Rev. Dr. John Samuel Loum, born in 1948 in The Gambia, West Africa, held a closeness for his birth-nation even when he became a citizen of the USA. His pursuit of theology and his endeavors in mission work became legendary. With expertise on Islamic Studies, he was determined to bring Christ to those who did not know Him.
“Dr. Loum appreciated Orphan Grain Train and made certain that some of his specialized Christ-centered material and books were shipped to Africa upon his retirement. The Missouri-Illinois branch of Grain Train became a conduit for delivery,” reports Dr. Gerald Perschbacher, branch board member. “Dr. Loum passed to heavenly glory in late October of 2022. So when his family joined together a year later, they wanted to do something special to mark the first anniversary of his passing. They chose the St. Louis branch site at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church as the location for their gathering to prepare necessary items for delivery to the needy, thanks to Oprhan Grain Train.” Much of the donated clothing they prepared for shipping was provided by the LWML in Central Illinois and Missouri.
Dr. Loum had done part of his studies at Oxford University in England, then enrolled at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, earning his Master of Arts in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Reformation before moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana. For a time he was a missionary-at-large for the LCMS Indiana District and the pastor of St. Augustine Lutheran Church (the first African immigrant congregation for the LCMS in North America) which he planted. The congregation was composed of members from 14 African nations. He also served as a missionary-at-large and adjunct professor on the Ft. Wayne campus of Concordia University – Mequon, teaching classes in Islam and African History.
Among his many accomplishments, he never forgot his homeland. He fostered Christian education in that part of the world, even teaching Lutheran doctrine to an established group of Christians. Along with teaching and catechizing the pastor and lay leaders of the church in the Gambia, he also instructed the teachers and students at the Lutheran school in the village of Abuko. His life was centered on the Good News of Christ.
Dr. Loum is survived by wife Hannah Roseline Loum (nee Belford), his children and daughter-in-law: John Loum Jr., Hans Loum, Cyril and Sunita Loum, and Donald Loum; his grandchildren: Giovanna Loum, Josiah Loum, and Noah Loum; his many brothers and sisters, as well as cousins, nieces, and nephews in The Gambia and Abroad. In recent years he was active at Timothy Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Mo.
First picture is of Dr. Loum.
Other photo is members of the Loum family that recently spent a good part of a day working in memorial of Dr. Loum at the Missouri-Illinois OGT branch location in St. Louis. Photo by Brad Jackson