With the Lord
Victor Decker (1950)
Victor Decker (1950) entered the presence of the Lord on January 28, 2013. Mr. Decker was born on February 14, 1926.
His ministry began in the mid-1940s after his graduation from high school as he drove his uncle, a blind Methodist circuit preacher, on his weekly preaching rounds. It was during those trips with Uncle John that God called Victor to preach. His own pastor at Mehoopany Baptist sent him to Eastern Baptist Seminary to prepare for ministry, not realizing that the school had moved in the liberal direction since he had graduated. Victor providentially had a BMM missionary to India (Jim Garlow, a Moody grad) as a roommate who was home on furlough and finishing a bachelor's degree at Eastern. Jim told Victor that he didn't belong there for his basic theological training, so Victor came home in the middle of his first semester and found a long-closed church near Mehoopany, tracked down the trustees of the building, and began preaching at the Fox Hollow Church.
The following year he began his studies at BBS in Johnson City. The next year he became the interim pastor at Tunkhannock Baptist Church and later that year started a new church that would become the Osterhout Bible Church, 3 miles south of Tunkhannock--both while still a BBS student. He pastored the Osterhout church for the next 53 years. His ministry was bi-vocational throughout, initially to pay the bills as a church plant, later by choice so that the church could put more money into missions. The church budget eventually sent more than 50% of their budget to various missionaries, most with BMM, ABWE, and EBM.
Over the years many BBC and BBS students made Osterhout their church home away from home and went into ministry with Pastor Decker's imprint as part of their training. Victor's wife Agnes made it home to heaven almost 3 years ago. He is survived by 4 children (Rodney, a BBS prof; Evelyn, an ABWE missionary in Peru; Susan, active in her church in Missouri; and Cecil, a deacon in his church near Gettysburg), 16 grandchildren (including another ABWE missionary and a third generation "Pastor Decker"), 27 great grandchildren, and one sister.
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