Oldest living alumnus recognized by Church of the Nazarene
This article was originally posted on
Jul 12, 2012,
Jul 12, 2012
Rev. George Reader (L) receives award for his 80 years as an ordained elder from Dr. J.K. Warrick (R), general superintendent for Church of the Nazarene, at Illinois District Assembly
Rev. George H.D. Reader, Olivet Nazarene University’s oldest living alumnus, was recently honored by the Church of the Nazarene and the Illinois District for the 80th anniversary of his ordination as an elder. This milestone also marks a record in the church's history. The award was presented to Rev. Reader, age 105, on July 11, 2012, during the Illinois District Assembly held at Decatur First Church of the Nazarene, Decatur, Ill.
“This recognition is well-deserved,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, president of Olivet. “From the day he first sensed God’s call in his life in the summer of 1920 until now, Rev. Reader has honored that calling as a loving and faithful husband, father, pastor, and servant of God.”
A resident of Chrisman, Ill., Rev. Reader pastored, taught and evangelized throughout the Midwest until his retirement in 1976. He and his late wife, Gertrude (Sill) Reader, an Olivet alumna, led many revival services together. She assisted in her husband's evangelistic ministry by doing chalk art work.
Rev. and the late Mrs. Reader are the parents of four sons: John, James and Daniel; and Paul, who passed away in 1996.
While a student at Olivet in the 1920s, Rev. Reader sang bass in a student quartet and preached on weekends. He and Gertrude met while she was serving on Olivet’s faculty. He graduated from “Old Olivet,” Olivet, Ill., in 1929.
He served on Olivet’s Board of Trustees for 21 years, and numerous members of the Reader family have attended Olivet.
Even today, he remains a faithful supporter of the University.