Pastors' Memoirs

Lawrence Brewer Hoover, 1918-1987

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The Rev. Lawrence B. (Larry) Hoover, the eighth of nine children of Walter F. and Maggie Brown Hoover, was born July 14, 1918 at Singers Glen, Virginia.

He had three years overseas duty in the Army in World War II, where he received the Euro-African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon. He was discharged from the Army in 1946 with the Good Conduct Medal.

After the war, he began his lay career as a surveying engineer and salesman with Thorpe-Smith, Inc., in Northern Virginia. On June 2, 1952, he married Ruby Snyder of Grottoes, Virginia.

A former member of the Evangelical United Brethren Church, a lay witness mission coordinator, and always an active layman, Larry made his decision to enter the ministry in 1971 while he and Ruby were members of Christ United Methodist Church in Arlington. Although 53 years old at the time, Larry immediately enrolled in the prescribed ministerial course of study, attended Wesley Seminary, and at annual conference on June 14, 1977, was ordained a deacon by Bishop W. Kenneth Goodson.

During his 15 ministerial years, before retirement at annual conference in 1986, Larry served the following appointments: White Post in the Winchester District; Mountain View in the Roanoke District; Manassas in the Alexandria District; Axton in the Danville District; and Riverton in the Winchester District.

After an illness of 10 months, Larry died August 13, 1987. His funeral service was held at the Riverton Church, Sunday, August 16. Officiating at the service was Winchester District Superintendent H. Randolph Arrington, assisted by the Rev. Paul L. Phillips, the Rev. J. Courtney Sheffield, and the host pastor, the Rev. Gary E. Heaton. Interment was at Rest Haven Memorial Gardens in Harrisonburg. His beloved wife Ruby continues to reside at their retirement home near Rileyville.

Indicative of Larry's effective and highly appreciated ministry was a much enjoyed and extremely well attended retirement party held in his honor at the Riverton Church May 31, 1986.

Three words which serve to reflect the thrust of Larry's life and ministry are the words "dedication," "openness," and "love." He was truly dedicated to his Lord, his church and his ministry. He was open in the sense of being free from guile and prejudice, and open in the sense of his being always open-handed and open-hearted to others. He was a man of love, in that he found it easy to love others and made it easy for others to love him.

-J. Courtney Sheffield



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Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

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