
“The Larry and Edwine Adams Resident Assistance Fund is a powerful ministry in itself. Larry worked tirelessly to build up the fund so that residents who are financially challenged can continue to live in the village. That work will continue, and many will be blessed.
“Larry had a huge impact on BVC and many of us personally. We praise the Lord for his friendship and ministry.”
The Adamses also were longtime supporters of Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, which they began attending in the late 1960s.
In 2018, one property was completely renovated and now bears their family name. The building formerly known as Lodge Two was renovated and now features improved rooms and furnishings, offering sleeping quarters for guests on campus.
Oklahoma Baptists leaders received a major gift from Larry and Edwine’s son, Pat Adams, a businessman and member of Oklahoma City, Quail Springs. Lodge Two, now known as Adams Lodge, will host guests throughout the year.
At that time, former Oklahoma Baptists’ Executive Director-Treasurer Hance Dilbeck, noted the family’s spiritual influence: “Larry and Edwine are the epitome of a Christian couple who have served faithfully,” Dilbeck said. “We are grateful to Pat and the entire Adams family for making this strategic investment at Falls Creek, where we believe the Lord will continue to transform many lives.”