Raymond Leslie Crooks was a country boy from Oklahoma, who often slept in a woodshed as a child in order to make room in the house for his siblings. He later became a Christian missionary on the island of Jamaica, a pastor, a professor, and president of a Bible college. He most recently enjoyed residing at Liberty Heights Retirement Campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 17, 2015, at the age of 84, after a brief bout with cancer. (See complete Obituary here.)
One of Bro. Ray Crooks' passions throughout his life was Christian education--teaching others the Bible. This was evident in his roles as pastor, professor, editor at Herald and Banner Press, and president at Kansas Christian College.
It was this desire to share the gospel that led Ray and his wife, Lavena, to move with their two daughters, Pamela and Patricia, to Jamaica in 1955. During his second term, Bro. Crooks set up a system of nine training centers throughout the island. One hundred thirty students received certificates for classes such as Personal Evangelism, Sunday School Methods, and Doctrine of Holiness. Their training included both classroom lessons and practical applications.
The Crooks family also worked extensively with the young people of the churches, and for several years Bro. Crooks served as Young People's Secretary.
Upon learning of Bro. Crooks' passing, the General Overseer of the Jamaican churches, Bro. Winston Vidal, wrote, "He was indeed a true and faithful servant of God. We were blessed and inspired by his ministry in Jamaica for 7 years. Long may his memory live; as the scripture says, 'Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His saints' (Psalm 116:15)."
From the 1970s-1990s, Bro. Crooks faithfully served several years on the World Mission Board.
It is good when a Christian's funeral service is both comforting and inspiring to those left behind. We are grateful for the life and legacy of Bro. Ray Crooks.